Regulations about gas installations all home-owners should know

Have you, like many home-owners, installed gas appliances in your home?  However, are you aware that there are specific regulations that you must comply with - like a Gas Certificate of Compliance which is also required by your insurer to ensure that your insurance policy remains valid.

Both the buyer and seller of a property need to be aware of, and conform to, these regulations.

What is a Gas Certificate Of Compliance/Certificate of Conformity (COC)

In terms of Regulation 17(3) of the Pressure Equipment Regulations to the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, any person owning a property which has a gas appliance installed, must obtain a Certificate of Compliance (COC). The COC states that the installation:

  • has been properly inspected 
  • is determined to be safe
  • is determined to be leak free
  • is in proper working order

What does the COC cover
The COC is limited to gas installations which include gas fires, braais, stoves and ovens, and gas geysers. 

What does the COC not cover

The COC does not cover

  • Actual gas appliances such as stove, heater, braai, hob, geyser etc.
  • Any portable, temporary gas appliances, such as portable braais, patio heaters or internal heaters. These are not classed as permanent fixtures and will be relocated with the seller.


How to become compliant

Engage the services of a Gas Inspector - who MUST be registered with the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of Southern Africa (LPGAS) - to carry out the inspection of your gas installation. 

Whilst the gas inspector will advise you upfront what his inspection fee is, the total cost of a Gas Compliance Certificate can only be determined when the Gas Inspection has been completed in case any remedial work is required. The gas inspector will advise further on what work is needed and his costs for this.

If your gas installation is compliant and NO remedial work is needed, a new gas certificate should be issued to you at no additional charge over and above the initial gas inspection fee.

A copy of this Gas Certificate Of Compliance must also be given by the seller to the purchaser. 


What is checked during a Gas Inspection?
Regulations for gas installations are:

Gas bottles may not be installed:

  • Less than 1 metre sideways from doors and windows
  • Less than 2 metres from drains and air vents
  • Less than 3 metres below windows (unless a non-combustible roof is installed)
  • Less than 1 metre from the property boundary wall (unless it is a fire wall)
  • Less than 5 metres sideways away from a switchable electric point or plug switch
  • Light bulbs cannot be less than 1.5 metres above a gas bottle


Other installation rules:

  • Only SABS approved equipment may be used
  • Only class 1 or 2 copper pipes, or other approved gas piping, may be used 
  • Copper pipes must be sleeved if going through a wall 
  • Approved flexible gas hose may not be more than two metres long and may not go through any partition (including wood, dry wall, cupboard wall etc)


What is the validity of the Gas Certificate
There is no regulation regarding how long a gas compliance certificate is valid for. 


Selling your home? 
It is very important for homeowners to know that, if they wish to sell their home and they have a gas appliance installed, they are required to obtain an up-to-date gas certificate. Without this, the sale of the property will NOT be able to be finalised - it is needed for transfer of ownership and banks will not pay out the buyer’s bond.

It is the responsibility of every homeowner to ensure that they are in possession of a Gas Certificate of Compliance if they have a gas installation in their home and to advise their insurers of this to ensure that their home-owner’s policy remains valid.

As a homeowner with a gas installation, have a registered gas installer perform regular service checks to ensure your gas installation is in good working condition and that your home and family will be safe from any gas-related mishaps.


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