Proper Placement of LPG Gas Cylinders
It is important that new LPG installations include the proper placement of the cylinders to meet the applicable Australian Standards.
An additional consideration is the method of filling. Installing the cylinders so that they are suitable for either tanker filling or cylinder exchange gives your client more options and may save them money on the delivery of their LPG, with tanker filling.
Whenever possible, the cylinders should be installed to conform to the in-situ filling requirements. In addition, please remember that tanker deliveries require an unobstructed line-of-sight between the cylinders and the tanker. In most cases this means that the cylinders will need to be on the side of the home or commercial structure and not on the backside of the building.
Your client will appreciate this extra bit of planning and care when you site their new cylinders.
We must design installations which will satisfy external regulations and to ensure that they do, we construct them to principles laid out in a number of Codes and Australian Standards.
The most obvious one is AS/NZS 1596 “LP GAS STORAGE AND HANDLING” covering tank systems, components, installation of both above-ground and under-ground tanks, cylinder installation, cylinder filling setups (i.e. depots), autogas sites, operations and fire safety.
Perhaps not so well-known, but also very important, is AS 2430.3.4, “CLASSIFICATION OF HAZARDOUS AREAS” which defines hazardous zones and distances from sources of ignition.
An Industry Standard which we apply and the standard predominantly used by gasfitters is AS5601, “GAS INSTALLATION” which defines acceptable materials, installation methods and locations, specific appliance installation requirements and pipesizing. It covers mainly domestic and commercial installations whereas industrial installations are installed to the requirements of AS3814 “INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL GAS FIRED APPLIANCES”.
Cylinders under and inside a building and minor storage
A cylinder and its associated equipment shall not be installed in any of the following locations:
(a) Within a building, except where permitted by AS/NZS 1596
(b) Under a stairway
(c) In a location with restricted access where inspection, refilling or exchange of the cylinder is restricted, obscured or hazardous to the operator.
(d) Where nearby constructions, fences, walls or vapour barriers could prevent cross-ventilation.
(e) Under a building, except where permitted by AS/NZS 1596.
(f) Where the cylinder, or an incident involving the cylinder and its contents, could obstruct egress from a building.
(g) Buried in the ground, unless the cylinder and gas installation have been specifically designed for such a location.
Cylinders under a building supported by piers
Where a cylinder is under a building that is supported by piers, the following requirements apply:
(a) No part of the cylinder shall be more than 800 mm within the perimeter of the building‟s walls (see Figure 4.5 Sec 4 of AS/NZS 1596:2008).
(b) The area between the piers shall be:-
(i) open on at least three sides; or
(ii) enclosed by a construction through which cross-ventilation can occur (eg slats or battens) on at least three sides; or
(iii) a combination of Items (i) and (ii) above.
(c) Where the area between the piers is walled in so as to be vapour-proof, the limitation of Item (a) still applies.
Cylinders on a verandah
See AS/NZS 1596:2008 Sec 4.4.7
Cylinders in use within buildings
In Australia, the use of LP Gas cylinders and the retention of reserve or exhausted cylinders indoors shall be avoided, wherever practicable.