The Gas trades section of the Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) monitors and regulates the safety and technical standards of South Australia’s gas installation industry.

Put simply, it governs gas fitters in South Australia.

This page is aimed at gas fitters who undertake gas installations, as well as businesses and individuals that work in the gas trade industry. Here you can find information on compliance, reporting, approvals, audits, standards as well as contacting OTR’s Gas trades section.

If you’re looking for technical regulation for network operator infrastructure, also visit our OTR Infrastructure page.

Expand each of the topic headings below for further information.

  • Gas fitters must issue an eCoC to customers after completing any gas installation work. These are legal documents, required by law under the Gas Act 1997.

Only people with an appropriate licence can legally fill out an eCoC and certify work.

Gas fitters must provide an eCoc for:

  • installing, replacing, removing/decommissioning, or repairing gas pipework
  • installing new, pre-owned or replacement gas appliances
  • relocating existing gas appliances
  • installing new or replacement gas appliance flue pipes
  • commissioning appliances
  • converting gas appliances from natural gas to LPG, or vice-versa
    • if a Type A gas appliance is being converted to an alternate fuel type but is not labelled for use with that fuel type, it must be safety assessed before it can be operated
    • installing, modifying or relocating a Type B gas appliance, including converting the fuel type, must be tested and certified on-site by an accredited certifying body - see Gas product approvals for more information.

Prepare, submit, and track your certificates on the eCoC portal

A gas eCoC is not required for repairing broken-down appliances, or for maintenance service work where the appliance is not modified from the manufacturer's specifications. Replacing parts on an appliance with original manufacturer parts preserves any appliance warranties and existing appliance certification.

Gas fitters can use eCoCs as a record of work they have performed at a property, to distinguish it from other work that may have been done, and to formally notify the owner/operator of any gas safety issues that need to be fixed.

Penalties for not issuing a gas certificate of compliance include warnings, expiation notices, disciplinary interviews, and potential legal action under Section 56 of the Gas Act 1997 with penalties up to $5000.

  • Training and support can also be found in the eCoC section on the OTR main page.

gas leak is when gas escapes from a container, such as a pipe or cylinder, into an area where it shouldn't be. Gas has a strong smell added to it so that leaks can be easily detected and recognised. A gas leak can be very dangerous, so if you smell gas don't ignore it.

A gas incident is an event that may be the result of a gas leak. It can range from carbon monoxide poisoning to a fire or explosion that causes damage to property, injury, or death of a person.

Gas leaks

If you smell gas, report the leak by calling the Gas Emergency and Leak Reporting Service.

  • Phone: 1800 GAS LEAK (1800 427 532). Lines are open 24 hours a day and the call taker will provide you with advice on what to do.

Outdoors

If you're in a public place, report the leak immediately to the above phone number.

If you smell gas on your own property, turn the gas off at the meter or LPG cylinders if safe to do so. If the smell stops, phone a licensed gas fitter to have your gas installation checked. If the smell doesn't stop, call the above number.

An intermittent smell of gas outside could also indicate that there is a leak. Other signs to look for if the gas pipe runs underground include bubbles on the surface of puddles of water or unexplained patches of dead grass or vegetation.

Your gas retailer will also have reporting numbers you can call. These are usually displayed at the top of your bill.

Indoors

Gas leaks in confined spaces can be very dangerous.

If a specific gas appliance is having problems, First contact the contractor and describe the problem. For example, “the gas cooktop burner goes out when I turn it down to the simmer (low) setting or I smell gas near my newly installed appliance”. The contractor can return and investigate, or they might advise you to contact the appliance manufacturer for a warranty claim.

If the appliance is not installed or commissioned correctly, the service agent may charge a call-out fee. The OTR recommends that you ask them for a detailed report to help with further investigations.

Contact Consumer and Business Services if the contractor will not return to resolve the issue.

If a leak is coming from an unknown source inside a property:

  • Never look for a gas leak with a flame.
  • Leave the property immediately, opening doors and windows and extinguishing any open flames as you go.
  • Don't use a fan to assist ventilation.
  • Don't plug in or unplug any electrical appliances or switch them on or off.
  • Don't switch any lights on or off, use a telephone, or use a flashlight. Any of these could cause a spark which could start a gas fire.
  • Don't smoke or light matches in or near the property.
  • If it's safe to do so, and you have external gas and/or electricity meters, locate and turn off the gas and electricity supply to the property.
  • If you're certain the leak is within your home, move to a safe area away from the smell of gas and phone a licensed gas fitter.
  • Don't re-enter your home until it has been inspected by a licensed gas fitter and you're advised it's safe to do so.

Gas incidents

All gas incidents must be reported to the OTR Gas trades section, by the gas fitter or the occupier of the premises where the incident occurred.

If the incident occurred in a workplace, you must also report it to Safework SA.

The OTR investigates all major gas incidents including gas fatalities, gas installation incidents and distribution network incidents. The OTR prepares reports for the coroner as required.

Timeframes

The timeframes allowed will depend on the severity of injuries from in the incident:

  • Death must be reported immediately by phone:
    8226 5722 (Monday to Friday, 8.30 to 4.30pm)
    1800 558 811
    (24/7 - emergencies only)
  • Any incident where a person requires medical assistance must be reported within one working day, by phone or online.
  • All other gas incidents must be reported within 10 working days of the day of the incident, by phone, post or online.

Contact information for reporting

Phone

  • 8226 5518 (Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 4.30 pm)
  • 1800 558 811 (24/7 - emergencies only)

Online

Post

  • Office of the Technical Regulator
    Gas trades
    GPO Box 320
    Adelaide SA 5001

All gas appliances must be certified before they can be sold or installed in South Australia. If you are purchasing a gas appliance and want to know if the product is certified, visit the buying a gas appliance webpage.

Appliance classification

Gas appliances are typically known in the industry as type A or type B:

  • Type A gas appliances are typically domestic and light commercial appliances which are mass-produced. They are an appliance that a certification scheme exists for under the standards.
  • Type B gas appliances have a gas consumption above 10 MJ/hour for which a certification scheme doesn't exist under the standards.

Type A appliances, when used in industrial or commercial applications for which they were not intended, are considered part of a type B appliance.

Certification of type A appliances

These appliances must be certified and appropriately labelled before they can be sold and installed in South Australia. The following South Australian recognised bodies can certify and label gas appliances:

If your type A appliance has not been certified by one of the above recognised certifying bodies, please contact the OTR Gas trades section.

Certification of type B appliances

Type B appliances must be tested on-site and meet the requirements of applicable South Australian acts, regulations and standards

The certification testing of type B gas appliances can be carried out by the following South Australian recognised bodies:

These two private certifiers have been appointed as Authorised Officers for type B approval purposes. The OTR Gas trades section receives copies of all type B approval certificates and will:

  • act as an arbitrator in disputes
  • conduct independent audits of type B certifications and installations.

Certification of gas appliance components

Components used in gas installations and in the manufacture of gas appliances must also be certified by an approved certifying body. The components can be certified individually against the requirements of the relevant standard or included in the certification of the overall appliance.

Training

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a gas fitter or if you need to refresh your skills and knowledge, the following registered training organisations (RTO) in South Australia provide nationally recognised training in gas trades.

  • Master Plumbers of South Australia
    Phone: 8292 4000
    Fax: 8292 4040
    Web: www.mpasa.com.au
  • PEER VEET
    For rescue, resuscitation, first aid and other industry courses
    Phone: 8348 1200
    Web: www.peer.com.au
  • TAFE SA
    TAFE SA Information Freecall: 1800 882 661
    Mobile users: 8463 6300
    Business infoline: 1300 825 317
    TTY for deaf: 8463 6359
    Web: www.tafesa.edu.au

Industry events

Based on audit feedback, the OTR runs gas industry core discussions each year. Topics may include:

  • natural gas and LPG characteristics and properties
  • combustion principles
  • unflued heaters and ventilation
  • pipe sizing
  • appliance fluing and ventilation with an emphasis on commercial installations
  • selection of LPG regulators and overpressure protection devices
  • installation of pressure proving devices.

The technical sessions may be followed by a practical workshop conducted by Master Plumbers South Australia or a product manufacturer. Although the workshops fees are usually subsidised by the Construction Industry Training Board, an entry fee may still apply for the workshops.

For more information, contact the OTR Gas trades team using the details in the contact section below.

The Gas trades section of the OTR has the authority to audit gas installations, workers and contractors at random or in response to complaints.

This is legally enforced by the Gas Act 1997.

Two types of audits are commonly undertaken:

  • Field audits examine completed gas installations for compliance with Australian standards and safety regulations. This includes the appliances used and the work performed.
  • Desktop audits examine gas fitters and gas trade organisation’s technical competence and knowledge of gas installations in the areas such as fluing, ventilation and gas appliances.
    The audits take approximately two hours. Record keeping, certificates of compliance, as well as the currency of standards used by the person or organisation is examined and scrutinised. Safety and testing equipment is checked, and individual(s) are tested in the use of the equipment.

Gas fitters and contractors should expect to be audited at least once a year. Those who are found to be performing below expectations will be audited more often. In some cases, they may be forced to undertake further trade training.

If you are a customer receiving a random audit request

The OTR Gas trades section regularly reviews certificates of compliance and often invites the owners of new gas installations to have a free safety audit (by SMS). This is random, proactive auditing, offered free of charge.

The SMS includes a G-reference number. Click here to accept the audit, otherwise you can contact the OTR Gas trades team.

Audits usually take about 20-30 minutes for an average home but will depend on the number and complexity of appliances. Complex commercial and industrial installations can take longer.

Auditors do not adjust or modify equipment or settings. They do however need to undo test point screws to measure gas pressure but leave them as they found them. They usually take pictures of appliances, pipework, flueing and ventilation openings as necessary - please note that this is normal.

If any items are found to be non-compliant, auditors will make note in their report and discuss the next steps with the customer. If items are found to be dangerous, the auditor is obliged to make any installations safe to protect the community. This may involve isolating a dangerous appliance, or alternatively the entire gas installation where a gas leak exists.

Auditors will also offer to contact the contractor on the customer’s behalf to discuss and order rectification of the work.

Investigation of incidents and customer complaints

When incidents occur, or complaints are received, it’s often found that the gas works were carried out by unlicensed persons or by licensed contractors working outside the scope of their licenses. These matters are referred to the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs for further action.

Customer complaints concerning financial matters such as fees charged for gas work are also referred to Consumer and Business Services.

The most common problems found during audits are:

  • lack of ventilation for room heaters without flues - deteriorating air quality
  • undersized gas piping causing poor performance
  • incorrect placement of external appliances causing ventilation problems
  • gas leaks.

Auditing LPG installations

Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) is a more dangerous fuel than natural gas, so LPG installations receive special attention and are audited more often than natural gas installations.

Given the higher rate of non-compliance in LPG installations and the number of complaints received by the OTR, these installations have been audited at a higher rate in the past few years. These issues were primarily caused by lack of training and inadequate licencing processes up until the introduction of new laws in 1995.

Current laws now require gas workers to obtain appropriate licenses before performing any LPG installation.

The standards of LPG installations have improved due to cooperation between the OTR and TAFE SA in setting up refresher and update courses for gas workers. Easier access to these courses for LPG workers in remote and regional areas (through distance education arrangements) and regular information sessions conducted by the OTR Gas trades section has also encouraged participation.

The gas industry in South Australia is governed by a range of acts, regulations, and standards.  These include, but aren’t limited to -

Acts

The Gas Act 1997 regulates the gas supply industry and makes provisions for safety and technical standards for gas supply, infrastructure, installations and fitting work. The Act:

  • promotes efficiency and competition in the gas supply industry
  • promotes the establishment and maintenance of a safe and efficient system for distribution and supply of gas
  • establishes and enforces proper standards of safety, reliability and quality in the gas supply industry
  • establishes and enforces proper safety and technical standards for gas infrastructure and installations
  • protects the interests of South Australian consumers
  • provides the authority to introduce temporary gas rationing in the event of a supply shortage.

The Gas Act 1997 provides the Office of the Technical Regulator with the authority to enforce the requirements of the legislation and its associated regulations.

The Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Act 2000 regulates the sale of selected energy products by:

  • establishing requirements for the labelling of energy products to indicate their compliance with applicable safety and performance standards
  • imposing labelling requirements to demonstrate the certification of energy products (proclaimed products)
  • imposing registration requirements for energy products to indicate their compliance with minimum energy performance standards (MEPS)
  • imposing labelling requirements to demonstrate the energy efficiency of energy products.

The Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Act 2000 empowers the OTR to prohibit the sale or use of unsafe energy products.

Regulations

The Gas Regulations 2012 outline legal safety and technical requirements for:

  • gas infrastructure, quality of gas supply, obligations of distribution system operators and retailers, as well as the quality of LPG supplied
  • gas fitting work, installations and commissioning of gas appliances
  • reporting of gas related incidents and accidents
  • licensing of gas entities
  • price regulations and gas entity's powers and duties
  • safety, reliability, maintenance and technical management plans and reports.

The Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Regulations 2012 outline general administrative requirements including:

  • applications for certificates to label or register energy products
  • the conditions that apply to those certificates

The Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Proclamation 2012 defines relevant terms and lists:

  • the laws of other states that is recognised as satisfying our energy product compliance laws
  • the energy products that are required to be labelled
  • the gas products to which certification requirements apply
  • the standards that apply to these products
  • the products required to be labelled to indicate their energy efficiency

Standards

Australian Standards under the Gas Regulations 2012 include, but aren't limited to:

  • AS/NZS 5601 - Gas Installations
  • AS/NZS 5263 Series - Gas Appliances
  • AS/NZS 4645 - Gas distribution networks
  • AS 4564 - Specification for General Purpose Natural Gas
  • AS 3814 - Industrial and Commercial Gas-fired Appliances
  • AS/NZS 1596 - The storage and handling of LP gas
  • AS 3814 - Industrial and Commercial Gas-fired Appliances
  • AS 4670 - Commercial propane and commercial butane for heating purposes (LP Gas)

Copies of the latest updated version of these standards can be purchased in full from official distributors. These Standards can be bought in either electronic or hard copy. A list of the current distributors can be found using Standards Australia's search tool.

Online enquiry

Fill out the online enquiry form to receive a call or email back from the Gas trades team.

Phone

Technical enquiries
Installation and appliance safety

  • 8226 5722 (Monday to Friday, 8.00 am to 5.00 pm)

Gas major incident and emergency reporting

  • 1800 558 811 (24/7 - emergencies only)

Post

Office of the Technical Regulator
Gas Trades
GPO Box 320
Adelaide SA 5001