Gas Installation & Turn-on

Some weeks ago (that is, Fri 19-Apr-08) Citygas contractor Ng Chee Kong came to run the gas pipe and install the Rinnai clothes dryer I had ordered from the Citygas showroom.

Gas pipe was run on 19-Apr-08

As joints on gas pipe are prohibited inside enclosed areas, he had to bend the gas pipe inside the store enclosure so that the pipe could run below the worktop. I didn't object -- although I could as technically my store had no door, so ventilation was ample -- because the pipe inside the store would be hidden by a metal cabinet.

Pipe bent as joints are disallowed in store enclosure

Connector to Rinnai gas hob

Gas pipe to dryer

Ng lives in Johor and commutes to Singapore daily for his work. He told me he often reached home about midnight now, as everybody seemed to be renovating their

flat, probably because of the hot property market in recent years. He said many now preferred to use town gas instead of LPG for convenience and safety.

Safer than LPG? Yes, he said town gas is lighter than air and so leaks are less likely to cause an explosion because of diffusion, provided the kitchen windows are not shut and there is free circulation of air. LPG is heavier than air and leaks are more dangerous as the gas will collect faster and not dissipate as much into the air.

Gas pipe running below worktop

Most of the gas explosions reported in recent years involved LPG cylinders. Either the regulator had not been changed or the wrong tank was used. In a case 1-2 years ago when an old lady died from a gas explosion, the gas delivery guy was summoned by the CID and questioned at length. Luckily he was cleared because the surviving member of the family acknowledged his wife was at fault. She had insisted on buying a particular tank that was not meant for home use against the advice of the gas delivery man.

Checking bracket height for dryer

Owing to a spate of incidents involving gas explosions, the authorities have

tightened regulations. Now all gas delivery man are tested before they could get a license to deliver and install gas tanks. And it has become mandatory to change gas regulators every 5 years.

Golly, I was surprised because at my old place I had used the same Esso regulator for the past 20 years -- without any incident! Maybe I was lucky, but we always made it a point to turn off the gas knob on the regulator each night before we went to bed.

Ng came this morning (Fri, 2-May-08) to install the gas meter outside the flat, as well as to adjust the gas pipe near the Maytag washer. The gas pipe had to be cut and adjusted so that it would not get in the way of the door panel to be installed later. The door panels serve to box up and hide the ugly vertical pipes running from the ceiling to the floor.

Ng fixed the gas meter today (Fri, May 2)

Some years ago a guy in his twenties died from gas inhalation when he was asleep. The gas had leaked from the kitchen and filled the bedroom. The windows were all shut in the flat as the air-conditioning was turned on. The father who slept in another bedroom was unaffected. Investigations revealed that during installation of the kitchen cabinets, a worker had accidentally punctured the gas pipe (hidden inside the wall) when he drilled the wall to hang a cabinet.

LESSON: Whether your gas pipe is concealed or not, always do a check when the kitchen cabinets are installed by the workers. Owners alway think the worker should know. Don't make this assumption. I have seen so many mistakes (detailed elsewhere on the blog) made by the plumber, the carpenter, the electrician, etc in the course of my flat renovation that I now regularly check the work -- before and after the workers had finished what they were doing.

Quality-certified gas hose

And don't assume you are safe from leaks when the gas pipe has been installed and everything works properly. Once a while check your gas appliances for any leak -- your nose is a good detector for this.

Also, if your immediate neighbor is renovating the kitchen, check that the worker on the other side of the wall separating your two kitchens does not accidentally drill through the wall to inadvertently puncture your gas pipe! Don't be surprised -- although rare, that incident actually happened.


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