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When buying a new or second hand gas appliance consider its safety as part of your decision. Only buy appliances that have been tested for safety. You must also consider the safety of the appliance if you are selling it to others.
Buying new appliances
Buying a new appliance means it is more likely to have new safety features and be more efficient.
Importers, New Zealand manufacturers and installers of gas products are required to ensure appliances meet all New Zealand safety standards. Importers and New Zealand manufacturers are also required to lodge a declaration of safety on the Gas Appliance Supplier Declaration Database(external link).
To ensure the safety of any gas appliances or other equipment in your home it is essential it is installed by a licensed gas worker. This will usually be a gasfitter or a certifying gasfitter. You should always ask to see their current license.
A certifying gasfitter will ensure that your gas appliance or installation is connected correctly, has adequate ventilation, is appropriately flued and is in good working order.
Buying and selling second-hand appliances
A second hand gas appliance cannot be sold; offered for sale; used or allowed to be used unless it is safe. The seller (or user) must do everything reasonably practicable to ensure that the appliance is safe under all reasonably foreseeable circumstances. The legal requirements applicable in New Zealand relating to the safety of second-hand appliances that are offered for sale are contained in the Gas (Safety and Measurement) Regulations 2010.(external link)
Only buy appliances which have been tested for safety. Take care if you are considering buying a second-hand appliance. Make sure that the seller gives you a written guarantee and always ask for a copy of the installation and use instructions. A gasfitter will not install an appliance they consider unsafe.
Most appliances supplied since 2002 since should have declaration in the Gas Supplier Declaration database(external link), however in many instances the service history of the appliance is non-existent and it is not clear that the safety features have been maintained. The presence of a Supplier Declaration is no guarantee of safety in this situation.
Essential safety requirements
The essential safety requirements are set out in the New Zealand gas appliance standard, NZS 5266(Int): 2012: Safety of gas appliances. Some of the criteria set out in the standard are:
- free from mechanical hazards
- adequate means of support and shall be stable or remain safe when subjected to external forces
- any gas leakage shall not give rise to a hazardous situation
- parts shall not reach temperatures which create a hazard
- remain safe under New Zealand climatic conditions
- operate safely at all specified gas supply pressures
- not cause a dangerous situation to develop when subjected to an overpressure
- suitable for the gas type specified
- products of combustion shall be of a composition, and be discharged in such a manner, as to present no health or fire hazard
- burners shall allow reliable and complete ignition, reignition and cross-lighting
- shall have no flame abnormality (flame lift, lightback, yellow tipping or sooting)
- have instructions for the safe installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance
- have appropriate data marking
- be electrically safe.