Keeping roof spaces safe for residents and plumbers

While gas appliances should be serviced every two years, it is just as important that appliances are installed correctly in the roof space in the first place. This will ensure there is no risk to residents – or plumbers undertaking maintenance or repair work!

So, if you are installing a new system, make sure you follow the safety guidelines of the Victorian Building Authority.

The following questions need to be covered:

  • Is there enough support for the extra weight – of both the system and the service practitioner?
  • Will there be ongoing strain on the structure or the gas connection?
  • Will there be enough room for access?
  • If the system is beyond reach, is there a walkway or permanent fixed access, which extends around the appliance and will support the weight of a person?
  • The walkway should be at least 600mm wide, from the access point to the appliance, and at least 750 mm around the appliance. 
  • Is there permanent artificial lighting at the appliance, with the switch at the access opening?

You must observe the manufacturer’s installation instructions concerning clearances, allowing sufficient space for servicing and replacing parts. If you are installing ducted gas heaters, make sure the ducting does not obstruct clearances or intrude onto the walkway. You must follow all the manufacturer’s specifications.

Obligations for combustible platforms
Other than when approved by the manufacturer, appliances installed on a combustible platform have additional requirements when the appliance burner is less than 300 mm above the appliance base. These guidelines can be obtained from the Victorian Building Authority.

For more information, contact the Victorian Building Authority plumbing technical advice line on 1300 815 127.

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