Do not use composite pipe externally in bushfire areas
Thursday December 15 2016
With bushfire season approaching, the VBA would like to remind all gas fitters about the restrictions around using composite pipes in Bushfire Prone Areas and the application of AS 3959-2009 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas.
Composite pipe (e.g. PeX/Al/PeX) is gaining popularity among gasfitters because of the ease of installation. However, in accordance with AS 3959-2009 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas, composite pipe cannot be used on the exterior of any residential buildings in a designated Bushfire Prone Area.
Bushfire Prone Area (BPA) maps were designated across Victoria in 2011 introducing minimum bushfire construction requirements for all residential buildings (class 1, 2 and 3) and attached garages (class 10a) in these areas.
AS 3959-2009 states that "above-ground, exposed water and gas supply pipes shall be metal." Composite pipe is not suitable for any exposed or exterior use in any bushfire prone area, and metal pipes (e.g. copper) must be used external to the buildings for both water and gas supply.
Before using a composite pipe (or any non-metal pipe), ask the builder whether the house is in a bushfire prone area. For more information about bushfire prone areas including mapping, visit the 'Bushfire Information' section of the VBA Website.