What is Gasfitting work?

Important update – Ban on certain Open Flued Gas Space Heaters

Energy Safe Victoria has prohibited the sale, supply and installation of certain open-flued gas space heaters (OFGSHs) under the Gas Safety Act 1997, following a recommendation by the Victorian Coroner.

As of 1 August 2022, any new or secondhand OFGSH being installed that does not shut down automatically within 15 minutes if spillage of combustion products occurs under any negative pressure conditions is a non-accepted product and banned from sale and installation.

The Gas Safety (Gas Installation) Regulations 2018 have also been amended to prohibit the installation of these OFGSHs. Gasfitters who install or locate in premises an OFGSH which does not have the above safety features are in breach of the Gas Safety Act 1997.

Substantial penalties apply under the Gas Safety Act 1997 for the sale, supply or installation of these prohibited appliances.

For more information see the technical FAQs and consumer FAQs on the Energy Safe Victoria website.

Consumer Affairs Victoria also has advice for people who may have an OFGSH installed in their house or rental property or have bought an appliance and are waiting on its installation.

More detailed information about accepted (certified) OFGSHs that can be sold and installed is on the Gas Technical Regulators Committee website.

Get to know the regulations

Under Part 4 of the Plumbing Regulations 2018, gasfitting work is defined as the construction, installation, replacement, repair, alteration, maintenance, testing or commissioning of any pipe, appliance, flue, fitting, apparatus, control or other item that is involved with the supply or use of gas and that is fitted downstream of the gas supply point and includes:

  • any gas appliance in, or on, a caravan or a vessel; and
  • any roof sheeting and roof flashing that is necessary for the purpose of any work described in this subregulation; and
  • any design work that is incidental to, or associated with, any work described in this subregulation.

Gasfitting work does not include:

  • any specialised gasfitting work; or
  • any Type B gasfitting work; or
  • any cleaning, painting or preparation work in relation to gas pipes or gas pipe joints that does not involve the connection, disconnection or alteration of those pipes or joints; or
  • the connection or disconnection of a gas storage container for the purpose of filling or refilling, exchanging, storing or disposing of the container; or
  • any work in relation to an item that is involved with the supply or use of gas that relates to the propulsion system, or any system that is powered by the propulsion system, of any motor vehicle or vessel.

Typical Gasfitting work

Gas appliances can vary in size, operating pressure and complexity, ranging from small domestic gas space heaters to large industrial steam boilers or industrial furnaces.

Victoria’s Gas Safety Act 1997 defines gas appliances as either Type A or Type B.

Gasfitting work with these two types differs in nature, complexity and risk. For this reason, gasfitters need to be qualified for and experienced with the type of appliance on which they are working.

Experienced Gasfitting plumbers typically do the following work with Type A appliances:

  • installing and testing LPG and natural gasfitting lines
  • installing and commissioning Type A gas appliances – for example, hot water services, space heaters, ducted heating units, gas stoves and cook tops providing for adequate ventilation when installing one or more Type A gas appliances
  • installing flues through ceilings and roofs constructed of different materials, with appropriate clearances and flue termination.

What do Gasfitting plumbers need to know and do?

Gasfitters need critical knowledge and skills to ensure the health and safety of the community. What does this mean for you?

As a registered practitioner, you must be able to understand and apply the compliance requirements of Gasfitting work. These requirements include:

  • AS/NZS 5601.1 General gas installations
  • AS/NZS 5601.2 LP gas installations in caravans and boats for nonpropulsive purposes
  • the gas certification scheme for approved gas appliances and products clearance requirements specified in the relevant Australian Standard and manufacturer specifications.

To undertake Gasfitting work to a safe and competent standard, you must also be able to:

  • read a site or building plan and identify gas lines and appropriate locations and clearances for installing Type A gas appliances
  • read, interpret and apply manufacturer specifications for installing Type A gas appliances
  • size pipes correctly for different installation jobs
  • identify and calculate ventilation requirements when installing Type A gas appliances
  • install trench support when pipework is installed at a depth of 1.5m or deeper, move the support along the trench, and remove the support safely
  • understand the difference between Type A and Type B gas appliances.

What competencies and experience do you need?

The VBA publishes a set of units of competency for each class of plumbing work. Each unit of competency describes a work outcome, all the knowledge and skills needed to do the work to the expected standard, and how they should be assessed.

The VBA uses the units of competency to assess your skills and experience if you apply to register in a class of plumbing work.

To be eligible to register in the Gasfitting class, you must be able to show:

  • you have the relevant competencies plus recent and relevant experience in work related to the gasfitting class of plumbing, or
  • you have knowledge equal to the competencies of Certificate III for Gasfitting work, plus at least four years of experience while working under the supervision of a plumber who is licensed in Gasfitting work.

You must also prove you successfully completed an accredited training course in Install Trench Support.

Before applying for registration or licensing, please read the current approved units of competency for Gasfitting.

Units of competency for Gasfitting work

Units prescribed for courses commenced from late 2021 onwards

Units prescribed for older courses