Karen organised a meeting with John Wright from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) to see if we could work out a way of simplifying the process of getting a gas kiln certified by the most efficient and cost effective means.
As outlined in the last bulletin, gas suppliers will not connect a gas kiln to a gas supply without an Australian Gas Appliance Number (AGA) unless certain criteria are met. This has been a convoluted process requiring the services of a Gas Fitter with a Certification ‘B’ Licence and an approval through a company with the authority to provide a Type ‘B’ compliance approval.
Most gas kiln owners will find a gas fitter, most of whom have a Certificate ‘A’ Licence that allows them to set up the lines from the expected gas source to the kiln. However, they will find out, if the kiln does not have a Type ‘B’ compliance plate or AGA number, a gas fitter with a Certificate ‘B’ Licence will be required to assess or fit the gas train which includes the burners and the kiln. However, the story doesn’t end there. In most cases, the gas fitter then has to fill out a report which is presented to an authority able to actually issue the approval.
Discussions with DNRM revealed that some gas fitters with Certificate ‘B’ licences have the authority to issue the approval, so removing the expensive step of writing a report and presenting that report to another body for approval. This was a revelation to me and I was subsequently supplied with a list of those gas fitters with that authority. That list is provided at the end of this article.
However, the Queensland Government website that is supposed to provide the approval process information fails to provide that vital information that can save the gas kiln owner a lot of time and money. I was assured by John Wright of DRNM that he would “look into” providing that information on the government website: www.business.qld.gov.au/industry/building-construction/gas/approving-authorities-b If you have purchased a new kiln, it should come with a compliance plate showing a Model Number, Serial Number and an AGA (Australian Gas Appliance) number.
Connection should be straight forward. If you have purchased a second-hand kiln that also has the above information, then likewise, your kiln should be connected with little hassle. However, most gas kilns are constructed by the potter or a kiln constructor on site or purchased from elsewhere often with mysterious history.
Rarely do these kilns have any certification and must therefore be assessed to see if they meet the standard. It’s wise for a purchaser to have the kiln assessed by a gas fitter with Certificate ‘B’ qualification before purchase is made. If you already have a ‘cleanskin’ second-hand kiln, then have it assessed before you go to the expense of setting it up. There are a huge number of second-hand gas kilns being advertised for sale and even given away. Tread with caution. However, the good news is, kilns that have been ‘one-off’ constructions require only Type ‘B’ Approval and Compliance.
This means they do not require an AGA number. Refer back to the article in the August issue for more advice regarding placement of your gas kiln and gas bottles. I have one correction to make regarding that advice. I said a gas fitter with a Certificate ‘A’ authority could set up your gas lines and burners. I should have said a gas fitter with a Certificate ‘A’ Licence had the qualifications to set up your gas lines only. A gas fitter with a Certificate ‘A’ Licence does not have the qualifications to set up your kiln burners or pilots. Only a Certificate ‘B’ licence holder has that authority.
In summary, I hope now, the process of setting up a gas kiln should save the potter several hundred dollars if you use a gas fitter with a Certificate ‘B’ Licence who also has the authority to issue a Type ‘B’ approval.