Outdoor gas applainces installed above 2.5 metres

This announcement is for: 
Gas workerPlumberTradesperson

Building and Energy continues to receive requests from gas fitters and builders for variations in order to comply with the requirements of outdoor gas water heaters installed at heights above 2.5m.

The requests are often due to the gas fitter receiving a Notice of Defect (NOD) for non-compliance from an installation inspector.                 

Before installing an outdoor gas appliance refer to the relevant clause in AS/NZS 5601.1 2013, Gas Installations General Installations.

6.3.12 Location of appliances in residential premises

Clause 6.3.13 refers to locations other than single residential premises, therefore Clause 6.3.12 refers to all single residential premises.  

Appendix L describes the classification of buildings, a single residential premises is a Class 1A - these include houses single or multiple storey, townhouses, duplexes, single story units.

In simple terms, an outdoor water heater is not permitted to be installed more than 2.5m above the ground or floor (this is measured to the base of the appliance) on a single residential premises.

Gas water heater compliant location
Gas water heater compliant location, by Gas
Gas water heater compliant location

Figure 1 - Single residential premises compliant location

gas_water_heater_non-compliant_location.jpg, by Gas
Gas water heater non-compliant location

Figure 2 -Single residential premises non-compliant location

Clause 6.3.13 Appliance on roof, wall or elevated structure in locations other than single residential premises

Refer below examples of “types of buildings” which this clause refers to.

Outdoor gas appliances 2.5m
Outdoor gas appliances 2.5m, by Gas
Types of buildings referred to in clause 6.3.13.


Note 2 in this clause states that the “Local OHS requirements takes precedence over the means of compliance described in this clause”. In WA, Worksafe are the Technical Regulators for OHS requirements.

Worksafe has published the Code of Practice – Safe Design of Buildings and Structures, which is intended to assist those involved in designing buildings or other structures to meet the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (the OSH Act) and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (OSH Regulations). 

This code requires designers to ensure, during the design phase of a building, that consideration is given for the installation, operation, inspection, maintenance, and if required removal of the building or structure which includes gas appliances such as water heaters.  

Due to this, Building and Energy are unable to give advice or issue variations to Clauses 6.3.12 and 6.3.13 as this could contravene OSH requirements.

In most cases, there is an alternative compliant location or a different method/type of gas appliance available that could be installed.

Building and Energy
Department News
03 Jun 2020

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