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This is a guideline to assist in applying for variation/exemptions from prescribed statutory requirements in Western Australia contained in the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999.
An application may be made for a variation/exemption from the requirements of Regulation 32(1) of the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999. Generally requests are received for variation/exemptions to Schedule 6 of the regulations or clause requirements from the Standards/Codes that are referred to in Schedule 7 of the regulations.
An application for a variation/exemption needs to be submitted at the design/planning stage prior to the proposed installation taking place. An application for an existing installation will not be considered.
Building and Energy may review the validity of an application for a variation or exemption to ensure adherence to the policy of conforming with Australian Standard requirements wherever possible prior to processing the application. This is of particular relevance for installations that need to comply with the requirements of the Australian Standard AS/NZS 5601: Gas installations.
A variation or exemption application may be considered by the Director of Energy Safety or delegate under Sub-regulation 32(3) of the regulations:
The Director may, in relation to a requirement for consumer's gas installation or type of consumer's gas installation specified in schedule 6 or 7 of the regulations:
For Class G (general or commercial) installations the application can be submitted via a gas fitter/consultant/owner operator/appliance manufacturer or other party.
For Class I (industrial or large commercial) installations the application is generally submitted via a Type B Designation Gas Inspector.
Irrespective of who submits the application, it must contain evidence that it is supported by the owner or operator.
You can fax, post or email your application for a variation/exemption to the Director of Energy Safety or delegate. Contact details are as follows:
Buildng and Energy
(Attention: Principal Engineer Gas Utilisation)
Locked Bag 100
East Perth WA 6892
Buidling and Energy (Attention: Principal Engineer Gas Utilisation)
+61 8 6251 1901
In all cases, confirmation of receipt of the application should be requested. Variation or exemptions are normally processed within 10 working days from receipt of an application that contains all the relevant information to support the request for a variation or exemption.
To prepare an application to the Director of Energy Safety seeking approval to vary or exempt a gas installation from the requirements of Schedule 6 of the regulations or clause requirements from the standards that are referred to in Schedule 7 of the regulations, the following information must be included and/or adequately addressed:
An independent Type B Gas Appliance Inspector had on behalf of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) requested approval for a variation or exemption to AS 3814 code requirements under Regulation 32(1)(b) of the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999 for a gas turbine unit.
The variation or exemption request was in reference to AS 3814: Industrial and commercial gas-fired appliances, Clause 5.8.6 requirement that a suitable flexible metallic connection be provided in the exhaust section of a gas turbine to minimise the possibility of fracture due to vibration or expansion and contraction.
The OEM had advised that flexible metallic connectors were not provided in the exhaust system of the turbine but instead use flexible connectors with outside material of texturised PTFE coated glass fabric and internal material of needled fibre blanket in woven fibre mesh, that:
The gas inspector’s assessment and his recommendations were concurred with and a recommendation made to the Director of Energy Safety that the requested variation be granted. A variation or exemption was subsequently granted to the Type B inspector on behalf of the applicant.
An independent Type B Gas Appliance Inspector had on behalf of a gas fitter, requested approval for variations to AS 3814: Industrial and commercial gas-fired appliances, code requirements under Regulation 32(1)(b) of the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999.
The variation or exemption was in reference to a corn chip oven.
AS 3814, Clause 2.24.9 requires that where an intermittent or permanent pilot is used on atmospheric burner(s) exceeding 1GJ/h (275kW), or forced or induced draft burner(s), either two electronic flame safeguard systems or two electronic flame detectors connected to one flame safeguard system shall be used.
The gas fitter proposed that the corn chip oven had forced draft burners ignited by a single atmospheric pilot burner, which is intermittent in operation and supervised by a single electronic flame detector. The gas fitter had proposed the following for the corn chip oven:
The gas fitter had advised that the proposed main burners in each appliance light reliably from the supervised intermittent pilot and would in his opinion achieve an equivalent level of safety to that required by AS 3814.
Although the independent gas inspector’s assessment recommended that an exemption be provided, the application was refused, because it would have allowed the installation of the corn chip oven with an unsupervised forced draft main burner.
The claim that an equivalent level of safety would be provided without main flame supervision was not supported by any evidence of justification in the submission and therefore the installation was to conform to the requirements of clause 2.24.9.
A range hood manufacturer requested approval for a variation or exemption to AS 5601: Gas Installations, requirements under Regulation 32(1)(b) of the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999 for their manufactured RH series range hoods installed in various pop-up vans.
The variations or exemptions sought by the manufacturer were in reference to Clause 220.127.116.11 requirement that a clearance between a cooking appliance and a combustible surface shall be at least that given in Figure 5.1. Figure 5.1 requires a clearance of 600mm above the highest cooker hob part to a range hood, and in no case shall this clearance to any surface be less than 450mm.
The hood manufacturer in their application for variation/exemption advised the following:
The hood manufacturer’s tests on the range hood using a cooker with the largest burners in their range installed in caravans appeared extensive and in compliance with AS 4551. A recommendation was consequently made to the Director of Energy Safety that the requested variation be granted at an overall clearance of 450mm, from the highest point of the cooker hob to the underside of the range hood, consistent with the interpreted requirements of AS 5601. A variation/exemption was subsequently granted to the range hood manufacturer.