We all would agree that there are many options for pipes and pipe systems in New Zealand in fact our country has become a testing ground for overseas manufacturers. It is therefore very important when selecting pipes and fittings that we buy our products from reputable manufacturers. Some products that make our marketplace are not suitable for all uses or for installation in our homes or commercial buildings.
Remember it is up to the installer or certifier to be professional and choose the correct pipes and piping system for the job.
The certifier or installer takes full responsibility for the installation of the materials and fittings so make sure you choose wisely or advise the customer of any issues before installation. You don’t want to end up in court taking the blame for a pipe system that does not meet the requirements.
Gas pipe systems or proprietary systems?
Gas code says to test installation with meter disconnected and ends capped off to 7kpa or 1.5 times the working pressure and have a stability time of 2 minutes then 5 minutes. Let’s look at these systems and how they are put together.
Does this test work for these systems?
These systems must be pushed together with some force so if a joint has been missed it is possible it may hold pressure doing the testing required under the code. Instruct your employees not to treat these systems as a "fit all and crimp later" system as this is where issues can arise. Always crimp the systems as you go.
It is wise to use a high-pressure air test on all systems before lining the walls and go around and check each joint and shake the pipe if necessary. Keep it on test while lining of walls is in progress and take photos of where your pipes have been installed.
Okay, what about water pipe systems?
There are so many different types of systems on the market but we all should test our installations to at least 1500 kpa without mixers or fittings installed unless specified that they can handle this pressure.
It is important to use one of these and after testing ensure the installation is left on pressure for lining.
Try to keep all pipe work as far back from the surface being lined so not to create issues with nails or screws as these don’t always show up if the pipe is damaged. They can form a temporary seal on pipes and even at high pressure leaks may not show creating damage or gas leaks down the track. Remember that this water pipe and testing should be inspected by the council however this is only on areas you can put a producer statement on the pipe system. If you are putting this statement on the system remember you are stating you followed all of the manufactures instructions and tested the pipe work in accordance with these and the relevant codes.
Always follow these and do what they say. Go to training provided and upskill your knowledge and your employee's knowledge on products.
Outside conditions and the sun
Most of these systems are not suitable for outside direct exposure to the sun. You can choose to put a cover over the pipes but make sure the cover is durable and not just a temporary means of compliance.
Don’t become complacent as we get older or more experienced by having the "she'll be right attitude", or "I don’t need any advice on these products" mind set. Most issues arise because of not upskilling on products or technology and these make up most of the complaints investigated by Councils or PDG Board. Keep up to date with the latest training and innovations in your trades. Belonging to an Association like ours is important because of the industry information and contacts and also reading our News Flush is a form of upskilling.
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If you have questions about the NZPDG, you're thinking of joining, or you'd like to contact us about one of our members then please contact us or leave us a message below.