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April deadline for flue gas measurement fast approaching

Gas fitters and boiler engineers based across the UK need to be aware of the new compulsory flue gas measurement regulations which are coming in April 2014.

The new regulations have been agreed by the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council, Gas Safe Register and the Council for Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring.

They relate to the measurement and recording of carbon monoxide (CO) levels in the flue gas when a condensing boiler is commissioned. Gas fitters will measure the level of carbon monoxide in the chimney flue gases and the combustion ratio using a flue gas analyser.

If the necessary commissioning documentation and the measured CO level and combustion ratio is not correctly completed, Gas Safe Register will report an installation for Building Regulations non-compliance.

The managing director of independent test equipment firm PASS, Barry Atkins, urged gas fitters and boiler engineers across the country to ensure that they are fully aware of the process detailed by the Gas Safe Register’s Technical Bulletin 143 which was published in July 2013. The process sets out how flue integrity can be confirmed and how CO testing should be carried out.

“The majority of homes in Britain have the potential to generate and emit harmful gases into the environment from their heating systems. A flue gas analyser allows a trained engineer to inspect the waste gases being produced and correctly diagnose possible issues,” said Mr Atkins.

“There are a number of different constituents of flue gas, ranging from harmless gases such as nitrogen, oxygen and water vapour, to far more hazardous chemicals such as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Over a prolonged period they can cause severe sickness and even death. Carbon monoxide restricts oxygen flow in the blood and is virtually undetectable by humans,” he added.