Looking for a pipe system with AGA approval? Read on…
At IBEX Australia, we are often asked whether our Tubepress® stainless steel press-fit tube and its related products are AGA approved. But the question should be: Does the Tubepress® system have gas approval?
The answer is YES, Tubepress® does hold gas approval.
We speak to many engineers and there is often some confusion over the difference between gas approval and AGA approval. This confusion stems from the fact that AGA was once the only certifying body able to issue gas approval in Australia. While this was true in the 1980s, it is certainly no longer the case.
Back in those days, gas pipework was installed using screwed galvanised steel and copper. The AGA were the only appliance approval body and covered appliances such as heaters, gas hot water units and the like. However, pipework was categorised separately and came under the Plumbers Commission.
Gas appliance approval is totally separate to pipework approval and there are now several certifying bodies able to certify pipework for gas applications.
These certifying bodies are:
Gas Appliance Certification:
(Source: Gas Technical Regulators Committee www.gtrc.gov.au)
Gas and Water Pipework Certification:
(Source: Australian Building Codes Board www.abcb.gov.au)
As shown above, AGA is one of eight certifying bodies who can provide pipework approval for gas. The key here is that any products used in the field are tested to the relevant standards. Tubepress® is professionally pressure tested and fully complies to the relevant standards.
Below this article is the downloadable certification which supports this approval. The other statements attached are from the German manufacturers of Tubepress® (known as Nirosan in Europe®) and go beyond AS 5601 into the Biogas area.
A common question: “Is Tubepress® approved for piping in Type B appliances?” The answer again is YES.Type A appliances are your standard heaters, hot water units, etc. Type B appliances are generally industrial applications such as boilers, furnaces, etc. which require “double shut-off devices” on the gas supply, routine maintenance and inspection and other considerations.
Plumbing and gas-fitting has always gone hand-in-hand and pipework standards AS5601 (Gas) and AS5200 (Plumbing) both refer to AS3688 standards for the testing regime of pipe and fittings for approval in both fields. A result of the testing is the accreditation of the Watermark certificate for plumbing and Gas certificate for gas applications. AS5601 calls up yellow HNBR O rings for gas applications. Tubepress series 17000 has yellow HNBR O rings.
Tubepress® is approved for Biogas, provided IBEX Australia is given details of the gas mixture/s (material safety and date sheet) and the operating pressure and temperature. This information is sent on to the German manufacturer for testing and approval for use.
Biogas is really beyond the scope of AS5601 and the technical knowledge of industry experts, manufacturers with suitable experience and specific application guarantees are often used as a reference point.
Some of the Biogas mixtures may be better suited to FKM or even EPDM O rings as opposed to the HNBR O rings stipulated in AS5601. In this scenario we refer to our German manufacturers for guidance and assessment.
Biogas is mostly methane taken from a tip, or animal waste, and piped into a generator or other industrial machine. Generally, polyethylene (PE) pipe is used for the collection of the gas but stainless steel pipework is used in the plant, often referred to as the “gas train”.
As stated, our Tubepress® 316L stainless steel piping solution holds gas approval. This approval has been issued by Australian Certification Services and can be downloaded using the below link.
Having discussed this topic in great detail with many of our clients in recent years, and having sought to clarify with industry bodies, we figured it would be time for us to share this knowledge with the rest of industry.