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  • What is a changeover valve?

    LPG Changeover Valve Tips in Suffolk United Kingdom

    Living in the countryside sometimes mean you have no gas connected to your property.

    There is an alternative though.

    LPG, otherwise known as liquid petroleum gas.

    This option means the gas needs to be stored on-site, normally in bottles or a bulk storage tank.

    The gas bottle option needs a changeover valve that will supply the gas to all your gas appliances.

    So what changeover valve do you need?

    With Changeover valves, you have three options, manual, automatic and OPSO automatic.

    The manual valve is less expensive than the automatic one.

    But, this means you have to turn the valve over manually when the bottle you are using runs out.

    With the automatic changeover valves, they will change over to the next bottle or bottles once the bottle or bottles supplying gas becomes empty.

    How do you choose the correct valve though?

    There are many makes and models to choose from, as well as many different prices.

    It’s advisable to choose the automatic version though the cost is slightly higher than the manual version.

    AnyLPG registered tradesperson will be able to determine what version and model you will need for your property.

    If you are using four gas bottles, you will need the OPSO version.

    The OPSO is a safety feature that protects from overpressure.

    OPSO (overpressure shut off) is a legal requirement in the United Kingdom when using more than two gas bottles at a time.

    It’s also good practice to use the OPSO version on all installations as a safety measure.

    When purchasing a changeover valve as a kit, they will come supplied with the valve, two hoses, otherwise known as pigtails.

    The wall bracket and isolation valve with a built-in test point.

    The four-bottle kit comes supplied with the above, the only difference is four hoses instead of two.

    Our top tip.
    The hoses that connect to the changeover valve should be replaced every five years, the changeover valve every ten years.

    This always tends to get overlooked for some reason but it is very important relating to your safety.

    You can tell the age of both the changeover valve and hoses, by checking the data plate on the valve, and each hose is date stamped.

    Checking the date stamps on the valve and hoses will give you an indication of when they need changing.

    Most changeover valves are capable of supplying enough gas for the average home.

    This will depend on calculating the gas appliances gas requirements.

    Each gas appliance has a data plate stating the output of the appliance.

    An example would be, a central heating boiler with an output of 30kw
    a cooker at 12kw and a gas fire of 6.9kw.

    The cooker output because it’s very rarely used on full power can be reduced to 70% of its output which is now 8.4Kw

    This gives a total of 45.3 kW, this now needs to be converted into Kg/h.

    The calculation is 45.3 x 0.072 = 3.2616 Kg/h.

    Most changeover valves have an output of around 4.5 Kg/h which would be suitable for the above appliances.

    The gas bottle size also has to be taken into consideration, each size gas bottle has a different gas output.

    This is why it’s always safer to use a registered company or tradesperson to carry out any gas work you need doing.

    You may find someone who is gas safe registered, this does not mean they can work on your LPG appliances.

    They may only be registered for natural gas, so you see it’s very important that you check.

    Ensure when searching for a gas registered company, they are registered to work on LPG.

    It’s easy to check, search Google for the gas safe register, once on the website, look for check a company or engineer.

    This will give you all the details of the company or engineer, what they are registered for as well as what appliances they can work on.

    Even the simple changeover valve should be installed by a registered company or engineer by law.

    The law states, that any gas work be it, LPG or natural gas must be carried by a registered person or company.

    This includes mobile homes, log cabins, boats, basically anything to do with gas.

    Failure to use a registered company or engineer will make any insurance policies you may have for your property void.

    It could also lead to you being prosecuted for employing a non-registered engineer to work on your gas appliances.

    The law state, the gas user (That’s you) must ensure the person or persons working on anything to do with gas within your property must be gas safe registered.

    We all know the insurances companies like to take your money, but when it comes to paying out on a claim, they will try anything to get out of paying.

    This is why it’s so important to only use a registered gas company or engineer.

    One last tip before we go we all like to save money, but when it comes to gas, don’t buy the cheapest changeover valve.

    The saying you only get what you pay for is true with the LPG changeover valve.

    I hope that by reading this article on the changeover valve, you now have a little understanding of what is involved when it comes to changeover valves and gas in general.