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  • How do you know what type of LPG regulators you need for your property?

    LPG Regulators
    LPG Regulators Supplied and fitted in Suffolk.

    There are a few things you have to consider before buying a regulator.

    First, you need to calculate all your LPG appliances heat output, so how do you find this information?

    All gas appliances LPG and natural gas will have a data plate.

    This plate will give you details of the gas required for your appliance to work safely.

    Most data plates will give the heat output in kilowatts, so make a note of the output.

    Check the example below.

    Central heating boiler 24kw
    Gas fire 6.9Kw
    Cooker 12Kw

    Next, add all 3 outputs together and the total should be 42.9Kw.

    The cooker has an output of 12Kw, as the cooker is very rarely used with all the burners working, you calculate the cooker at 70% of the output.

    This then gives you an output of 8.4Kw so the total above of 42.9Kw reduces to 39.3Kw.

    Now you know the heat output required you can calculate the regulator size you need.

    LPG regulators come in many different sizes so you need to ensure you choose the correct one for your gas appliances.

    So how do you calculate the correct size that you will need?

    All regulators have a data plate just like all gas appliances do that specifies the gas output.

    An example would be an LPG changeover valve with an output of 4.5 Kg/h.

    To work out your requirements the calculation is 1Kw = 0.072Kg/h.

    The heat output above is 39.3 x 0.072 = 2.8296Kg/h, so the above changeover valve with an output of 4.5Kg/h would be suitable to use.

    If you used a single regulator and not a changeover valve your appliances would be under gassed.

    Let me explain.

    You can buy a single regulator with an output of 4Kg/h, which just like the changeover valve would be suitable for your appliances.

    What you now have to consider is the gas bottle size that you will use.

    You need to understand the gas output of the gas bottle, below are the outputs and size.

    A large 47Kg bottle has an output of 2.373Kg/h, Medium size 19Kg bottle 1.319Kg/h and a 13Kg has an output of 1.054Kg/h.

    So just by looking at the above results, you can see even the large gas bottle cannot supply the correct amount of gas to all the appliances.

    Ok, I know it’s only a small difference, but it still undersized.

    You would need to use the changeover valve with two gas bottles.

    Something else that gets overlooked when choosing a new LPG regulator is the gas pipe size.

    You may have the correct size regulator and gas bottles for your appliances but, if the gas supply pipe is too small your appliances could be under gassed.

    We have seen four gas appliance connected to 8mm pipework, which is way undersized.

    I know it seems simple to go and buy a new regulator and fit it yourself but, a lot of work goes into working out what is needed for your gas appliances to work safely.

    One of the most common problems we come across is on building sites.

    The contractor hires mobile homes for his staff to stay in while the work is ongoing.

    By law, he has to have a gas safety inspection carried out to ensure his staff will be safe while living in the mobile home.

    The most common fault we find is a single gas bottle with a regulator with an output of 1.5Kg/h and an 8mm hose pipe connected.

    Inside the mobile home is a separate gas hob, a gas oven, gas fire as well as a water heater.

    Once all appliances have been calculated we find the appliances are well under gassed.

    The mobile home fails the gas safety inspection.

    Most mobile homes when built are designed to use a changeover valve, (Regulator) and two gas bottles.

    I have had customers call to say they would like us to come and connect their gas supply up to their mobile home and carry out a safety inspection.

    They have purchased the regulator thinking it will save them money only for us to tell them it is the wrong type.

    The shop they bought it from told them it would ok for their requirements.

    It then gets awkward trying to explain the regulator they bought is no good, just because the salesperson told them it would be ok.

    In the end, it cost them more money for us to supply and install the correct material needed to ensure everything is working safely and to gas regulations.

    LPG just like natural gas can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

    Just because LPG is used mostly in mobile homes and off-grid areas it does not mean it is not regulated.

    It is, only a gas safe LPG registered engineer can work on it legally.

    Before you start looking for LPG regulators consider this, any type of gas work carried out by someone, not gas safe registered will invalidate your property insurance.

    After reading this article I hope you now have a little understanding of what LPG regulators are and do.

    Remember, be safe and always use a gas safe registered company or engineer for all of your LPG gas works.