Incorrectly installed gas supply pipe?

1 Nov 2013
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United Kingdom
There is a very cold draught coming from the access hole for the suppy pipe to our gas fire. We noticed it last year, but this year I've decided to do something about it. I am unsure if it is coming from the sleeve or the cavity though. The supply pipe is sealed where it enters the outside wall, so I can only assume the draught is from the cold air in the cavity.

However this has led me to question the installation of the fire -

The installation instructions specifically state in an "Important Note"

"If rear entry gas supply connection is required, then it MUST be installed prior to the installation of the heater into the wall. If any pipe is run in or through the cavity, a factory sleeved pipe must be used and sealed where the pipe enters the fire and/or cavity"

The gas regulations (regulation 19) state

"(4) Paragraph (3) shall not apply to the installation of installation pipework
connected to a living flame effect fire provided that the pipework in the cavity is as
short as is reasonably practicable, is enclosed in a gas tight sleeve and sealed at
the joint at which the pipework enters the fire; and in this paragraph a “living flame
effect gas fire” means a gas fire -

(a) designed to simulate the effect of a solid fuel fire;
(b) designed to operate with a fanned flue system; and
(c) installed within the inner leaf of a cavity wall."

So the instructions say and/or, but the regulations say must be in a gas tight sleeve and sealed at the joint at which it enters the fire.

If I have the right regulations and understand them, I would expect the sleeve to be sealed at the fire, to prevent any escaping gas to collect in the cavity between plasterboard and exterior boarding of the house. Which would give the added benefit of preventing any draughts coming in.

I've attached images in which you can see the hole in the fire to accept the supply pipe, and also close ups showing the supply pipe in it's sleeve, stopping short of the fire and also resting on the bottom of the hole it is meant to come through.

If I was installing it, I wouldn't be happy it was resting on a narrow bit of metal for fear of it wearing through, although I would hope there isn't that much movement in the house.

I would be grateful for a corgi registered persons opinion on how to interpret the manual and the regulations.

Primarily, I want to stop the draught, but if the fire isn't installed as it should be, I want to address that issue also. Mainly by approaching the builder, having them rectify it, or remove the fire completely and repair the wall.

If I seal the pipe where it enters the fire, I will then have an unsleeved pipe in the cavity - which would be against regulations, and dangerous in the event of a leak?

Worst case scenario - however unlikely

Supply pipe wears on thin metal that forms access hole to the fire.
Gas leaks up into cavity between plasterboard inner wall and damp proof lines sterling board stuff between plasterboard and blockwork.
Gas ignites and side of house falls off.

assuming we weren't home at the time - how would the insurance handle a claim for an damage that could have been prevented if the fire was installed properly.

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ring gassafe for a free inspection. they will give you an unbiased opinion.

rather than waste a local tradesman's time coming to look at it to not get any rectification work.
Do you just contact them through the gas safe register site?

I've spoke with the gas engineer who services our boiler, so got his opinion, he thinks it's alright, but sent him photos to confirm.

The way I read the legislation says the sleeve must be sealed at its entry point to the fire, which is clearly not the case in my situation.

I Just want to see if there is any corgi registered people here who could verify this and that that is how they fit them, before I waste anyone else's time.
As a minimum the gas pipe should be wrapped to protect it from the corrosive effects of soot deposits that come down from any flue that was previously used with solid fuels, and the pipe entry to the fire opening should be sleeved as it passes through the brickwork.
There would have been a rubber grommet supplied with the fire to provide a seal where the pipe enters the fire controls area. This is to prevent down drafts affecting the burner flames. If none of that has been done then it's wrong and must be rectified.
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Thanks, the fire is in a wall not a chimney breast. Air is supplied and exhausted through the back of the fire, through the wall to the outside by the flue in the sealed burner area. You can see on the left of the image where the pilot light is located. As the burning area is sealed, the draught cannot extinguish the flame, it just gives me cold cankles :(

The gas supply pipe is located in a separate hole in the wall about 18" below the flue, into the control area under the burner.

There is no sign of a rubber grommet (which does have an image in the manual, but no instruction regarding it. A grommet would be the answer to my draught problem - but looking at how the pipe has been routed hard up against the top of the sleeve through the brick, and hard against the lower part of the access hole - it cannot be moved and a grommet wouldn't have fitted on.
Instead of the grommet, you can use closure plate tape to seal the entry point. It looks a bit messy, but will stop the drafts. As for pipe sleeves, there are hard and fast rules regarding that in the gas regs and they should be applied at all times on a new install.
Regulation 19, paragraph 4 (if i am reading the right regulations)

" is enclosed in a gas tight sleeve and sealed at the joint at which the pipework enters the fire; "

Would you say my pipe conforms to that regulation?

My opinion is it doesn't, as the sleeve doesn't reach the fire, but I'm not a gas man.

Or is the regulation saying the supply pipe is to be sealed where it enters the fire (as you are not allowed joins behind the wall), not the sleeve?
Sent an email to Gas Safe Technical with the images posted in this post


I would be grateful if you could advise on the safety and quality of the supply pipe to our gas fire.

The burner area of the fire is a sealed unit living flame effect fire. You can see the pilot light access at the top of the first image. The flue is located inside the burner area, exiting through the back of the fire, straight through the exterior wall. It supplies and exhausts the air to the fire.

The supply pipe is located approx 18" below this, straight through the exterior wall, to the control area (pictured) below the burner area.

I understand regulation 19, part 4 states that this pipe must be contained in a gas tight sleeve and sealed where it accesses the fire.

The sleeve round our access pipe stops as it comes through the sterling board.(between the plaster board and the outside wall. I do not know the technical name for it).

The pipe is located hard up against the side of the sleeve, and also hard up against the bottom of the access hole in the fire. IF it were to rupture, gas could escape into the cavity between the plasterboard and sterling board, behind the fire.

The rubber grommet that should be around the access hole into the fire is also missing, presumably because it wouldn't fit, due to the pipe not being anywhere near central.

I would appreciate your thoughts on whether this installation conforms with the regulations.

The fire was installed in 2006 by whoever the developer contracted to do it. I have no certificate of installation, but have evidence the fire was installed prior to the house being sold to the first owner. The issue has only come to light recently as we are the second owners of the house, and I was investigating a cold draught in the living room.



The Reply


I would strongly recommend that you seek the advice of a Registered Gas Engineer to inspect the installation for overall safety of this installation. Some of the points raised such as the sleeve and seal through cavity wall would be considered Not to Standard, but where the grommet is missing from the pipe at rear of the fire this may have an adverse effect on the performance of the flue and overall safety of the Fire. The installation needs to be checked against the manufacturer's installation instructions.


Technical Services Officer
Gas Safe Register
Tel:01256 341505

Could I ask the builder to put this right?

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