5 COMMON Q & A ON CONNECTING GAS TO YOUR NEW COUNTRY HOME
Are you wondering whether connecting gas to your new country home is possible? And if so, what it will cost? How will it be delivered, stored and refilled?
These are common questions and we understand your concerns, that’s why we’ve taken the time to explain the ‘ins and outs’ of gas supply to homes, especially in rural areas. Gas is made from fossil fuels in the ground, and for domestic use it is supplied in two forms:
• LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) is not under pressure and simply runs through underground pipes. LNG is delivered to the property via a gas main and is generally available only in cities.
• LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) is a by-product of LNG and is stored under pressure in cylinders. LPG can be supplied to any new home, wherever your property is situated.
Piped gas is generally only available in central residential areas. However, LPG (bottled gas) is available right across Australia and can be supplied to any new Hensley Park Home, wherever your property is situated.
What Size Gas Cylinder Do I Need?
Gas is supplied by a company called Elgas (there are several gas suppliers in Australia and we’re not aligned with any one company; we’ve simply referred to Elgas in this blog for ease of use), and there are three sizes of gas bottles supplied for domestic use. Their dimensions and capacity can be seen in the table below:
|45kg LPG Gas Cylinder Dimensions||90kg LPG Gas Cylinder Dimensions||210kg LPG Gas Cylinder Dimensions|
Credit: Elgas Ltd.
The 45kg LPG gas cylinder is probably the most commonly used size for domestic use (this is what we have at our Display Home in Warrenheip).
Homes are generally fitted with two 45kg gas bottles and to maintain an even supply, when one bottle is empty Elgas simply remove the empty bottle and replaces it with a new one. The gas head or fitting (commonly known as a ‘pig-tail head’ because of the two little curly copper pipes that connect the gas bottles), connects the two bottles, however only one bottle is ever in use – when the first bottle runs out it’s simply a matter of turning that one off and turning the second one on, then calling to Elgas to arrange a new bottle. For the 45kg gas cylinder, Elgas replaces empty bottles with new ones.
Larger cylinders are re-filled rather than replaced. In this instance a hose is connected from the truck to the tank, and the refill happens on the spot. It is possible to have two larger bottles; however, the cylinder rental costs will rise accordingly.
What Does Gas Cost?
At the moment, the price of gas is sitting at approximately $1 per litre:
• 45kg (88L) = $88.00
• 90kg (176L) = $176.00
• 210kg (411L) = $411.00
Please note: these prices are approximate and need to be confirmed directly with the gas supplier.
There are also annual rental costs for the actual cylinders: from $50 for the 45kg bottle up to $260 for the 210kg bottle.
Gas cooking is the lowest form of usage. If gas is used only for cooking, the average household would need to get their 45kg gas cylinder replaced 2 – 3 times per year.
A gas hot water service uses slightly more: if gas is installed only for hot water, the average household would need to replace their 45kg cylinder 3 – 5 times per year (depending on the number of family members).
Gas heaters, especially large, ducted systems will require the 90kg or 210kg cylinders. Depending on the severity of the climate, the average household could reasonably expect to have their gas bottles refilled every 3 – 4 weeks.
Please note: these examples are estimates only. We can’t exactly guarantee the gas usage of an appliance – it depends on the model, efficiency and amount it is used.
Where Should I Store My Gas Cylinders?
The placement of your gas cylinders is largely determined by their size. The small 45kg bottle may be stored in more ‘out-of-the-way’ locations such as the back of the home, down a path etc. because they can be handled by one person and replaced easily. The placement of larger bottles will require an assessment by Elgas. Because they must be refilled rather than replaced, they must be easily accessible, and there are added dangers associated with storing large quantities of a combustible product.
The outlet or fittings of any gas cylinder must be at least 1.5m from any openable portion of a window.
How Can I Tell When My Gas is Getting Low?
There are two simple ways to check how much gas is left in your cylinder:
1. use your hand to gently ‘knock’ down the side of the bottle – you will hear it go from a ‘hollow’ ring to a more ‘dead’ sound. The hollow sounding portion is empty, the dead sounding portion is full.
2. Gently pour a jug of warm water down the side of the cylinder. You will notice a condensation line appear on the tank – this will show how much gas is left.
Who Arranges the Gas for My Home?
At the end of the building process, you’ll need to call a gas provider of your choice (ie, Elgas) and arrange the gas cylinder/s and establish a gas agreement. If it’s a large cylinder, it will be delivered and installed with a minimal amount of gas in it, then after it’s plumbed in and tested by the plumber, Elgas will return to fill it up to maximum capacity.
Elgas’s re-ordering system is extremely user-friendly. Ordering can be done via SMS or by phoning. After Elgas has monitored your gas usage for a certain length of time, they offer a service whereby they can notify you to check your cylinders and see if they need replacing/refilling.
Gas is commonly installed in our new homes and our team is here to answer any other questions or discuss other concerns you might have regarding connecting gas to your new country home.