Planning a Legal Gas Installation

gas regulations

Ignorantia juris non excusat – Gas Regulations

Or in English – “Ignorance of the law does not excuse.”

One of the most frequent problems we encounter when planning, quoting or physically doing gas installations, is that people are not very well informed in terms of what is and what is not allowed when it comes to gas installations. Just as there are compliance laws for electrical installations, plumbing and in fact the building itself, there is a strict code to which ALL LPG installations must adhere.

The problem that exists currently, is not that people are unaware of the existence of these gas regulations, but simply that they are not aware of what the basics are when planning their gas installations.

For simplicity, and given our target audience, this post will focus on Domestic Gas Installations, as governed by SANS code 10087-1:2013 of which edition 6 is the latest, but please be aware that different gas regulations may apply for commercial and industrial installations.

Where can I put my cylinders?

One of the first considerations when planning your gas installation is the location of the cylinders. Many people feel the cylinders are an eyesore, so they try to build enclosures for the cylinders, or try to hide them around a corner out of sight – this often leads to disappointment when a gas installer has to tell them that their proposed location may not be a legal one.

Minimum distances:

The SANS standard has a very clear list of minimum distances that MUST be observed when choosing cylinder locations. Gas cylinders must always be at least:

  • 1m away from any opening into a building that extends below the level of the container valve (doors, windows, airbricks)
  • 2m away from any drain, pit or manhole
  • 3m away from property boundary which is NOT a firewall.
  • 3m away from any opening or window directly above the containers.
  • 5m away from an electrical (or any) source of ignition (switchbox, DB board, electric motor etc.)
  • 2m away from forced draught inlet for airconditioner
  • 1.5m below any outdoor lights
  • 3m away from combustible materials

    Min Distances
    Minimum Distances

In some cases making sure that all these minimum distances are adhered to can make it very difficult to find a suitable outdoor location for cylinders. The SANS standard does however allow for a single cylinder up to 19kg to be installed indoors in a cupboard provided that:

  • Flexible gas hose does not pass through the solid partition between cupboards
  • the cylinder may NOT be installed directly below the appliance (ie hob)
  • the cupboard MUST NOT contain any electrical switches or plugs or any other sources of ignition
  • The cupboard must be sealed from adjacent sections
  • the cupboard door must have a ventilation slot at the top AND bottom
  • if the back of the cupboard is on an outside wall, a ventilation hole should also be made to the outside towards the bottom of the cupboard.

These basic regulations are by no means the only considerations mentioned in the code, but should at least put you on the right track towards planning a suitable cylinder location.

Syam Gas Cage
Stainless Steel Gas Cage

Cylinder Enclosures:

As mentioned before, there is a temptation to put cylinders in some form of enclosure, since some may consider them an eyesore (we happen to think they are beautiful!). The SANS code does allow for this, however, again the type of enclosure must be carefully considered. For example, the regulations require that the enclosure provides at least 80% cross ventilation and that the enclosure must be constructed from non-combustible materials.

Kitchen Islands:

More and more modern kitchen designs incorporate an ‘island placement’ for the stove. In theory this is not a problem as the gas line can simply be run under the floor to the appliance. Unfortunately this is not entire true.

kitchen island
Kitchen Island Hob Installation

The first and most obvious obstacle is that in most cases we arrive on the site of the installation and a PVC conduit has already been provided in the floor for the gas line to go through. In most cases these end up being unusable since the copper tubing is quite rigid and can not be pushed through the bends and elbows usually put into these conduits to make them follow the intended path towards the gas cylinders. Another interesting point is that these conduits are almost never placed at the required depths as stipulated by SANS 10087-1. By law all buried pipe lines MUST be at least 500mm below the surface and a chevron tape must be buried at around 250mm above the pipe so that one is aware of its presence should it ever be dug up again.

Most importantly for island kitchens however is section a) of SANS 10087-1, which states: ” When pipes are chased in a concrete floor, they shall require floor plans. In other words if your gas line is set to run under your kitchen floor, it MUST be marked on your approved plans as submitted to your local municipality.


It is now a legal requirement for your gas installer to provide and install signage near your installation. These signs need to display warnings such as ‘no naked flames’ and ‘no smoking’ etc, as well as the installation dates and the installer’s name and contact details.

Signs also need to be installed to point out the emergency gas shut off valves.

Get help BEFORE you start work:

The guidlines above are really just a very short summery of the most important points to consider when you are planning your installation. In no way is this a complete plan to follow to the letter. The full SANS standard as it applies to domestic installations is over 80 pages long and there are many more factors to consider, so if you want our number one golden rule, here it is: Get a registered gas installer to have a look at your proposed project before work starts. Most installers will offer consultations/ quotes free of charge and having their knowledge on hand from the outset will make it much less likely that you will run into regulatory problems with your gas installation.

To locate a registered gas installer in your area feel free to contact us, or visit the SAQCC installer database website.

10 thoughts on “Planning a Legal Gas Installation

  1. Good Day
    I own a Commercial Building .I have 3 tenants that use gas ,without any certification .They need to be compliant with the regulations ,ASAP .
    Please can you advise on the way forward.

    Many thanks
    Kirk Elsworth

    1. Hi Kirk,

      Your best course of action would be to contact a Commercial Gas Practitioner since your tenants’ installations will fall under SANS 10087-2. You can find commercial installers on the SAQCC Gas website, or by contacting our store and asking for contact details of some of the installers we have on our books. You can reach us on 0861 BUY GAS or 0861 289 427.

      Kind Regards
      Eddlesgas Team

  2. With reference to indoor installations, is the cylinder allowed 19kg or 9kg.

    Thanks and regards


    1. Hi Bruce, thanks for commenting and asking a pretty valid question.

      According to SANS 10087-1:2013 ed6, in section “Where LPG Containers are permanently installed or stored in a building, the type of building and the corresponding size of containers shall be as follows: … (b) houses (including cluster housing and group housing (not exceeding two storeys)): a total maximum of 19kg.”

      In other words, you could have a single 19kg cylinder installed indoors, or 2x 9kg cylinders. However if you lived in a flat or any dwelling classified as H3 under SANS10400-A, the code states: SANS 10087-1:2013 ed6 (a)”flats (H3): a maximum of 9kg per flat;”

      Worth noting as well is subsection f) “no fixed installation shall be installed inside a garage.”

      Although f) does not deal with the size of LPG containers allowed, it does place very clear limitations on cylinder locations with regards to indoor installations.

  3. Good day,
    We own a small Pizzeria with a Woodurning oven, however certain toppings, sauces etc are prepared on a non fixed boiling table and a non fixed table top grill, we only have 2 x 9kg gas bottles connceted to this equipment at a time, which as I understand it is within the legal limit.
    Do we need to have a COC for non fixed equipment? We have a an extractor above the grill etc and the equipment has new flexible hosing under 2 meters with regulators on them. Boiler table has shutoff valves for each of the burners as does the small grill.
    Would you kindly help us with this question. The equipment is lightweight and moveable in order for us to do off site catering etc. We are a small business and we need equipment that can have dual function.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Stedan,
      non-fixed equipment does not usually require a COC. However, it may be that your local fire deparment will request one. What makes these kinds of questions especially troubling is the fact that most boiling tables and movable equipment are NOT registered on the safe appliance scheme as they do not conform to SANS1539, so even if the fire department requests a COC, one could not be issued since SANS10087 requires that all installed appliances comply to SANS1539.

      We would suggest getting hold of a copy of the section of SANS10087 which deals specifically with installations on commercial properties. This would give you the ammo you need against anyone who might claim you need a COC for these appliances, since the SANS code clearly states that COC’s ONLY apply to permanently installed appliances and not portable equipment.

  4. Hi I want to make a cover for my 19kg outdoor gas bottle I have a metal cover on top can I put bamboo fence around the cylinder

    1. Hi Rosita, Thanks for getting in touch. Whilst the metal cover for your cylinders would be perfectly acceptable, the SANS code is very clear about the construction materials of the rest of the enclosure. The enclosure MUST be made from non-combustible materials, so unfortunately a bamboo fence would not be legal. The SANS code states that the enclosure must allow for 80% cross ventilation and be constructed entirely from non-combustible materials, it goes further to state that the cylinders should be located at least 3m away from any combustible materials, so unfortunately you may need to rethink your current course of action.

  5. Hi we have 4x48kg gas in a build cage with sufficient air vents. 2bottles are connected at eny given time. We had a gas plan drawn but is battle to get it approved. Who can we contact in the City of tshwane to fond out what to do

    1. Hi Margaret, Unfortunately we only operate in Capetown so we have no idea who might do this kind of work in Tshwane. Your best bet is probably to contact the LPG Safety Association directly and asking them to refer you to someone. Their contact details can be found on their website

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