Frequently asked questions

Q : Does the gas fireplace need a chimney?

A : Yes, gas fireplaces are open fires and need the same chimneys that all open fires need, the bigger the fireplace the bigger the chimney. Do not use short or small (150mm) flues from anthracite stoves. Do not partially (or completely) block off existing chimney. There are fans available to use in places where chimneys are a problem.

Even novent and vent free fires need to be vented, they do not require a chimney, but they need a open window door or louver to keep the air in the room at the right oxygin levels

Q : Why does the gas fireplace need a chimney?

A : All fires, wood, anthracite and gas, create fumes, Gas fumes are transparent and invisible, and are just as poisonous as anthracite fumes.

.Burning fireplaces with real flames use oxygin. No fire will burn without oxygin. Any combustion give of heat, fumes, gasses, moist, and suit; just to name a few.

Vent free, novent and biofuel fireplaces also release fumes and gasses. YES, you do not smell a gas stove when cooking. The flame is nice and blue for max heat with proper combustion features. The main reason you do not smell the gas stove is; it burns a lot less gas than a fireplace burner and it burns for short time periods.

Fireplaces; gas, wood or coal must be vented. Even novent and vent free fires need to be vented, they do not require a chimney, but they need a open window door or louver to keep the air in the room at the right oxygin levels

Vent free and novent fireplaces make use of a proper fuel and oxygin ratios to get a clean burning flame that minimize the release of toxic fumes. If this balance is disturbed at the primary air mixture, a draft over fireplace and the decorative stone, log or coal not packed correctly the combustion will not be within regulation. This can normally be seen in a yellow tipped flame. The longer the yellow tips the more fumes. Yellow flames means lack of oxygin. Unfortunataly it is the yellow flame that make a realistic flame. Make sure the builder/ installation guy check the airways to the underside of your gas burner, specially with novent and vent free burners. If your eyes burn or you start feeling sick, there might be a problem with the burner.

The hight above sea level also play a role, the higher you go, the less oxygin. Do not buy your gas fireplace in Gauteng and take it to the Coast, it will not burn properly.

Q : Is gas safe?

A : Yes, gas is completely safe when fitted correctly by an LPGSA fitter in accordance with SABS gas regulations. Gas fireplaces are approved by LPGSA (LP Gas Safety Association) and are completely safe when fitted by an LPGSA registered and accredited fitter, and operated in accordance with the operating instructions.

Q : Can a gas fire be fitted in any existing fireplace?

A : The Gas Grate can be fitted into any non-combustible fireplace which has the correct size and height chimney. For best heat output it should be used in a proper build-in or free-standing fireplace.

Q : Who should install the gas fireplace?

A : The building work can be done by a builder. All parts relating to gas fitting must be done by a LPGSA qualified fitter. From 1st January 1998 it will be ILLEGAL for anyone not LPGSA qualified to install or connect a gas appliance or supply.

Q : Which size gas bottles are needed?

A : Most sizes of LP gas fireplaces require 48kg cylinders. 19kg cylinders can normally not deliver the volume of gas required without freezing up, and the fire will not function at its best.

Q : How long does the gas last?

A : The most gas fires are designed for 3-4 hours use in an evening. Consumption depends which gas fireplace is fitted. A 48kg cylinder should fuel a Gas Grate 700 for approximately +/- 90 hours use at 3,50KW/hr, a Gas Convector 700 for approximately +/- 50 hours at 5KW/hr. Output is constant. When a cylinder is delivered check that the seal has not been broken. If it has, reject it.

Q : Where should the gas bottle be sited? cyls.gif

A : Gas cylinders must sited in accordance with SABS 087 part I regulation, which an LPGSA fitter must know. Requirements include siting outside, vertically NEVER horizontally, and away from drains and windows. For best results keep pipe runs as short as possible, and the bottle in an unshaded place. Gas flows badly when very cold.

Q : What sort of gas pipe is required?

A : Copper pipe, not plastic, must be used. The size of the pipe depends upon the distance to the gas cylinder, and the size, and the consumption of the gas fireplace. Consult the installation instructions of fitter before ordering.

Q : Where can the gas pipe be laid?

A : It can go through walls and ceilings of sleeved, but must not be run in a chimney that is being used. The maximum run is 30 metres. Make sure bends are not kinked.

Q : Does a gas fireplace carry a warranty?

A : Of course. The gas burners, excluding coals and vermiculite, are guaranteed for one year.

Q : Do gas fireplaces require maintenance?

A : Yes, gas fires should be serviced once a year. The one hour check covers the LP regulator, pipe runs, relaying the coals, lighting and adjusting, gas leaks and fume our. The time to do this is in March - BEFORE the season.

Q : Can a wood/anthracite universal or free-standing fireplace be converted to gas?

A : Yes, with a gas grate or insert.

Q : And back to wood/anthracite?

A : A built-in or free-standing fireplace fitted with a gas grate can easily be reconverted to wood/anthracite, unless it is designed for gas only, and therefore cannot be converted to wood/anthracite.

Q : Will there be more heat if more coals than are supplied are added?

A : No, the number of coals and the way it is laid is the result of research over many years. If you do relay the coals, use the same number and follow the instructions very precisely.

Gas safety tips


  • Men, women and children breath air as a nature function which enables them to live.
  • There is normally 21% oxygen in the air we breath (the rest is nitrogen).
  • If this oxygen drops to 14-16% this results in rapid breathing and an increased pulse rate. Loss of muscular co-ordination occurs at around 12% oxygen. Abnormal fatigue and labored breathing sets in at round 10% oxygen. Between 6 and 10% oxygen nausea, vomiting and an inability to move freely occurs and eventually the probability of loss of consciousness.
  • If we just seal ourselves in a room we will be using up this oxygen with our normal breathing. A person at rest will use approximately 4.5m3/h. They would then have difficulty if locked in a 2m cubed 8m3 room (i.e. a bathroom) for just 2 hours without any entry of fresh air.
  • All forms of combustion require/use oxygen LPGas is no exception.
  • An LPGas appliance will therefore also use up available oxygen in the air - depending upon size - at approximately the same rate as person.
  • Ventilation is the free entry and circulation of air in a space such as a room. A vent is an opening allowing air to pass through.
  • Ventilation is required if the air in a room is being used up by flames burning, people breathing and so on. If ventilation is not provided then the existing oxygen in the air will be used up, the flames will start to smoke and eventually go out and the people will lapse into unconsciousness and, eventually suffocate.
  • Most fatal accidents involving LPGas in South Africa are usually suffocations and/or carbon monoxide poisonings, are caused by lack of ventilation.
  • Once the problem is understood it is not difficult to make the necessary provision - bear in mind however that two vents must be provided; a lower ground level one through which fresh air will enter; a high or ceiling level one through which the warmer stale air can leave the room. It is not enough to assume that a flue, if fitted, will take out the stale air. A separate high level vent is essential - particularly if people are likely to be in the room. People when breathing normally can use up air (oxygen) faster than some LPGas flames.
  • Good building practice required ventilation bricks/panels to be built in the walls. These are usually in the form of 15 x 15cm vent or louvered panels. Preferably two near the ceiling and two near the floor.
  • In winter in order to get warm people tend to try and seal out the drafts (i.e. fresh air coming in). As can be seen from the above this can be very dangerous - especially in small rooms.
  • Please ensure there is always adequate ventilation.

    LPGas is CLEAN and SAFE, provided you follow some SIMPLE RULES:

  • Light the match or igniter before turning on the gas.
  • Check by looking to see that the pilot burner or main burner has ignited - especially inside ovens where it is not always easy to see the flame.
  • If the gas will not ignite easily turn off the gas and check that there is LPGas in the supply cylinders. If in doubt call a gas dealer.
  • Remember that LPGas vapor is heavier than air and even a small leak will result in gas accumulating on the floor and forming a flammable mixture with the surrounding air.
  • Remember too that LPGas vapor is invisible - but you can quickly detect its presence by its strong smell. Extinguish all flames - and do not smoke. Ventilate the area by opening doors and windows until the smell has gone.
  • Gas leaks are caused by accidentally leaving open a gas valve or by a faulty connection to a pipe or valve. To find the leak, splash suspect part of pipe or valve with soapy water. The leak will cause bubbles.
  • Cylinders must always stand upright.
  • Do not use a cylinder which is damaged e.g. badly rusted or dented, cut, bulging, etc. - have it checked by your LPG Dealer.
  • Use only proper LPG hose to connect your stove or other LPG appliances. Ordinary rubber or garden hose must never be used as these are not designed for LPG and will soon deteriorate and leak.
  • Keep flexible piping away from heat.
  • Flexible pipe should be inspected annually for leaks.
  • Flexible piping should be clamped to correctly designed metal connectors.
  • A good supply of oxygen (air) is essential for efficient combustion - therefore a room in which LPG is burned must have adequate ventilation openings - at low level to let fresh air in and at high level for products of combustion to exit.
  • It is important to note that inadequate ventilation may result in the formation of poisonous carbon monoxide.
  • Most gas connections utilize synthetic rubber joints or O-rings. These should be inspected (whenever the joint is made or broken) for cracks, perishing or other damage (eg. brittleness due to ageing) and replaced if necessary.


  • Don't panic - Flames from joints near cylinder are not dangerous in themselves.
  • If possible, close the cylinder valve using a wet cloth to protect your hand.
  • Spray cold water onto cylinders exposed to the fire in order to keep them cool. Use a hose pipe. Keep people away from the area.


  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is a versatile and Instant Energy source that serves both domestic and industrial markets around the world.
  • In South Africa LPGas has no where near reached its full potential.
  • For instance in Brazil LPGas is used by over 87% of the population in the domestic environment. In the USA LPGas is used extensively in all areas of energy and makes up a significant portion of the energy mix.
  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas, better known as LPGas or LPG or Bottled Gas, is a mixture of butane and propane gases liquefied and stored under pressure in gas cylinders.
  • As early as 1810, an Englishman in London formed a company and sold cylinders of compressed gas thereby starting the long history of Bottled Gas.
  • LPGas has been in use as a recognized fuel since 1922. LPGas is an essential by product from the production of petrol.
  • Odorless and looking like water in its natural form, a chemical additive known as ethyl mercaptan is added to LPGas as a stenching agent to alert people of leaks.
  • Offering instant energy, LPGas is ideal for the developing domestic market where it can be introduced for instant improvement of the quality of life. To have hot water and hot food easily and quickly available is something that many people take for granted. However, when you are not used to this, LPGas can be like making a dream come true. Of course LPGas is also used extensively by the established domestic market, not to mention the leasure / outdoor activities such as the traditional South African braaing.
  • Offering instant energy, LPGas is also ideal for Industry, with uses ranging from welding, flame cutting, incineration and glass melting to asphalt heating, brazing and soldering, and space heating of work areas.
  • "Instant heat with fingertip control and accurate temperature adjustment.
  • "Portability is another useful asset - one volume of LPGas makes about 10 000 volumes of flammable mixture - perfect for rural population, hikers, caravaners and as an essential back-up power source in the home."
  • Like all sources of energy, there are specific rules that must be heeded when using LPGas.
  • The use of LPGas demands as much respect as other energy sources, such as electricity or paraffin. You would not be a happy person if you put your hand on to an electrical connection or drank paraffin.
  • LPGas cylinders should always be used and transported in an upright position. This is because if the valve is not closed tight and there is a minor leakage, it will be in a Ba in form which will disperse quickly, where as if the cylinder is on its side the probability is that the leakage will be liquid which is 270 times more concentrated.
  • "Ventilation is all important with LPGas." During transportation, never leave a gas cylinder in a parked car for a long period. Remove from the car boot as soon as possible, as gas expands with heat.
  • To determine the exact location of a leak, a soap solution should be wiped over the various joints on the system, and any escaping gas will form bubbles at the leak. In such cases, close the cylinder valve and seek professional advice from your local authorized dealer.
  • LPGas expands significantly when heated, this is why LPGas cylinders are designed and rated to be only filled to 80 percent capacity with liquid, with the remaining 20 percent of the mixture in the gaseous form. This then particularly allows for expansion of the liquid LPGas if it is warmed as when used outside in the midday sun. This space enables the cylinder when correctly filled to be safe up to temperatures in excess of 65 degrees Celsius.
  • Cylinders should never be overfilled, as this will probably cause the appliance to not operate correctly. The tare mass stamped at the base of the cylinder should coincide with the mass measured on the scale when the cylinder is empty. If for example, one has purchased 1.4 kg of gas and the tare mass is 2.8 kg, the total mass should read 4.2 kg. One can always check that the cylinder is correctly filled on a domestic scale at home. If the cylinder exceeds that weight, it has been overfilled and should be returned to the supplier with a suitable complaint.
  • If you need to correct this yourself we recommend that the cylinder is taken outdoors and at least 10m away from any naked flame, drains or openings to basements. Simply open the valve using the control lever or knob and let it blow off until the mass is correct. If the cylinder is fitted with a bleeder plug on the side or top use this rather than the normal valve (you must only slightly loosen this plug) it will initially show a white mist (this is liquid evaporating) when this changes to a clear I'm then you know that the liquid is at the correct level. The gas will cool / freeze anything that comes into contact with it therefore keep away from contact with skin and especially your eyes.
  • To assist the filler and reduce the chance of mistakes you may like to fix a label with this maximum full mass clearly displayed.
  • "Correct Handling of LPGas cylinders is vital"
  • Correct handling of LPGas cylinders is important. While manufactured for a life span in excess of 25 years, the units can become rusty if mishandled and dented this will reduce their longevity. The approved Dealer should always check the cylinder before refilling.
  • Never place a gas cylinder on top of an electric stove. "A popular example to site in this case is the placing of the gas cylinder on the electric stove when there has been a power cut. When the power is turned on again, the cylinder is heated by the stove, and the gas inside expands, causing it to build up pressure and which will eventually burst the cylinder open."
  • All cylinders are tested to 30 bars even though they normally work at a pressure of 7 bar, this is a safety factor of over 4. These cylinders will not burst unless the pressure exceeds 65 Bar or 6500kpa.
  • When lighting a gas source it is important to minimize the gas escape before lighting, as this could cause a problem when the gas bursts into flames. The recommended approach in case the gas valve is turned off tightly is to turn the gas on for a fraction of a second and immediately lightly close it again. Now when you light the match or other source you know that you can turn the gas on easily and quickly and light it without delay or problems. Serious problems have been caused by people turning the gas on then finding they need to go and look for another match, forgetting that the flammable gas is escaping from the time the control valve is open.
  • Ventilation is one of the most important facets of all LPGas usage requirements. In order for the gas flame to burn effectively, it needs air. Because gas is heavier than air, any leaking gas will always flow downwards, and collect in low spaces and be slow to dissipate without ample ventilation and movement of air.
  • One must therefore ensure adequate ventilation - gap in the door, or other permanent point of ventilation. Windows are not considered satisfactory means as an unsuspecting person could close it and completely cut off the ventilation.
  • A person in a small enclosed room will find it becoming stuffy as they use up the available oxygen in the room. LPGas burning equipment will also burn up the oxygen in the room. Ventilation is required in order to enable fresh oxygen to enter to allow the person to continue breathing and the gas to continue burning without effecting the environment. Ventilation must allow fresh air in and the old air / fumes to leave.
  • LPGas powered heaters and stoves should not be left unattended for long periods.
  • In the case of a fire caused by LPGas, it is essential that the cylinder valve be closed as soon as possible. If the valve is too hot to handle, use a wet cloth to protect your hand. Remember not to panic as the flames cannot go into the cylinder. In most cases the flames will die when the gas is turned off. If gas continues to escape and feed the fire turn cylinder so that the flames do not effect other items. Keep the cylinder cool with damp cloths / water spray. If indoors you can now safely approach the cylinder from behind the flames and carry / walk the cylinder out to a safe area. It is best in these circumstances to leave the flame burning as otherwise the gas could build up and violently burst into flames from another source.
  • When in doubt contact the fire brigade.
  • By following these simple rules, South African consumers use some 280 million kilograms of LPGas every year with an insignificant number of mishaps.

  • Note:
     - LPGas/Propane A.M. is heavier than air & will sink to the ground.
     - LPGas/Propane liquid is lighter than water & will, until it evaporates, float on water.