Unqualified? Unregistered? Illegal!
10 years after the first SAQCC Gas Practitioner was registered, we still find such hazardous practices in the gas industry.
52 Engineering recently attended to a freezer which according to the client required “gassing” and what was discovered was appalling.
A disposable cylinder had been converted to a refillable cylinder and left on site. This is an illegal and dangerous practice. The new compressor was not bolted down and the copper piping was a mishmash of sizes, with an incorrectly sized filter drier installed. The electrical wiring was a total dangerous spaghetti mess.
Despite clear guidelines on disposable cylinders, illegal practitioners weld on valves to refill these cylinders; this is not only illegal but extremely dangerous. This involves bypassing an integral safety device built into the disposable cylinder itself to prevent refilling
“This was an accident waiting to happen” commented SARACCA President, John Parry. “This unknowing client was ripped by this incompetent practitioner” adds John.
It is common knowledge that equipment and systems using fuel gases such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Natural Gas have to be installed by a registered Gas Practitioner,however, it seems many people do not realise that fridges and air-conditioners also use gas under high pressure in their systems. For that reason, the same criteria must be followed when dealing with an air-conditioning or refrigeration equipment. Such work must be undertaken by a registered Refrigeration Gas Practitioner who holds an SAQCC Gas issued card.
Refrigerant gases in refrigeration systems are not dangerous; in fact, it is safe if correctly applied and very efficient. However, when poorly installed these can prove to be more of a hazard than of help. Therefore, contracting a trained and qualified Refrigeration Gas Practitioner who is skilled to work on that specific scope of work is not a debatable matter.
There are specific guidelines stipulated by the Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) which all skilled and SAQCC Gas registered Refrigeration Gas Practitioners fully understand and abide by. These individuals have been trained and qualified to work effectively and legally on refrigeration systems.
When employing the services of a Refrigeration Gas Practitioner please request;
- A license issued by the SAQCC Gas with that individual’s credentials.
- Ensure the person issues the correct gas Certificate of Conformity (COC) upon completion of the air conditioning and refrigeration installation work or maintenance work completed on site.
“Users must only employ the services of a qualified SAQCC Gas Practitioner, this is for their own good.” John Parry To validate if a Gas Practitioner is registered to work in South Africa, or to find a registered Gas Practitioner in your area, visit www.saqccgas.co.za.