EnergySafe Magazine Summer 2018/19, issue 52 - Page 10

Latest news Summer 2018/19 energysafe issue 52 Gas cylinder valve change to cut leaks f By Jason Treseder, Senior Gas Engineer The connection on an LP Gas cylinder has a known weakness that enables dangerous gas leaks to occur. This contributes to over 100 LP Gas barbecue fires over the summer in Victoria. Standards Australia are looking at rectifying this issue through a change to a new safer connection, known as CGA 791 Quick Connect Coupling (QCC). In October, Standards Australia held a stakeholder forum in Sydney to discuss the future of the LP Gas cylinder valve. The forum discussed a proposal to amend relevant standards and change the LPG cylinder valve connection from its current type 21 ‘POL’ design to the CGA 791 Quick Connect Coupling (QCC) for leisure LPG cylinders ranging 4.5kg up to 9kg. The significant number of incidents involving portable LPG appliances like barbecues each year drove the appeal for change. A common cause of these incidents is a gas leak from the connection to the cylinder valve, which eventually ignites and explodes damaging property and injuring anyone nearby. The Type 21 cylinder valve outlet connection has been the default LPG cylinder connection for many years. The outlet connection on the cylinder valve consists of an internal thread leading to an internal cone. The mating fitting on the hose assembly consists of a matching external thread and a round nipple with a 19mm radius. A leak tight seal is achieved by compression of the radius against the internal cone. Historically, the nut fitting was provided with spanner flats and tightening was achieved by using a spanner to apply sufficient torque to the nut. The connection was subsequently revised to permit soft seals on the nipple to assist with sealing, enabling a hand wheel to make a leak tight seal this resulted in making the connection process easier for consumers. However, over time, consumer expectations for the connection have changed and the number of incidents involving the cylinder valve connection has made it clear that the Type 21 connection is no longer an appropriate connection for leisure use. The QCC fitting is considered a reasonable and effective alternative to the Type 21 fitting. Step towards safety: the new QCC safety valve 10 This fitting has a number of additional safety advantages over the current Type 21 connection. » The cylinder valve incorporates a check valve that will only enable gas to flow when a gas tight connection is made. » The connection is a large diameter right handed thread that is able to be made without the use of tools. » All perishable rubber seals are located within the body of the gas valve. so it can be assessed as part of the refilling process and replaced with the cylinder valve as part of the cylinder test process. » The connection is widely used internationally including New Zealand and the USA. » The connection incorporates a thermal fuse that will melt when exposed to heat. This allows the internal check valve to close and shut off gas flow in the event the connection is exposed to a fire. » The QCC valve is compatible with existing appliances that use the Type 21 connection, which will assist in the transition process. Standards Australia will now start the process to amend a range of relevant standards as part of the normal consensus process. A proposed transition timeframe will be confirmed in the near future along with further details of the transition.