Many gas fitters and boiler engineers in the UK may be unaware of new mandatory regulations which will come into effect from April 2014 to measure and record the carbon monoxide (CO) level in the flue gas when a condensing boiler is commissioned.

This follows a number of incidents caused by high CO levels. These new measures have been agreed by the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) and its members, together with major installation organisations and industry bodies including Gas Safe Register, Energy & Utility Skills, UKLPG trade association for the LPG industry in the UK, and the Council for Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring (COGDEM).

The CO level in the chimney flue gases and the combustion (CO/CO2) ratio is measured by using a flue gas analyser. Gas Safe Register will defect an installation for Building Regulations non-compliance if the appropriate commissioning documentation is not correctly completed, including the measured CO level and combustion ratio.

Barry Atkins, managing director of PASS, points out that Gas Safe Register issued Technical Bulletin 143 in July 2013, and urges gas fitters and boiler engineers to get up to speed with its process flowchart, which describes how flue integrity can be verified, how CO testing should be carried out, and when advice should be sought.

Atkins adds: “The majority of homes in Britain have the potential to generate and emit harmful gasses into the environment from their heating systems. A flue gas analyser allows a trained engineer to inspect the waste gasses being produced and correctly diagnose possible issues.

“There are a number of different constituents of flue gas, ranging from harmless gasses such as nitrogen, oxygen and water vapour, to far more hazardous chemicals such as carbon monoxide (CO), sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Over a prolonged period they can cause severe sickness and even death. Carbon monoxide restricts oxygen flow in the blood and is virtually undetectable by humans.”

PASS boasts a comprehensive range of flue gas analysers from Anton, Kane and Testo, which also includes commercial boiler analysers and combustion analysis testing equipment.

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