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Field approval of non-certified appliances

Even though manufacturers of non-certified gas-powered appliances ensure that these are safe to use, the regulations of the province of Quebec require that a certification agency which is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada carries out the field approval of non-certified appliances. The purpose of this process is to make sure that the appliance is safe to use and that it meets the applicable standards and the current construction code.

Have your appliances approved

The Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) fosters awareness, among contractors, owners, gas suppliers, professionals and manufacturers alike, of the importance of initiating as early as possible the approval process, thus avoiding delays in the powering-up of non-certified gas-powered appliances.

An appliance is said to be “approved” if it is either certified by an accredited certification agency, or evaluated against the Code for the Field Approval, CAN/CSA B149.3-15, that is to the edition which is current at the time of the evaluation. Provided that it is recognized as conforming to this Code, the appliance is thus labelled accordingly by an accredited certification agency.

What do the regulations stipulate?

According to section 2.04 from the Construction Code, Chapter II, Gas, any appliance or equipment used in an installation intended to use, store or distribute gas must be approved for the use for which it is intended.

In an installation intended to use gas, it is prohibited, except for approval purposes, to use an appliance or equipment that has not been approved. It is also prohibited, except for approval purposes, to sell or lease an appliance or equipment which is not approved.

Appliances and equipment not coming under the Code

However, section 2.04 does not apply to the following equipment or appliances:

  • a manual appliance whose input power does not exceed 20,000 Btu/h (6 kW) intended for industrial applications
  • a Bunsen burner
  • a stationary internal combustion engine (including an impeller).

Conversion of appliances

The gas-powered appliances or appliances using another type of fuel, which are already certified or approved and which have been converted for using gas (other than the initial gas), must be compliant with the requirements of sections 2.04 and 2.05 from the Construction Code, Chapter II, Gas. This mandatory requirement applies only if the conversion has been made using a conversion kit which is certified for and appropriate to the specific model of the appliance.

It is also required to comply with all the existing requirements that are mentioned in the Natural Gas and Propane Installation Codes (CAN/CSA-B149.1) and to the relevant modifications introduced by the Construction Code, Chapter II, Gas.

Modification of an appliance already approved

A new approval under the existing Code is required for any modification or upgrading of any appliance that is already approved according to the Code for the Field Approval of Fuel-Related Components on Appliances and Equipment, CAN/CSA-B149.3.

Supplying of the appliances

It is allowed to supply, but strictly for approval purposes, an unapproved appliance or equipment which is operated within an installation intended to use gas. The expression “for approval purposes” means: with the intent of proceeding to the powering-up and adjustments which will enable thereafter to operate the appliance according to the parameters with which it has been designed.

This powering-up and these adjustments must be performed by a person who is both qualified and skilled, who remains constantly near the appliance and who, once the adjustments are made, shall shut it down and close its supply valve. One shall not be allowed to use this appliance to produce energy, heating or light until an inspector representing a recognized certification agency has verified its compliance with the current codes and affixed on it the required label.

What are the responsibilities of the contractor?

According to section 14 of the Building Act, a contractor shall comply with the Construction Code in respect of construction work under his/her responsibility.

Therefore, before connecting an appliance to the gas supply piping, the contractor must in particular make sure that the appliance is approved and bears a seal of certification or a label of field approval from a recognized certification agency (pursuant to Chapter II, Gas, from the Construction Code).

What are the responsibilities of the gas distribution undertakings (companies)?

According to Section 38 of the Building Act, a gas distribution undertaking (company) shall refuse to supply an installation intended to use gas or an electrical installation if it is defective or known by the undertaking to constitute a safety hazard.

Yet, it is actually difficult and sometimes impossible to come to a decision with regard to the safety of an installation containing an appliance that is not approved without analyzing its mechanical and electrical plans as well as the material specifications. In this regard, it is important to initiate the approval process as soon as possible, for instance immediately after the purchase agreement and before the fabrication of the appliance.

Thus, you may submit the plans and design specifications in full to a certification agency, have a file created, and have on hand the approval of said design before the beginning of the fabrication of the appliance. Such precautionary measures will spare the applicant last-minute “legwork” for the process of having the appliance approved and all the inconveniences thereto.

The first version of this text has been published in a Info-RBQ (2222-11) bulletin, in July of 2008. The information that you will find on this page has thereafter been updated to reflect certain regulatory or administrative modifications.

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