DIY - Gas
| Most major Chinese cities have access
to mains gas. Locations without mains gas use bottled
gas instead, which we know of as 'calor gas' in UK.
Working with gas can be very dangerous, so we
recommend you call in an expert to make any alterations
or fix any problems. Below are a few tips that
may help you out:
We will presume you have just moved into an apartment
and found the gas doesn't work. The mains gas
will probably feed the gas hob and water heater.
1. If neither work and there
is no gas supply, locate where the gas supply
pipe enters the apartment (Usually into the kitchen
from outside). Nearby should be a mechanical switch
on the pipe, similar to a 90 degree turn water
switch. Check this is on, usually this means it
is set to the inline position. If it will not
turn, then press it down and try turning it again,
it will work this time. If there is still no gas,
then it is turned off by the meter. Call the Landlady
or have building services reconnect.
2. The water heater doesn't work,
but the hob is ok. Often these heaters use a standard
size battery to light the pilot light. Even though
you may hear this clicking, it does not mean the
battery is strong enough to light a flame. The
battery (Sometimes two) is located at the base
of the unit: in a plastic clip-down holder on
modern heaters; or in an open push up and out
in older heaters. Replace the battery and try
again. If this does not work, call in an expert.
3. Some are powered by mains
electricity, so check the supply is on. This may
be a switch on a nearby plug socket. If it is
on and the heater still does not work, check the
pipes and see if there is an on/off control knob
as at 1. above. If there is one try turning it.
Again, if this does not solve the problem, call
in expert advice.
4. Bottled gas is available in
virtually all areas of China and comes in typical
blue bottles of various sizes.
5. In September 2010 a new bottle
of gas should cost you about Y100 or less, whilst
the cylinder itself will be about the same charge.
6. There is little maintenance,
although we would recommend you check to see if
there are any minor leaks. These are revealed
when you turn off the gas at the bottle and monitor
the gauge (Shown right).
Normally this gauge should retain pressure over
several days. If it rapidly loses pressure, then
there are minor leaks somewhere. These are often
from joints or from faulty regulators. The cost
of pipes, regulators, and jubilee clips is minimal,
so we recommend you replace all of them with quality
new parts. This should solve all your leaks. If
the problem remains - call in an expert.
7. Replace the regulator only
when changing cylinders. Simply disconnect the
old pipe and attach it to the new regulator, and
screw into position.
Most leaks will likely occur at the joints of
the plastic pipe. Be pre-prepared to replace the
jubilee clips that secure the pipe to the appliance
and cylinder. These are sold at any hardware store
for 1 or 2 RMB each. One quick method is to remove
the last inch of pipe and make a new connection.
As pipe is very cheap, it is as simple just to
replace the whole pipe.
Sometimes (as illustrated) the plastic feed pipe
routes via an old iron pipe set into the wall.
It is unlikely the iron pipe will leak, but the
joints may. Check for leaks and call in an expert
if you think there is a problem.
8. Never search for leaks with a naked
flame - it may well lead to a dangerous explosion!
The best way to check for leaks is with a 'gas
sniffer' device all professionals carry, or by
covering the joints with washing up liquid and
watching for bubbles.
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably
supported by our friends and various internet portals.