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Why Knowing Your Holiday Home’s Gas Regulators Is A Must

Photo of a holiday park by the beach
At Calor, the safety of our customers is our number one priority. As holiday and residential parks up and down the country get ready to reopen for peak holiday season, Gary Smith, Calor’s Head of HSE & Security at Calor, takes a look at the importance of using, checking and maintaining static caravans and motorhomes gas regulators correctly, so that the gas appliances inside are protected and safe for you to use.
 

With restrictions on overseas travel in place for a while yet, many of us in the UK look set to spend our summer holiday in this country. So there is no doubt that holiday parks will be busily getting ready to welcome back guests and holiday goers. But having been closed over the past year, many jobs will need to be done to get these sites back up and running. Checking the gas bottle regulators, which are attached to the caravan or lodge, should definitely be one of the jobs on the list. Whilst the Calor gas bottles belong to us, the regulators (including the OPSO device) belong to the caravan or property owners, who are responsible for ensuring that they are in a safe condition.

A gas bottle regulator incorporating an OPSO device is a requirement for most installations in residential and habitable properties in the UK – including static caravans, holiday chalets and residential park homes. The regulator reduces the pressure of LPG in the cylinder to a safe level so that the appliances can be used without putting occupants in danger.

There are two types of regulators that are traditionally fitted to static caravans and holiday lets. The first is a regulator that attaches directly to a single gas bottle with a flexible hose connecting the regulator to the fixed pipework of the caravan. Until recently these regulators did not have the OPSO function and should be replaced with a new model that does.

The second is a changeover valve that allows more than one gas bottle to be connected at a time. The regulator draws the gas from one side and when that becomes empty, it switches to the reserve bottle so that you don’t run out of gas. These regulators are fitted to the side of the caravan and connected to the bottles by short hoses. Most of these changeover valves come with OPSO but not all do, so again it is important that you are aware of which model you have. Gas bottle regulators suitable for touring motorhomes are different than the ones required for static caravans and residential park homes.

Why is an OPSO so important?

If a regulator malfunctions or fails, and pressure builds up and exceeds a set point, the Over-Pressure Shut-Off (OPSO) device cuts off the gas flow, preventing excessive gas pressure from entering the property and appliances. The OPSO is a crucial piece of safety equipment on a static caravan or holiday lodge. That’s why owners of such dwellings should regularly inspect their gas bottle regulators for signs of damage or wear, and have them replaced by a qualified and registered Gas Safe Installer. If the regulators are not used and maintained correctly or are not fitted with an OPSO device then gas at too high pressure could pass to the equipment or appliance, which can cause serious incidents. Calor recommend that all gas installations are fitted with an OPSO device for your protection.

Helping our customers to use LPG gas bottles safely is of utmost importance to us, which is why we would highly recommend Liquid Gas UK’s new guidance on regulators. It includes information on how owners of caravans and holiday lodges can check if their regulator is the correct type, is still within its service life, how to use them and keep them in a safe condition, while enjoying the benefits of LPG during the summer season and all year round. For more information, visit Liquid Gas UK Customer Guidance sheet 39 by typing the below URL in your browser: https://tinyurl.com/regulatorsLPG. If you are unsure of the condition of your gas installation always seek professional advice from a suitably LPG qualified gas safe registered engineer.