Ask a gas safety officer: What is the difference between a “product approval” and a “commissioning approval”?

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When a nationally-recognized standard does not exist, an appliance product approval permit is required for regulated gas appliances, as authorized by the Safety Standards Act (SSA) and Gas Safety Regulation (GSR). Appliance product approvals require designs to be first submitted for review and registration. Once registered, a license gas contractor can then obtain the required product approval and installation permit to allow field approval assessment by a provincial gas safety officer for conformance to the registered design and referenced codes and/or standards.

Upon successful completion of the product approval assessment, a Technical Safety BC gas appliance approval label is affixed to the appliance. The approval is site specific, and is valid only in the province of British Columbia under jurisdictional areas of the Safety Standards Act.

A commissioning approval is an inspection performed prior to commissioning or testing of the appliance and is required under section 26 (2) of the GSR for the following types of appliances or equipment:

  • any direct-fired non-recirculating type make-up heater;
  • a conversion burner, except if it is to be installed in a single family dwelling and has an input of 120 kW or less;
  • a commercial or industrial conversion burner;
  • any direct fired equipment;
  • a forced draft appliance over 409,600 Btuh.

The permit holder must request the assessment at least 48 hours prior to the expected commissioning time. The safety officer witnesses the testing and commissioning of the appliance to ensure an appropriate procedure is followed prior to placing the equipment into service. If the commissioning approval assessment is waived by the gas safety officer, than a Start Up report must be submitted to the safety officer.

For more detailed information, see the following:

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