The gas locker on a used narrowboat and it's installations will be inspected as part of the Boat Safety Scheme examination, however as there are four years time between each inspection, which is a relatively long time in gas locker terms, it is important to check for deterioration between these inspections. The gas locker can rapidly corrode if not kept regularly maintained and this could mean the difference between a BSS pass and a fail and cost even more down the line.
What to do if you suspect problems with your gas systems and installations
Gas work is regulated by the legislation known as Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations, and there is a strict criteria regulating the people who can work on gas systems who must be a qualified Gas Safe registered person. So if you suspect a problem with your boat's gas installations or fittings, you must get professional advice immediately from a qualified gas fitter, as anyone who comes near the boat could be in danger, see the boat safety scheme website for more information.
Inspect the locker and keep it clean and clear from clutter
The gas lockers only purpose on a boat is to contain and protect the LPG gas cylinders and equipment and to ensure that if a gas leak occurs the gas will drain away from the boat safely. It is very convenient to stow all your cruising items away in the locker, but this will make the boat non compliant to the boat safety standards. You should not use your gas locker as a storage area for mooring equipment or anything else, it is only designed to store the gas cylinders and equipment. Therefore remove any unnecessary objects which might block the drains. The drainage openings in the base of the gas locker will be checked by the BSS examiner to make sure they are not blocked, so you will need to make sure that they are kept clear at all times. The drains need to be above the water line to allow for any escape of gas to drain away safely. The gas bottles in the locker need to be restrained by means of a chain to stop the bottles moving around.
Visually inspect the locker for corrosion, clean it and check the paint for damage which can often be caused when moving or replacing a gas bottle. Keep the locker well painted clean and corrosion free. If there is corrosion it can perforate the locker floor or walls and potentially result in leaking gas entering the boat cabin. Preventing corrosion is far better and cheaper than having to repair it at a later date. Check the lid and hinges and regularly grease the hinges.
Watch our YouTube video below to learn more about a gas locker on a narrow boat.