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Gas Fitter vs Gas Plumber – What’s the Difference? – [2023]

by Jonny S | 21/04/2021

Image Credit: Pixabay

A quarter of all energy consumed in Australia during 2018-2019 was in the form of natural gas. But just because it’s called “natural”, doesn’t mean it is naturally available inside our homes. This is actually a good thing as gas is extremely flammable. But because the pipes that carry this natural gas into our homes are much more dangerous than regular pipes which provide us with water, we need licenced and professional experts to work on them. Because blowing up would be bad. Right? Right! So…  

What is a gas fitter?

Natural gas is a health hazard if not handled carefully and correctly. So for consumers’ safety, all gas related work in Australia must always be completed by a fully licensed contractor called a gas fitter. It’s actually highly illegal for untrained individuals to attempt any gas related work as it would be extremely unsafe. So if you’re using gas in your home, not only was your gas system installed by a gas fitter, but you’ll also need one to complete any future maintenance or repairs.

What does a gas fitter do?

Gas fitters are fully trained, licenced, and insured to carry out any work on a wide variety of gas works, pipes, appliances, and systems. Basically, gas fitters can do any work that’s required with natural gas such as installation, connection, testing, repair, and maintenance of gas systems, gas appliances, gas pipes, gas lines, and gas regulators.

Gas Fitter duties include:

  • Installing gas pipes
  • Appliance maintenance
  • Installing pressure regulating systems and gas detection
  • Installing gas appliance flues
  • Installing gas-related appliances
  • Installing LPG systems to caravans and boats
  • Reading and understanding plans
  • Testing gas appliance pipe work
  • Advising customers on operating and maintaining gas appliances
  • Maintaining pipes and ancillary equipment 

These tradesmen also carry out other work including the removal, replacement, conversion, alteration, disconnection, or demolition of gas installations and gas-fuelled engines. Gasfitters work on gas systems, bottles, and appliances installed throughout residential homes, commercial businesses, and industrial worksites, as well as on gas buildings, caravans, boats, ships, planes, trains, and automobiles.

According to Ashbury Plumbing, “If you want to connect your premises to the natural gas line in your local area, you’ll need to hire a gas fitter. Not only can a licenced gas fitter provide you with a safe connection to use gas for cooking food, heating water, or regulating temperature in a residential home, but they can also plumb gas for your industrial or commercial business such as a restaurant.”

Another aspect of gas fitting work is designing gas systems, which includes creating and reading installation drawings, plans, and specifications. They also commission gas appliances while ensuring they’re operating under safe conditions by setting and testing safety devices for detecting leakage and other conditions associated with gas installations.

Gasfitters can work on anything to do with the piping required to supply natural gas to your appliances, from hot water systems to outdoor heaters, and BBQ cookers to pizza ovens, and everything in between. This includes emergency repairs of damaged gas appliances or gas lines. And all Australian gas fitters must provide a Gas Compliance Certificate or Appliance Plate for all work excluding faults and servicing, which proves that it was completed by a licenced professional to meet certain standards of quality assurance.

To train as a gasfitter, completion of a Certificate III in Gasfitting is required. Once completed, the recipient will be allowed to work under the direct supervision of a fully qualified gas fitter. This course can be completed by any tradesperson that works within mechanical, electrical or any other fields where it is necessary to install and service reticulated gas supplies and Type A gas appliances. 

What is a gas plumber?

Before you hire a professional gas fitter, it’s important to understand that they’re not the same as plumbers. While they both may seem like similar jobs which both deal with pipes, plumbing and gas fittings are two completely different trades that have different training, qualification, and licencing requirements in order to carry out legal work within Australia.

That being said, it’s not uncommon to find contractors who are fully qualified to work on both plumbing and gas jobs. These tradesmen are known as gas plumbers as they decided to do additional gas fitting training and certification after they completed their plumbing apprenticeship. This is becoming more common because some plumbing jobs also require gas work to be completed as well, such as with the installation of gas hot water systems.

Gas Plumber duties include:

  • Pipe installation
  • Pipe disconnection
  • Pipe fitting
  • Pipe repair

It’s also important to realise that while some plumbers can and do offer gas fitting services to their customers, tradesmen who only have qualifications as gas fitters are not able to provide any plumbing services.  

Remember that all gas work in Australia, no matter how “safe” it may seem, must be completed by a fully licensed gas fitter. Working with gas is definitely not something anyone can DIY because of the obvious safety reasons. 

In order to obtain a full gas licence, the plumber must have worked under an interim gas licence for at least twelve months, as well as completed their Certificate IV in Plumbing.

How do you know if a fitter or plumber is licensed?

Unlicensed gas work is illegal across all states and territories, as well as being potentially unsafe. Gasfitting licensing regulations do differ between states, but the easiest way is to simply ask to see a tradesperson’s gasfitting card. 


For even more peace of mind, why not get a quick and easy quote for your plumbing and gasfitting needs from Houseace! We ensure that every tradesperson we choose to work with is fully licensed and insured, to further protect you and the success of your project.


Or, if you’re thinking of taking on a full renovation, get in touch with us here at houseace and let us help you! We can offer a fully managed service, walking you through every step and devising a detailed project plan to guarantee the best possible outcome. 


We also ensure you’ll get razor-sharp pricing, protect you from falling victim to hidden costs, and keep your renovation cost clear. Get an instant quote today!


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