Take care when buying gas appliances online. Check for a supplier declaration of compliance, a safety compliance label, and ask yourself or the trader some simple questions about the appliance.
With a few exceptions, all gas appliances less than ten years old must have a supplier declaration of compliance (SDoC) in the gas appliance supplier declaration database(external link).
Appliances sold under the certification requirements of the 2010 regulations must also carry a safety compliance label. A licensed gasfitter will not install an appliance that is not compliant and does not have either the compliance label or an SDoC.
Here are five questions to ask yourself or the online trader before buying a gas appliance online. The answers will warn you that the appliance may be unsafe or unsuitable for use in New Zealand.
- What is the make and model?
Look it up on the SDoC database.
- Who is the New Zealand importer?
Is it the same as that on the SDoC? Is the importer listed on database? If not, do not buy. While it may have the same make and model as the New Zealand declared appliance, it may not be configured for New Zealand gases.
- If it is an LPG appliance, has the appliance been tested for New Zealand LPG?
Imported 'LPG' appliances may only be certified for propane whereas New Zealand LPG is a mixture of propane and butane. An appliance will not operate safely on the wrong gas mixture.
- Does the appliance come with installation and user instructions in English?
If not, do not buy. Ask for a copy before you purchase.
- Where is the seller located?
Not all '.co.nz' Internet sites are in New Zealand. If they are not in New Zealand, you are not protected by New Zealand law.
The Consumer Protection website(external link) has more information about your rights as a consumer.
Avoid buying second-hand gas appliances online because there is no reliable way of determining the safety of a second-hand appliance purchased through the internet. A trader cannot sell a second hand appliance 'as is'. They must ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, that it is safe.
Remember to keep all records of your purchase.