Convenience outlets allow homeowners flexibility when using natural gas.
Outdoor areas designed for entertaining are finding their way onto must-have lists for more homeowners. If your home doesn’t have an outdoor kitchen, spa or cozy seating area yet, you no doubt can envision the possibilities that outdoor entertaining represents. One way to turn that vision into reality on a patio or deck is by using an approved convenience gas outlet – a relatively new innovation to the natural gas industry that ensures a steady supply of gas to fuel grills, patio heaters, tiki torches, fire pits and other devices that run on natural gas.
Much as an outside water faucet can be turned on by a knob, and an outdoor electrical outlet provides power for electric appliances, a gas convenience outlet provides natural gas when it’s needed. For additional convenience, safety and – quite frankly – just to look better, there are now easy-to-use gas outlets available for outdoor and indoor use. These gas outlets can be recessed or mounted on a wall.
A gas convenience outlet provides the same flexibility as an electrical outlet, say Hoss Budde, president of Burnaby Manufacturing Ltd. “With a gas convenience outlet, you can plug directly into your home’s natural gas supply without having to worry about lugging a propane tank around.” “This device is available in a single or double outlet, so you can run two natural-gas- fuelled devices, such as a grill and patio heater, at the same time.”
Safety features include built-in thermal protection to prevent gas flow if the outlet is exposed to temperatures in excess of 300 degrees Fahrenheit (149 degrees Celsius), and manual on/off and automatic shut-off valves with safety interlocks to prevent connection or disconnection of a gas appliance when the outlet is in the “on” position.
Lengths of flexible hose up to 10 feet allow homeowners to move the outdoor event to where it’s most appropriate. “They’re easy to hook up, easy to swap out, and with long flexible hoses, the homeowner doesn’t have to worry about running out of gas.” “Most contractors will install a gas convenience outlet on one or two sides of the house where they think the homeowner will use them the most. And with the option of a flexible gas pipe, there aren’t too many places where a homeowner can’t bring the warmth of a natural gas fire or cook something up on the grill.”
The gas convenience outlet is design-certified by a nationally recognized testing agency, such as CSA or IAPMO, and complies with American and Canadian gas code standards. There are multiple models of approved gas convenience outlets to accommodate different natural gas setups and finish options, including PVC and stainless steel finishes, double outlets and outlets with regulators for systems with elevated gas pressures.
Consult a plumber or gas contractor about installation of a gas convenience outlet or talk to your builder for new construction.