Gas fire replacement with electric

We currently have an ordinary gasfire hanging off the wall (no chimney breast just a flat adjoining plasterboard wall), with no surround or hearth.
We'd like to go for an electric fire & surround, which requires relatively straightforward installation.
The only problem is the removal of the fire and disconnection of the gas pipe feeding it.
If necessary I will get a Gorgi fitter to do this, but he will probably charge a ton for what I see as a ten minute job.
Is it really that difficult to block off a gaspipe myself,(having taken all the usual precautions beforehand ie. temporarily shut off gas supply, leave windows open, working in natural light etc)?
Any help would be appreciated
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I can't advise you on what you ought to do, or what is "safe", but removing two gas fires in my house and sealing the gas supply pipes was unbelievably easy.
I turned the gas off at the meter, then undid the compression joints on the supply pipes to the gas fires ( the small diameter pipe, as the gas enters the gas fires, above the floorboards ). With the fires disconnected, I then turned my attention to the remaining chromed gas supply elbow joints, one each per fire, projecting just above the floor.
I undid the slotted screw on the top of each elbow joint, revealing another slotted grub screw inside the elbow joint. I screwed this down until it wouldn't travel any further, then replaced the chromed top screw.
This shut off the gas completely, as when I turned on the gas again, a leak test with soapy water on the open end of the elbow joints revealed no leaks.
Job done, took no time at all. If you get it wrong and your house burns down, then I guess you won't be insured, but if you're not totally incompetent it's an eeeaassy job!
I expect lawyers would say that it would be necessary to carry out formal leak tests as per Ed Sirrett's ( of this group ) gas FAQ. Then you should consult his faq, but broadly speaking it says to pressurise the gas pipes with gas to 20mbar via the main gas valve, then turn the gas off and look for any change in pressure over a few minutes ( measured with a u-tube manometer, ( water-filled, easy to make )). If none then repeat the process at say 10mbar in case in the first test a leak past the main gas valve exactly cancelled a leak from your newly capped elbows. There is a nipple on the meter almost tailor-made for this test.
If you wish to cap off your underfloor gas pipes ( probably galvanised iron, about 1&3/4 inch diameter ), then that involves ptfe tape or liquid ptfe( Loctite 572 is it? ) for sealing the threads, and an end cap. It'll all need leak testing as above, if you wish to follow the letter of the law, unless you decide that soapy water alone is good enough ( you can buy the pukka leak testing liquid in an aerosol, I obtained mine from an industry friend ).
My understanding of the regulations, based entirely upon hearsay, is that you can do all this stuff yourself if you are a "competent person". If you screw up then obviously you are not a competent person.
One more thing, if you have a pipe open for more than a second or two, even when the gas is turned off, air can get into that pipe and form a potentially explosive mixture. It might be an idea to purge those pipes ( and the meter ) somehow before turning on any appliances. The other thing is that if you are handling an open gas pipe with a potential gas/air mixture inside, a spark could ignite the mixture. In our damp climate this is unlikely in winter, but it might be an idea to keep things grounded ( tied together electrically ), including yourself ( grab hold of a gas pipe away from its open end to equalise your potential with it and avoid a possible spark near an explosive gas/air mix ). All highly theoretical stuff, but better to at least consider these things, rather than be ignorant of the possibilities.
btw I am a complete amateur!
Andy
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WOW!
Thanks for the detailed but very informative reply, Andy!
Even though I consider myself ok with most DIY jobs, I think there are too many risk factors with something as invisible as gas. Sealing pipes is one thing but I would always be thinking to myself is there a possibility of a leak no matter how small or faint.
I think I'll go fo the Gorgi man and fork out the 100 but feel reassured a professional is on the job and that I would have some legal recourse if anything went TU. But thanks for the help, Andy. Cheers!
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Ford Popeye wrote on Sunday (25/01/2004) :

Competent prices do not always produce a competent and safe job.
My parents once had British Gas install a water heater for them. The fitter used chrome plated pipe, but failed to clean the chrome off before attempting to solder them. It resulted in several leaking joints and pipes held together with nothing more than the stickiness of the flux.
--

Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (Lap)
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Harry Bloomfield retched Gas fire replacement with electric onto my recliner:

What the hell is a "competent price"?

Please, not before the watershed!
--

Phil K.

http://philkyle2003.reachme.at /
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