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Gas Issues

Brandon Whitmore

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I was called out to figure out a gas odor in a garage today. I found & fixed 4 small leaks in the garage, but don't believe that what the customer smelled was from them, because there wasn't any history of recent pipe work.

After fixing the leaks, I walked out and found this:

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This meter and 3/4'' house line is rated at about 200,000 btu's, while there was a load of over 500k btu's in the home. I'm pretty sure the issue was from pressure drop/ delayed ignition when all equpment kicked on, but didn't confirm before changing out the meter.

Just something else to watch out for-- extremely undersized meters, which is common.

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At what point do you decide that it's better to just switch to a 2 psi system?

I don't think that the guys who piped this meter are smart enough to do a 2# set .........

We have no set standard for when 2# is required, although if a generator is installed on the property, they typically have to, due to the appliance reg. pressure requirements.

We try to stick with a max. 630 meter on residential sets, so if someone has a load of 6+ therms, they'll be pushed to go to a 2# set.

Ideally, contractors just make the smart choice to go with 2# sets so they can save some money.

I don't think that much of the piping in this example would have come close to passing the 60# pressure test required for 2#. That, and the meter on this one would still be undersized for 2#.

I recommend a 2# set when I find undersized houseline. For example, when someone switches over to a tankless water heater, or when loads are added.

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