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    Question for Timmie Mc... (14 Posts)

  • Mark Eatherton Mark Eatherton @ 11:33 PM
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    Question for Timmie Mc...

    Tim, A good friend of mine had to make an adjustment to the primary regulator on a natural gas system. A supervisor for the distributor chastised him and told him that touching the equipment upstream of the house connection (meter and pressure reg) was a FEDERAL OFFENSE...

    My friend is MORE than qualified to make minor pressure adjustments to gas regulators.

    Have you or anyone else ever heard of this being a federal offense? If so, I am in SERIOUS trouble...

    TIA

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Empire Empire @ 7:24 AM
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    Seal?

    If the regulator was sealed with the type of tamper proof seal the fuel companies use, You just admitted to tampering with others property.  BUT,.... If there was no seal, prove it.  Just because I told you does not make it true.  It is their property though.


    Mike T.
  • Mark Eatherton Mark Eatherton @ 9:04 AM
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    No seal....

    I asked. If we, as competent heating contractors are going to have to depend upon the local utility to make adjustments to the pressure reg's in order to bring these new, semper fussy high efficiency pieces of equipment in to compliance on the combustion side, there's going to be a WHOLE bunch of uncomfortable people (THEIR customers) out in the cold...

    Come to think of it, I've not seen a seal on a reg. in, FOREVER.

    Our local utilities here think that 5 to 7" W.C. is normal and adequate.

    Some Modcon manufacturers want to see around 11" WC.

    In this particular case, my friend determined that THEIR regulator was hanging up, causing a major drop in fuel pressure (down to 1"), causing the appliance to drop out on flame signal loss, and when he called the supervisor to tell him his findings, the super hit him with the claim of FEDERAL offense for touching their equipment...

    In my humble opinion, if their equipment is really that protected, they'd better start locking it up with some sort of shield device to avoid "unauthorized" tampering...

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Tim McElwain Tim McElwain @ 4:26 PM
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    Not sure if it is a Federal

    Offense or not but it is covered by the code. NFPA defines everything after the outlet of the gas meter as "point of delivery". Everything after that is owned by the customer and can be installed, adjusted etc by any licensed/qualified contractor. Anything ahead of that meter, regulator etc belongs to the fuel provider, gas company etc. On LP it is after the 2nd stage regulator that "point of delivery" takes place. So only the fuel provider can make adjustments to any thing ahead of that point.

    Keep in mind when you jack the pressure either on a 2nd stage regulator or a natural gas regulator you just boosted the pressure for every appliance in the building. There better be regulators on all of them or you just over fired a lot of appliances

    No one who is not authorized should be touching any of that unless for safety reasons to shut something off. Technically no none unless you are a utility/LP person should be turning on meters and especially regulators as you can damage the regulator if you do not turn it on correctly.
  • Mark Eatherton Mark Eatherton @ 5:30 PM
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    Thanks Tim...

    I will pass this on to my friend.

    Guess we'll have to start calling the utility for setting regs at 6" or 7" WC, like they do.

    With todays high efficiency equipment, the manufacturers want to see as much as 11" WC.

    Can you tell me why it is the utilities decided 6" or 7" was adequate? For an atmospheric appliance, I can see that working, but when the manufacturer demands 11" minimum, they mean 11" minimum, not 6' or 7".

    I know from field experience that most of the mod cons on the market can and will work on 7" gas, but in his particular case, when the appliance fired, the pressure dropped to 1", indicating a problem on their side. (Gas line was properly sized from meter to this load, and nothing else was on line during his observations. He simply adjusted it to 11" to see if he could overcome the drop to 1", and when he couldn't, he called the local utility purveyor, and thats when they jumped on his case about los federales...

    He thinks they ended up replacing the regulator, but didn't tell him, because its working fine now.

    Good to see your words my friend. Hope things are looking up for you.

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Tim McElwain Tim McElwain @ 6:58 PM
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    Mark who is asking for 11" w.c. on

    natural gas? I have been involved with utilities since 1960's and we always along with every other utility set the residential regulators to 6" w.c.. Here locally National Grid will only guarantee you 5" w.c. at the outlet of the meter.

    With most Mod/Cons using negative pressure valves they are much more forgiving as to inlet pressure so I am a little surprised that some are looking for 11" w.c. that is what the second stage regs give on LP but I have never seen a regulated natural gas system much above 7" w.c.

    I always encouraged contractors on residential pipe sizing to use 1" pipe as a minimum on heating just to insure some manifold volume of gas especially when they first fire up.

    If I was looking at the need for 11" then I would ask the utility for 2 pounds pressure and then use a Maxitrol pounds to inches regulator at a manifold as close to the heating appliance as I could get.

    Thanks for asking, I am still struggling with small numbers signing up for classes and people not paying me on time. Thank goodness for my night classes for the state license or I would shut everything down. I am working on some things but every thing you want to do cost money and getting loans from banks is just not happening today. I have faith the good Lord will provide as he always has. These are just tough times.
    This post was edited by an admin on November 17, 2012 7:02 PM.
  • BobC BobC @ 8:25 AM
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    Just south of Boston

    I just had a Smith G8 installed in early October and was told the inlet pressure to the EZ-Gas is 9" and the outlet 3.5". The gas main on my street was replaced about 4 years back when they did the sewer and water lines. The gas meter itself was replaced last year on the regular gas company swap out schedule.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @76,700 BTU, Single pipe steam


    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in


    3PSI gauge
  • Tim McElwain Tim McElwain @ 2:04 PM
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    You are probably

    in an area with the old cast iron main low pressure system. This system does not have nor does it need a regulator. The pressure in the main is what you get at your equipment and it varies in good weather from say 7 to 10 inches w.c. In some areas of Boston there may be times when it drops as low as 4" w.c. or lower depending on your location and how cold the weather is (increased demand will lower pressure)

    Low pressure inner city cast iron main systems are different than outlying high pressure systems with pressures in those areas as high as 90 to 100 lbs pressure in the mains which is then reduced to 6 or 7 inches w.c. at the pounds to inches regulator at the meter.
  • Mark Eatherton Mark Eatherton @ 9:29 PM
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    Camus for one...

    And I've seen others from North of the border that would like to see the same. Probably overkill, but a requirement just the same.

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Daddywarbuckss Daddywarbuckss @ 4:25 PM
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    I had the same problem

    I had the same problem with a 70k BTU natural gas boiler. There was water in the gas line between the street and the meter/regulator. The pressure would measure 6" when static, but as soon as you had a larger demand for gas, it would immediately go to 1" or less because the water created a restriction in the line. Just a thought.
  • Mark Eatherton Mark Eatherton @ 11:06 PM
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    Are you in Denvr.

    I know for a fact that the were recent reports of water in the local utility gas lines. Not sure if they ever found where it was getting in or not. Probably a p.o.'d plumber who set up a cross connect between this water and his gas before he left his foreclosed home....

    This was a relatively new install near Breckenridge Colo.

    My friend suspected a bad regulator, and thinks they replaced it without telling him so.

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Plumdog Plumdog @ 7:18 AM
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    This one time......at the science lab....

    Some kids used a latex rubber hose to connect the water to the gas, then turned them both on, and left them on for an entire 2-hour lab class. After awhile the gas trains on the big boilers had water in them....
  • SWEI SWEI @ 10:32 AM
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    science lab

    50+ PSI versus a few inches of water column.  Oh my...
  • Jean-David Beyer Jean-David Beyer @ 12:17 PM
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    The b@$tards in my college chem lab...

    ...hooked the gas and the compressed air lines to a T fitting, and the mixture to the vacuum line. The then heated the thing with a bunsen burner and had fire raging down the vacuum line.

    To make matters worse, they got lots of air into the gas line. That is when I came to the lab to do a lab assignment. I failed completely because there was so much air in the gas line I could not get the bunsen burner to work. I hated that school. We called it No-Cal Tech.
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