I am thinking about putting in a natural gas powered generator. The best
place for it happens to be a few feet away from the gas meter, which I
thought was great because it would make the plumbing so simple.
But someone told me that I can't do that. I have to take it off the gas
line after it enters the house, which means a lot more work and another hole
in the wall.
Anyone know about this? Thanks.
Why do you say that?
Closing the valve at the meter
Opening the union by the meter
Replacing an elbow with a T
Closing the union by the T
Putting a union after the T
Running a line to the generator.
It seems comparable to changing a gas water heater. Am I overlooking
If so, I would be most grateful if you could fill me in.
Yes, if you screw up any one of the steps you risk blowing up your
house, your family, and possibly one or more neighbors. To most people,
the small amount of money to be saved is just not worth the risk.
Oh come on; a water heater is much more dangerous in this respect, but I
can't remember ever reading about a house blowing up from someone putting in
their own water heater. Sure, it probably happens somewhere in the US each
year out of the 5,000,000 installations; but it is sure to be someone who
saw it done on television and throught that was enough.
And it would be most extraordinary for a gas leak to blow up outside; unless
maybe the pipe just fell off.
When I switched from electric to gas water heater, I bought the entire
package from the gas company. There was already gas piping in the house, but
it had been unused for 30+ years. The gas company sent a private plumber to
the house who did the actual removal of the old tank and installation of the
new tank, then had to call the gas company to install a meter. NO ONE did a
pressure test, although the gas company did do leak tests at every joint,
and they were the ones who fired up the water heater.
You should NOT have to run a separate gas line into the house for the
generator as long as the existing one can handle the capacity. You may have
to get a new meter to handle the increased gas flow. I considered getting a
second meter in the house until I was told that meant a second service
charge as well, so I just opted for the larger meter, which cost me nothing.
I had problems getting plumbers to come quote the job of running about 40
feet of gas pipe. Out of 9 that were called, three showed up, and only two
gave me quotes, both over $1000. In desperation I called the gas company and
they gave me the name of a private plumber who did a lot of work for them.
He came the next day, gave me a quote right there, and had the job almost
done in one day using flexible stainless steel gas line. Still cost me $750
but he took out a permit, pressurized the line, had it inspected, and did
all the connections.
I guess I'm just lucky, but pipe doesn't cost much and labor
isn't that high. When I had my electric furnace and water
heater replaced with gas appliances, most of the work was in
fitting the furnace, cutting airways, fitting flues, and
hooking up to the main plenum. Several people were working,
but only one guy was under the house to run the pipe from
the meter to the furnace, with minutes of help from others.
It was about 40 feet and took him, not more than 3 hours. I
would guess out of the entire installation that gas piping
cost less than $60 and labor at $50hour would make it about
$210. If I had had to pay $1000 for the gas line, and
$50/hour for the rest of the installation, there wouldn't
have been much left for the furnace, water heater, and
Sorry I was being a bit facetious, because I think that it
is not pressure tested, but it is a leak test. In a
pressure test you raise the pressure to a certain point to
make sure that the components don't fail (blow apart). In a
leak test you just put in the normal operating pressure and
then determine if the system hold that pressure for a
certain period. Am I not right?
Its a leak test, using pressure. We call it the leak down test.
The guage we use goes to 30PSI and various inspectors will want 20PSI for 20
minutes, or no more than a 5 PSI leakdown in 30 minutes from 30...or hold
even 15 PSI for 20 minutes..etc...
Its only checked from the point of entry to the home, with all terminations
capped off..or, if its existing, with additions, the service valves closed
at the appliances.
It isn't really pressure testing. It is leak testing. Put
in a pressure gage at the end of the line, turn on the gas,
let it stabilize, note the pressure, turn off the gas, and
see how much pressure is lost over a 10-15 minute period.
Don't know what the minimum standard is, but when I had my
gas lines installed, the pressure was the same at the end of
15 minutes as it was at the beginning, so the guy left it
for another 15 minutes and it still hadn't changed. End of
Greg O wrote:
If I add gas line it gets a pressure test, period!
If I change out a gas valve it will always get a soap bubble test. Often you
can get a leak that will not show up with bubbles, some how the leak just
blows the solution away instead of forming bubbles.
The only sure way to test is to pressurize the line with air and wait to see
if the pressure drops.
This is not something you want to take a chace with!
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