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Question

Mpj
Mpj Member Posts: 109
<ol><li><span style="font-size:16pt">Went to a job today to relocate a 3/4" gas pipe for a new cook top (55,200 btu's) which was replacing and old one (30,000 btu's). When looking over the entire incoming gas main I found the main to be over sized (a good thing) but the pipe supplying the new cook top undersized by a lot (somebody added a furnace and fireplace to the 3/4").</span></li><li><span style="font-size:16pt">The pipe needs to be upgraded to supply the proper load, gave a price to do the work.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:16pt">Homeowner did not want to pay the "extra", he said he would wait and see if the cook top would properly. I gave the reasons to upgrade, but it fell on def ears.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:16pt">After speaking with the Mrs, she told me the old cook top never seemed to work properly (long time to cook anything).</span></li><li><span style="font-size:16pt">I extended the pipe checked for leaks and went on my way.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:16pt">Gas meter is a "250 cfm" house load is about 357,000 btu's.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:16pt">What would you guys do if homeowner does not want to pay for the upgrade?</span></li><li><span style="font-size:16pt">The contractor gave a price without knowing about the gas piping

</span></li></ol>

Comments

  • plumber021
    plumber021 Member Posts: 1
    under sized gas line

    I work for the gas company and I see a lot of under sized gas piping. You say the load is 375,000 btu's and the gas meter is "250 cfm" What you can try is to increase the pressure at the regulator outside at the gas meter from 7" wc to 9" wc . This sometimes help with under sized piping. Also you can call the gas company and have the meter increased to a 400 cfm gas meter. By increasing the gas meter it will help with the flow of gas coming into the home. We know that the line is not big enough to handle the load but, If the customer does not want to spend the money to do the job right then they will have to live with what they have now. I hope this helped you.
  • furnacefigher15
    furnacefigher15 Member Posts: 514
    CYA

    All you can do is lay out your recommendations based on your calculations in writing. Have them sign off that they declined the upgrade, and assume responsibility for any shortcomings.



    If the home owner does not want it fixed, then it's on them, when the furnace doesn't run right on thanksgiving day.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,244
    This is why permits and inspections

    are called for. It is not you it is the code that calls for this. Red tags also get their attention. In Mass red tags mean it is shut off until brought to code requirements by a licensed professionel.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Mpj
    Mpj Member Posts: 109
    Gas

    Thanks for your replies

    I would have the gas company come and raise the pressure but the line for cook top is way under sized and I don't think it would make a difference. As for the meter the gas company wants a pressure test certificate from the Town. Which again cost $$.

    I just did not feel right leaving the job the way it was, just ranting I guess.

     As for the red flags, I understand that permits are the way to go but the contractor did not want to go that route. I don't want to loose this contractor, we do a lot of work for them. It seems like business politics gets in the way.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Are you kidding?

    Do you have a license? Did you take out a permit? Does the "Contractor" have a gas installers license and did HE take out a permit? Are you working for him and putting your liability in his hands where you have the liability and he gets to call the shots?

    Who is this "Contractor" and what special training does HE have to make a decision like this? I would be asking the gas inspector for an exemption for the undersized piping because the "contractor" doesn't want to pay for it. Get the AHJ to kiss and bless it. Have Mr. Contractor go and get the waiver for the piping. Where I work, he will be laughed out of the office.

    In Massachusetts today, if you decide that you want to be a plumber/gas fitter, you go to work for a licensed Master Plumber and be paid above the table, for five years, 250 days per year (full time) with tax records. During that time, you need 100 hours of applied schooling per year (500 hours total) with an instructor approved by the Department of Education. No exceptions. THEN, you can take your exams. After all that, you will let some PA "contractor" tell you how to do your job?

    This is a joke. Code regulations are written for a reason.

    The owner and contractor don't get to call the shots. The AHJ and codes do.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,434
    Did you check the pressure?

    Obviously the right thing to do is to bring it to code. I am curious how the existing set up is working in the real world. If you turn on all the loads does the pressure drop?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    I would

    rather have the contractor mad at me for doing it right, compared to him pointing his finger at me when doing it wrong causes a problem.....
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,556
    I am definitely going to

    chime in on this. A lot of advice being given here which is somewhat correct and in some cases dead wrong.Time right now does not permit me to go at length on this. I am on my way out the door my daughter is coaching the Barrington RI high school girls team to the state championships today and tomorrow, I will get back to this posting.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Contractors:

    A contractor taking the blame for telling a sub to do something that the sub said was wrong and it was? That sounds like the guy who thought he was wrong. Then, he came to find out he was right. So, he still was never wront.

    Is that an oxymoron?
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,556
    edited March 2012
    Here is my take on this

    1. Went to a job today to relocate a 3/4" gas pipe for a new cook top (55,200 btu's) which was replacing and old one (30,000 btu's). When looking over the entire incoming gas main I found the main to be over sized (a good thing) but the pipe supplying the new cook top undersized by a lot (somebody added a furnace and fireplace to the 3/4").





    Schedule 40 black pipe inlet pressure less than 2 PSI with an allowable loss of 0.3” W.C.

    ¾ “ 10 feet long          273,000 BTU’s

           20 feet long          188,000 BTU’s

           30 feet long          151,000 BTU’s

           40 feet long          129,000 BTU’s

           50 feet long          114,000 BTU’s

     

     

    2.The pipe needs to be upgraded to supply the proper load, gave a price to do the work.

    3. Homeowner did not want to pay the "extra", he said he would wait and see if the cook top would cook properly. I gave the reasons to upgrade, but it fell on deaf ears.

    4. After speaking with the Mrs, she told me the old cook top never seemed to work properly (long time to cook anything).





    Did you check the gas pressure







    5. I extended the pipe checked for leaks and went on my way.







    Not quite sure what you mean you extended the pipe????

     

    6.                                

    7. Gas meter is a "250 cfm" house load is about 357,000 btu's.





     

    The meter is undersized for the BTU load a 250 meter will  only pass around 250,000 BTU’s







    8. What would you guys do if homeowner does not want to pay for the upgrade?

    9.The contractor gave a price without knowing about the gas piping

     



    I work for the gas company and I see a lot of under sized gas piping. You say the load is 375,000 btu's and the gas meter is "250 cfm"· 

      

    Not sure what gas company you work for but you should know the meter is undersized. Increasing gas pressure is not the answer.·  

                                   

    What you can try is to increase the pressure at the regulator outside at the gas meter from 7" wc to 9" wc . This sometimes help with under sized piping.·                                  ·                                



    No contractor should be touching the house regulator to increase the pressure. The solution is to run the correct size gas line to the equipment. A test should be run on this system with all the equipment running to see what is happeneing to the gas pressure.·                                  ·                                  





    Also you can call the gas company and have the meter increased to a 400 cfm gas meter. By increasing the gas meter it will help with the flow of gas coming into the home. We know that the line is not big enough to handle the load but, If the customer does not want to spend the money to do the job right then they will have to live with what they have now. I hope this helped you. 



    Was a combustion test run on the furnace and the fireplace along with any other equipment. Poor pressure to equipment will cause problems with proper ignition resulting in “delayed Ignitions”. Along with increased levels of CO at the cooking range due to a delay in heating up the utensils when cooking.





     In the final analysis the equipment if not safe should be shut down and “red tagged” and a registered letter sent to the customer advising of them of what exactly should be done.
  • Mpj
    Mpj Member Posts: 109
    Gas

    Icesailor and Lchmb,

    I get the point about the permits and inspections, this job was sprung on me last minute.

    I know I could have or should walked away from this situation and advised the powers at be about the problem, but I did not (I know next time I will).

    As for the contractor I'm working for , I hate to bite the hand that feeds me (I sure you have in this spot at one time in your career).

    Tim,

    #1 I did not check the incoming gas pressure.

    #2 I extended the cook top piping 10'

    #3 I know the gas meter will not pass more than 250,000 buts

    #4 To the best of my knowledge there never was a combustion test done.
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