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What damage has 2psi done to my furnaces and other appliances

micarr02
micarr02 Member Posts: 3
Experts,

I am a remodeling contractor and HVAC is my weakest area of knowledge when it comes to building a home. We just completed a new home project about 2 months ago which has 2psi gas coming to the house. Well apparently no one notice (including myself) and the 2 furnaces, hot water heater, and range were all installed without a Maxitrol (spelling?). The only reason i know this is the owner called today and told me both there units were not working properly and the range didn't seem to have a good flame anymore. i called the gas company thinking it was a pressure issue and when they came out they notices we were feeding the whole house with 2psi and not Maxitrols on any of the appliances. So they turned off the meter and my plumber was out this afternoon to install them. the gas company came back out and turned the gas back on this evening. All the appliances fired right up and seem to be functioning properly.

My question for you guys is....knowing that the units have been operating this way for 2 months or so, is it likely there has been permanent damage caused and is there anything specific i should make the plumber replace such as the gas control valves?

Comments

  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,554
    The gas valves are only rated for 1/2 psi inlet pressure - max. They should be replaced and the appliances thoroughly evaluated by a licensed HVAC tech. Manifold pressures should be set to manufacturer's specs.
    Who installed the appliances? They should have discovered the 2 psi system immediately upon start up, if not much sooner.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    Jean-David Beyer
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    Check with the manufacturer (gas valve)...worst case it will be cheaper to replace a couple valves than replace a life...btw, you mentioned the valves worked fine for 2 months and then things went sour..I'd replace them...
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,967
    Wow, no one checked the pressure when everything was hooked up!?

    That's scary.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • LPGasman
    LPGasman Member Posts: 18
    I've seen it happen before with no damage to the gas valves but you probably should err on cautions side and replace them. The gas installer probably didn't see the 2 psi Reg had a white cap on it unless it was a Reg which is bright blue. Don't know how you could miss that
  • micarr02
    micarr02 Member Posts: 3
    I thought it was odd that everything worked fine for so long and all of a sudden both furnaces and the range started acting up.

    So it sounds like the best course of action is to replace all the control valves on all the appliances that received the 2psi pressure. Is there anything else the HVAC guy should check over to make sure there wasn't any additional damage?
  • micarr02
    micarr02 Member Posts: 3
    Oh, one other thing. The house is all steel pipe with no manifold. basically the pipe enters the house right after the meter and gradually reduces in size as it T's off for the different appliances. so the plumber put a maxitrol regulator outside right next to the meter rather than putting one at each appliance. Is this best practice?
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,967
    The only reason buildings run at 2 psi is when the piping is sized to small to run low pressure.
    Sometimes it is a remodel and the existing pipes can't handle the increased load, on commercial stuff it doesn't make sense to install a really huge main so you go with higher pressure.
    If the piping in the home is sized to run low pressure, the gas company should swap out their regulator rather than have the plumber install one at the meter.
    This whole thing sounds like a mistake made between the builder and the gas company.
    As far as the regulators being damaged, I would think tha manufacture of the regulator could give you the best info.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,480
    This needs a complete overhaul. The Maxitrol regulator can't be installed outside for one thing right up front. The piping was probably sized for a Hybrid piping set up so it is undersized for all the equipment. What are the numbers of all the gas valves in the house, water heater, dryer, range and heating system. Give me those and I will tell you if you need to replace them. Some can take higher pressures some can't.

    If this equipment has been running it is possibly all sooted up and you have been making Carbon Monoxide. CO is deadly so do not run any of this equipment until it has been checked by a gas equipment expert who has a combustion analyzer and knows how to use it..

    Now let me scare the you know what out of you, you are or somebody is liable. That being said I would find the local gas expert (typically not the gas company) and hire them to come in and get everything tested. All equipment should have a combustion test run and documented in case of a law suit later. Make sure you keep good notes. This is from me to you to keep you out of trouble and I am a registered expert for court cases for gas issues with over 50 years in the gas business.
    ChrisJMark EathertonIronmanZman
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,967
    Scaring the you know what out of someone is nothing compared to what the mortician will do.



    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Where I live, the gas company places a pressure regulator, set to around 7 inches of water pressure just before the gas meter. (The gas from the street is 50 psi, so it would be easy to notice a problem if there were no regulator.)

    If for some reason you need 2 psi in your house, surely the inspector would notice the lack of 7-inch regulators to the appliances, boilers, etc. Unless your inspectors are as stupid as some of mine.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,967

    Where I live, the gas company places a pressure regulator, set to around 7 inches of water pressure just before the gas meter. (The gas from the street is 50 psi, so it would be easy to notice a problem if there were no regulator.)

    If for some reason you need 2 psi in your house, surely the inspector would notice the lack of 7-inch regulators to the appliances, boilers, etc. Unless your inspectors are as stupid as some of mine.

    Sounds like how they do it where I am though they do 6"WC. The guy from the gas go told me the 1/2" incoming line was 50 PSI though. I was surprised, I knew it was high but I had no idea it was that high. I thought 5 PSI at the most.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    Isn't it , out of the ordinary, for a gas company to run 2lb into a home without a specific request? This is a new home?