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High pressure meter (5lb) and appropriate sized regulators

We were told we needed a high pressure meter (5lb) when installing a pool heater at our home. We have three gas ac/heating units, two gas logs, a cooktop, gas dryer, and a grill also using gas. The problem arose when there was a conflict between the gas company and the plumber. The plumber installed 2 lbs regulators, the gas company refused to turn gas back on unless 5lb regulators were installed. We have been without gas service for two days while they argue it out. The plumber is now trying to charge us for overtime and extra materials and laabor for what appears to be their poor judgement. The plumber claims that the gas company guy told him he would "tamper it down" coming from the meter, so was ok to go ahead and use 2lb regulators. The gas company denies this. Any knowledge of proper procedure in this instance?


  • Intplm.Intplm. Member Posts: 1,135
    Well. The plumber should defer to the gas supplier. Gas is measured by a unit of measurement called "inches of water column." The plumber can install all the piping as required by the GAS company and the mechanical code, but should take the advice of your gas supplier.
    BTU requirements are also measured for all of the appliances for supply pipe size and regulator sizes/meters.
    This should be a cooperative situation and not leave you without gas. Leaving you without is unacceptable.
    Have the gas company correct your problems as they require. Your safety is the most important thing .
  • harmonybunnyharmonybunny Member Posts: 5
    Thank you so much. The plumber and his boss, who is the company owner, are due to show up first thing in the morning, so am hoping this can be resolved. Their argument is that 2lb regulators are sufficient, so they are not responsible for the cost of replacing them with the five lbs ones - we are. And we are also responsible for two days labor for installing both sizes in their view. So we will see, but thank you for your advice.
  • Intplm.Intplm. Member Posts: 1,135
    They should be taking measurements with the appropriate instrumentation. This is very important. They should also be sizing the gas supply piping, regulator and meter to the requirements of your home.
    Both the plumber and the gas supplier should no this.
  • lchmblchmb Member Posts: 2,985
    whether the regulator is sufficient isnt the question. If the supplier wants 5lbs through the meter, one would think the plumber would be prepared for that. Did you advise the plumber of the gas company request? If so, and they chose not to, in my opinion it's on them.
    My question is, are they just running 5lbs through the meter and then using a second regulator to supply working pressure to the house or are they adding maxitrols at all appliances?
  • ratioratio Member Posts: 2,349
    I just replaced two 2# regulators that were installed on a 5# system. The diaphragm one one blew & put the full 5# on the gas valve. Fortunately, the gas valve failed closed & the building didn't blow up or anything.

    Seems to me that the incorrect regulators aren't your fault & you chouldn't have to pay for them, or the labor to install & remove them. The plumber should talk to the guy who (incorrectly, it would seem) told him to use an under-specified regulator.

  • harmonybunnyharmonybunny Member Posts: 5
    thanks for all the remarks. In answer to some of your questions - they are installing regulators at each appliance, the 5lb is coming thru the meter. I think that the plumber wanted the gas company to install a second regulator to reduce pressure to whole house, but they were not agreeable to this. And yes, the plumber knew this in advance, and decided to go ahead with the 2lb regulators anyway.
  • harmonybunnyharmonybunny Member Posts: 5
    Another issue is that the plumber and the gas company guy went to high school together and it seems to be a power struggle/respect issue. And now it is really one's word against the other re whether or not the gas guy said he would "tamper the gas down" so the plumber could use the two lb regulators. However, it appears the gas company guy did not say this, and actually there have been a couple of them who all say the same thing re needing the 5lb regulators. And yes, thank you to all of you who mention safety - I am really concerned about that, and now am questioning whether to trust the work of the plumber overall, even if he has now installed the 5lb regulators.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 6,945

    There isn't a straight answer to your question. This varies by location and by the gas utility.

    It's up to the plumber to get the correct information from the gas supplier before he starts the job, Maybe the gas co gave him the wrong information. The plumber has no reason to do it wrong
  • harmonybunnyharmonybunny Member Posts: 5
    i know, that is what makes no sense (why the plumber would go against the advise of the gas company). Unless was cheaper and he thought it would not be noticed? On the other hand, it also doesnt make sense why the gas company would tell him it was ok to use the 2lb regulators, and then turn around two hours later and say no. It also turns out the plumber began installing the regulators before the gas company got there.
    But you are correct, there is no straight answer to my question, and that is what i was hoping for! :)
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