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Paul_69 Member Posts: 251
What do ineed to know about servicing lp gas heating systems , work on natural gas but have nit seen but a few lp units.


  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,181
    The typical LP system has a large tank where the pressure is high, could easily be above 200psi depending upon outdoor temp. There is a first stage regulator there that steps the pressure down to 10 psi in the underground piping. When it reaches the bldg., another regulator steps it down to 11-12 inches of water column. If there's an upright bottle(s), then there's usually only one regulator at the tank that reduces the pressure to 11-12" w.c. The LP provider usually takes care of everything up to this point.

    From there to everything inside can be serviced by the LP co. or by a licensed tech. Other than being smaller in diameter, the distribution ping is essentially the same.

    On the appliance end, most atmospheric heating appliances will run a 10" w.c. manifold on high fire, but that needs to be confirmed by the LP conversion tag.

    LP burners are more touchy than natural and correct supply and manifold pressures are essential. Any mod/con boiler must be setup with a digital combustion analyzer. This is true for natural, but again, LP is less tolerant.

    Of course, LP is heavier than air, so if there's a leak, it stays close to floor level which makes it more likely to come in contact with a source of ignition.

    Tim McElwain has some excellent manuals. I suggest you click on his name above and email for more info.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,798
    The biggest difference for LP vs NG is how much your insurance agent frowns or perks at the words...Propane....LP....LPG. Most say you really DON'T work on much propane DO you? The policy states "limited work on LPG". Other contractors have mentioned this concern.

    I would run this past your insurance agent. I might get near 1 or 2 LP systems per year. What happens elsewhere? The LP companies must have policies with deep pockets as they end up in court even if they never go in the house.
  • Paul_69
    Paul_69 Member Posts: 251
    Thanks for the great replys.what do you mean bob by licensed tech..? In mass. You dont have to be licensed to service natural gas unless doing gas piping and venting.need license to service lp in mass? Thx paul
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    If you are a licensed Plumber by the State Board of Plumbing and Gas Examiner's board, you are licensed as a plumber doing gas fitting. You can be licensed as a Massachusetts Gas Fitter but you can not do plumbing. Either can do LP gas work. They have a separate LP Gas Installers license where you can only do LP gas piping.

    Basically, if you are a Massachusetts licensed Journeyman Plumber of gas fitter, you can install LP gas piping and appliances to your hearts content.

    As far as actual day to day service, I think the Board considers that as "being engaged in the business of gas". And you need a license or be under the supervision of a licensed gas fitter or master Plumber of gas fitter.

    The LPG installers all had to spend the same 3 hours on gas that we plumbers had to. They just left after 3 hours. We had to stay for an additional 3 hours for plumbing.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    Contact me at [email protected] or call me at 401-437-0557 and I will help you out with your question on LP.