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Thread: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

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    Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    We just put in a new pool in January. So when we were building this pool our pool company told us that we needed to change our gas meter to a 2lb meter to accomedate our pool heater and our gas firepit. Our pool is ~ 23k. The pool co. told us they rec. all their customers do this so there is enough pressure to heat pool/spa and firepit (he went into detail about our furnace being damaged, etc..). We were told we would have to pay extra for this meter to be changed and installed. We paid $350 for this. Just got my first gas bill and I am being charged extra just to have this meter. It's called a combined pressure factor at a rate of 1.14020 per CCF. Anyone heard of this? I am beyond mad. Centerpoint claims my pool company should have disclosed these extra fees. My pool contractor says he has never heard of such a thing and has had customers upgrade for past 15 yrs. Centerpoint claims their rep. would have spoken to our contractor to decide what type meter would be put in. My contractor says he has never - ever spoken to anyone about the meters. There is alot of finger pointing going on. So in addition to the large sum of $ to get this meter put in, I am going to have to pay an extra fee per month which will result in hundreds of dollars each year. Thoughts? Anyone heard of this or dealt with this? I have no idea where to go from here. Thanks
    ~Andrea

    24,000 IG with spa and 4 ton waterfall. Equipment: Pentair 520 Clean & Clear, Pentair VS+SVRS Intelliflo, Pentair Whisperflo 2 HP, Polairis Cleaner, Intellibrites, Pentair Rainbow 320 in-line Chlorinator, Pentair Easy touch 8 wireless and spa side remote.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    I am not too familiar with the different meters. I know at my previous house the gas company put in a larger meter (not sure it was higher pressure?) and I think it was free (unless the hid the fee in the pool build). I thought the gas company usually installed the larger meters without a fee as they expect to make more money off of you when you use more gas, but maybe I do not fully understand the difference in the types of meters???
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    It's water under the bridge now, but the gas co is right. If the PB was responsible for the meter installation they had the burden of disclosing the additional fees. Did you pay the PB or the gas company the installation fee?

    The correct way would have been for you to have spoken to the utility directly and have them made a determination of the existing meter. It appears that didn't happen. I would get every available bit of information from the gas company about who authorized the meter change and find out what transpired. It's probably too late to do anything about it now, but you can request the installation fee back from the PB.
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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    The house had a reg. gas meter that is put on all houses in the area. The PB suggested I upgrade to accomedate the pool heater/firepit. The PB told me I had to change the meter, they could not do it and that would cost $ but I thought it would be an initial investment not an additional charge per month (per the Pb, they too did not know this). I called centerpoint and asked for the meter change based on what my PB told me to - 2lb meter. Centerpoint told me the cost was $350.00 to change the meter over. NO ONE told me that having this meter would cost me more monthly. The gas co. is not only charging me for my usage but "adjusted" my usage bc I have this meter. This bill was $25 dollars more than had i not had this meter. Does that make sense. I have no problem paying for the initial meter change but am angry that I will also have to pay more per month b/c I have this meter. Not because i am using more gas but just simply bc I have this meter. That seems ridiculous.
    ~Andrea

    24,000 IG with spa and 4 ton waterfall. Equipment: Pentair 520 Clean & Clear, Pentair VS+SVRS Intelliflo, Pentair Whisperflo 2 HP, Polairis Cleaner, Intellibrites, Pentair Rainbow 320 in-line Chlorinator, Pentair Easy touch 8 wireless and spa side remote.

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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    Coincidentally, I just had this talk with Atoms Energy. They told me they do not charge any extra to go to the 2lb system, other than the changes I must make AT THE HOUSE. There was no charge to make the changes at the meter. I'm not going to promise that the Atmos tech was correct, just passing along what he told me.

    Now that we've discussed that side of it, let me tell you my house has been on a normal meter, including the pool heater and a 7.5 ton HVAC system (gas heat), and until a few months ago I had a tankless water heater, which is a giant gas hog. I have had no gas pressure or volume related issues. I did remove the pool heater a year ago, and like I said I pulled out the tankless water heater, but it was working fine with them in place. I would be surprised if the volume of gas you need based on your pool being 1/2 the size of mine would require any more than what my house can/could consume on full demand.

    In case you are wondering, the reason he was here was due to my brand new furnace not operating correctly. Atmos said I had the proper pressure, but turned up the pressure at my meter anyway. This did not fix my furnace, it turned out the orifices were out of alignment and would not reliably ignite.
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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    Here in Maryland we pay extra to have a gas meter that does 2 psi. There actually are gas meters that don't do 2 psi that could handle the amount of gas we use, but the gas plumber didn't want to be bothered to install 2" pipe when they could use 3/4" with a 2 psi system, so we ended up with a 2 psi system and a slightly higher gas rate. In our case the plumber did explain this beforehand and the extra rate is only like 1% higher.
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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    When I was talking to centerpoint they kept telling me that the increase was because i had a small commercial meter ( I used the term 2 lb meter but she kept saying small commercial meter and I assumed we were talking about the same thing). Upon some further digging.... the supervisor for this area claims that a commecial meter was put in and he does not know why. He says he will be looking into it. So hopefully we can get this rectified soon. I knew from the beginning I would have to pay extra for the meter and I did not mind that. But I feel like centerpoint is double pocketing from me. Fingers crossed!
    ~Andrea

    24,000 IG with spa and 4 ton waterfall. Equipment: Pentair 520 Clean & Clear, Pentair VS+SVRS Intelliflo, Pentair Whisperflo 2 HP, Polairis Cleaner, Intellibrites, Pentair Rainbow 320 in-line Chlorinator, Pentair Easy touch 8 wireless and spa side remote.

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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    I have the basic home gas meter and I looked into replacing it with a larger meter when I built my pool. I think Centerpoint quoted me $375 IIRC. I never did it and I've never had a problem. We rarely heat the entire pool and the spa heats up fine even in freezing weather.

    In two years I've never had a problem with running the spa and other gas appliciances and I have three central gas heaters, a gas water heater, a commercial style gas range, and an outdoor gas grill. It just doesn't get that cold here.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    I often wonder about the gas pipe sizing.

    My 70s vintage house appears to have a single 3/4" pipe that is about 100' long from the meter to where it enters my house. Not sure what it initially fed, but now it feeds: furnace, water heater, clothes dryer, stove top, and fire place. There is a separate gas pipe that is 1.25" (?) that runs about 100 feet to the pool heater (200k BTU).

    When I first moved in I was considering adding a feed to a grill off the house and started looking at the current setup. According to the calculations, that 3/4" pipe is WAY too small for what it feeds. I mean the pool heater has lower total BTUs than the house stuff with a bigger pipe running to it I actually was concerned that in the winter when the furnace was on, and water was heating and if we had the clothes dryer running, we may not have any gas left to cook dinner. Well, 3 years later, we have never run into a problem ... although maybe everything is not working as well as it could if more gas was available.

    I know the gas meter we have is larger than some houses, but like in our first house, I thought it was just larger to allow a higher gas flow at the same pressure. It sounds like maybe it is the higher pressure meter that is resulting in the extra charges (?)

    enough of my ramblings ...
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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    All gas companies are different. Here in Tampa, FL the gas company will change out a meter like you had done and not charge for it. All companies are different. The only thing you can do now is live with it and a lesson learned.
    Paul
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    jblizzle, the feed to the meter is at a much higher pressure, so they can use small pipe and it will still be fine. After the meter it is low pressure and you need to be much more careful about what size pipe you use.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    jblizzle, the feed to the meter is at a much higher pressure, so they can use small pipe and it will still be fine. After the meter it is low pressure and you need to be much more careful about what size pipe you use.
    I understand that. My meter is 50 feet from the house and the entry to the house is another 50 feet. So the low pressure run is 100+ feet ...

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    On my recent build I contacted Socal Gas Company as soon as the PB broke ground. On the phone I gave them a list of the gas appliances I have and what I was installing (400K BTU Heater). They then scheduled for an appointment for a technician come down and inspect was needed to upgrade the service. I was pleasantly surprised to see the that tech brought a Huge-o-mongo meter with him to install on the same visit. After about 45 minutes he was done with the install and he explained that their was no charge for this type of upgrade. The tech was also a pool owner and we talked about how much it would cost to heat the pool with our heater.

    I know my situation isn't common, but it shows that the company has its mind in the right place. Supply a bigger meter for free, so now they use that heater to make more money in gas sales over the long run. I'm sure they want to make a little more money off of me, since my average gas bill before the pool was $12.00 per month. One 8 hour run of the heater would probably cost $100 - $150 by itself.
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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    Well, my hope is that they either come out and replace this commercial grade meter with a reg. 2 lb meter or they stop charging the extra fee for having a commercial meter. If not then i will pay to get the reg. meter put back. This bill "was only" 25 dollars more but we had not even heated the pool during that period and we barely used the heat in the house. We heated the pool last week so I can only image what the cost will. At a minimum I will be paying about $300.00 extra a year **** just for this meter not for the actual usage**** if based on the low usage of this bill but with heating the pool and then next winter when we are using the heat it will be $$$$$$. Still think it is crazy they can double charge me for this meter. Hopefully we will get a resolution soon. Thanks for all the input.

    I was curious if anyone in the local area had a similar experience.
    ~Andrea

    24,000 IG with spa and 4 ton waterfall. Equipment: Pentair 520 Clean & Clear, Pentair VS+SVRS Intelliflo, Pentair Whisperflo 2 HP, Polairis Cleaner, Intellibrites, Pentair Rainbow 320 in-line Chlorinator, Pentair Easy touch 8 wireless and spa side remote.

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    Re: Did you change your gas meter for pool heater?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Here in Maryland we pay extra to have a gas meter that does 2 psi. There actually are gas meters that don't do 2 psi that could handle the amount of gas we use, but the gas plumber didn't want to be bothered to install 2" pipe when they could use 3/4" with a 2 psi system, so we ended up with a 2 psi system and a slightly higher gas rate. In our case the plumber did explain this beforehand and the extra rate is only like 1% higher.
    Jason, Did they also charge you for the meter upgrade? I just got off the phone with BGE and they told me there's definitely a charge if my meter is to be upgraded. They told me I currently have a 295k meter so def. not enough. If you don't mind sharing how much that upgrade was would be great, as they won't give any estimates over the phone and scheduling an appointment with them looks to be a pain.
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