heater plotting and planning

Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
746
south east Arizona
hi all! weather getting colder and time to start posting here again. I seem to get too busy in the summer and don't check in very often.

with the public pools shut this year I have lost my winter swim location and am daydreaming about a heater again. I know that I already had a short conversation about what would be required for my strange situation but I can't seem to find it now. my problem (and advantage?) is that I am out in a rural, hard-to-get-to location in terms of trade people. however we are ag exempt on our side of the gas meter (which is a tap off of a 16 inch main line that goes through the ranch) and we can do our own work without worrying too much about inspections or other bureaucracy. the biggest issue is distance. the meter is at least 400 feet to where I would want the heater. I understand that would require silly diameter pipe, is that correct? And probably changing the meter as well? any idea what the meter work would run? does the gas company do that or a contractor?

where would I look to get help with design/specs? pool builder or just a plumber (with gas experience)?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,368
Tucson, AZ
Most heater manuals will call out the pipe diameter needed for a given run length and BTU heater rating. With 400’ of run, your minimum pipe diameter is going to be 2” but you’d probably want slightly more if you plan to tap that run for anything else. You may want to run a smaller diameter pipe using the high pressure side of the meter. Then you would need a pressure regulator at the heater to bring it into spec.

Southwest Gas has to do the meter replacement (you’re going to need a 1,000,000 BTU/hr meter if you plan to get a 400,000BTU/hr heater). You’ll need to hire a licensed plumber to do the gas line work. NPL does a lot of gas work in Tucson. This is their contact -


Residential gas work typically runs anywhere from $11 to $15 per linear foot. Regulators cost more. SWG may not charge for the meter upgrade. Hourly labor charges will apply too. A 400kBTU heater will cost around $3,000.
 

Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
746
south east Arizona
thanks Matt. I think you were the one that gave me this info before. we have inch pipe up here to the house. would that work for high pressure and then put the regulator somewhere up here?
who would be the best to ask about the options? this NPL or a pool builder?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,368
Tucson, AZ
Southwest gas can tell you what pressure your current line is running at and how much a new meter will cost. If your pool builder is willing to help you then maybe he can get you in contact with a plumber to do the installation. NPL may or may not want to do your job, they usually do larger installation.

I think you just need to start making phone calls at this point to see what the costs will be. 400’ of gas line is a really long run and not typical for most residential pool builds. You may find it difficult to get someone to do the work out where you are especially now that the trades are flush with work from all the COVID related home projects going on.
 

Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
746
south east Arizona
Southwest gas can tell you what pressure your current line is running at and how much a new meter will cost. If your pool builder is willing to help you then maybe he can get you in contact with a plumber to do the installation. NPL may or may not want to do your job, they usually do larger installation.

I think you just need to start making phone calls at this point to see what the costs will be. 400’ of gas line is a really long run and not typical for most residential pool builds. You may find it difficult to get someone to do the work out where you are especially now that the trades are flush with work from all the COVID related home projects going on.
well, I am thinking we can handle putting the line in if we need to, or anything this side of the meter, it is just finding out WHAT we need to do and then whoever to do the work AT the meter. (same with electrical work - we do everything from the meter out but the electric CO-OP hooks that stuff up)

a few years ago the line up to the house was leaking pretty bad down by the barn (it was galvanized pipe and at least 40 or 50 years old, buried too shallow and heavy equipment had driven over it when the ground was soft (can barely remember those times - rain? what is that?) after a lot of run around getting crazy estimates and only finding one guy who would travel out here, no gas for a month, we found "the guy" that knew we were ag exempt and were allowed to do the work ourselves, just had to pass a pressure test - rather informally at that.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,368
Tucson, AZ
On page 15 of the Pentair Mastertemp 400 manual -

https://www.pentairpoolme.com/uploads/document/file/554/Manual_MasterTemp.pdf

You will need a minimum 2” pipe for 400’ of flexible PVC gas line (the thick yellow pipe) to run a gas heater. I’d go 2-1/2” just to be safe. You will need to add on risers at the meter and the equipment pad where you can use a coupling to adapt down to 3/4” galvanized pipe. You’ll need union couplings and at least one 1/4 turn shutoff valve at both ends for easy maintenance. Gas pipe trench is typically 18” deep with at least a 3” of clean fill sand (no sharp stones) below and above the pipe. Some pipe layers will add a layer of straw on top of the sand layer so that diggers will know when they’re getting close to a pipe. You typically wrap the pipe with a coil of #16 gauge solid copper conductor wire so that future owners or construction can use BlueStake to locate the pipe easily. SWG will hook up to your 2” line as long as you certify that it’s been pressure tested (they may want you to sign a release). You need to give them the BTU/he rating of every gas appliance in your home so they can size the meter upgrade appropriately.
 

Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
746
south east Arizona
On page 15 of the Pentair Mastertemp 400 manual -

https://www.pentairpoolme.com/uploads/document/file/554/Manual_MasterTemp.pdf

You will need a minimum 2” pipe for 400’ of flexible PVC gas line (the thick yellow pipe) to run a gas heater. I’d go 2-1/2” just to be safe. You will need to add on risers at the meter and the equipment pad where you can use a coupling to adapt down to 3/4” galvanized pipe. You’ll need union couplings and at least one 1/4 turn shutoff valve at both ends for easy maintenance. Gas pipe trench is typically 18” deep with at least a 3” of clean fill sand (no sharp stones) below and above the pipe. Some pipe layers will add a layer of straw on top of the sand layer so that diggers will know when they’re getting close to a pipe. You typically wrap the pipe with a coil of #16 gauge solid copper conductor wire so that future owners or construction can use BlueStake to locate the pipe easily. SWG will hook up to your 2” line as long as you certify that it’s been pressure tested (they may want you to sign a release). You need to give them the BTU/he rating of every gas appliance in your home so they can size the meter upgrade appropriately.
thanks! would we have two separate lines coming off the meter or would we need to tie the house into the new large diameter line? (the pool heater would actually not be very close to the existing line.

green is old and possible future pool, blue is current pool. red star is meter and current line for house. orange is possible new line, star is general location for heater.