Natural gas to propane

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
20,318
I'm finding it difficult to believe that the existing line is not sufficient for the additional load.

Who's telling you that the line isn't big enough?

Unless the gas company is saying that the line won't work, I would get another opinion.

It really doesn't make sense that the existing line is too small for basic service.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,399
NY
And the utility is usually THRILLED that you will be giving them more business. At least by me, gas and electric jump to upgrade you for free, knowing they will make the money back 100 times over.

*edit* unless you upgrade to commecial. Once they know you are amking money off them, they want a piece if the pie. But yours should be strictly residential and not matter
 
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skimmerswimmer

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2013
360
Long Island, NY
When my 336k BTU pool heater was installed, they simply added a T to the line prior to the old meter, ran a new pipe over to the pool pad, and added a new meter just for the pool. The house already had a gas fireplace, gas grill, gas oven, gas cooktop, gas dryer, gas boiler and gas hot water heater. I doubt your existing line to the house is too small, especially since most of the high BTU appliances in the home are used in the winter time (boiler and fireplace) when most pools are not in use.
 
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setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,336
Stuart/FL
It occurred to me many reading this thread my not realize why it's so obvious you don't need a new line. Normal delivery branches that run to your house at 5 psig. 5 psig is equal to over 130 in wc. The pressure in your house is normally regulated down to 7.5 in wc. You can easily handle a couple of in wc drop in your meter or absolutely worst case another meter.

Chris
 

malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
154
Middletown, NY
So, we are still under construction (see thread in signature). The plumber came to hook the heater into our homes natural gas line and had some bad news for us. In order to do it, we need to call the gas company and get a different meter, and they may require a new gas line to the house. Also, he would have to replumb my entire house because it isn’t done appropriately to handle the BTUs that my house is currently using. What it boils down to is $$$. More than is in our budget.

What I’m wondering is will I need to change out my entire Hayward universal h series heater 400k BTU for a propane one or is there a conversion kit? It’s brand new and has only had water flowing through it for a month and a half now. We can get propane hooked up very easily as we have space for a tank or two.

TIA for the help.
Surprised you need a new line...did the Utility determine this, or did this plumber? If the plumber did, go to the utility local office and ask for someone in the natural gas engineering department and speak with them. Another option at this point is to ditch the Gas heater altogether and go with a Heat Pump which is actually on par or cheaper to operate than a NG heater. Doesn't look like you have a spa, so a heat pump would work well for you...even if it costs a little more to operate than NG (which it probably won't...dependent on your utility rates), you will NEVER recoup that $5K in utility savings.
 
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Cephrael

Gold Supporter
Apr 19, 2019
286
Massachusetts
Surprised you need a new line...did the Utility determine this, or did this plumber? If the plumber did, go to the utility local office and ask for someone in the natural gas engineering department and speak with them. Another option at this point is to ditch the Gas heater altogether and go with a Heat Pump which is actually on par or cheaper to operate than a NG heater. Doesn't look like you have a spa, so a heat pump would work well for you...even if it costs a little more to operate than NG (which it probably won't...dependent on your utility rates), you will NEVER recoup that $5K in utility savings.
This was from the gas company. Our current line couldn’t handle the additional load, and getting a bigger meter would not have helped. So second service is our only choice.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
20,318
It seems odd to me that the supply line was sized at 250 cubic feet per hour.

If that's accurate, in my opinion, the gas company should run the new line at their expense. I would ask them to cover the cost.

Typically, the natural gas utility is responsible for maintaining and operating gas pipeline and facilities up to the residential gas meter. All equipment and gas supply lines downstream of the residential meter are the responsibility of the customer.

 

Cephrael

Gold Supporter
Apr 19, 2019
286
Massachusetts
When was your house built?
1986

It seems odd to me that the supply line was sized at 250 cubic feet per hour.

If that's accurate, in my opinion, the gas company should run the new line at their expense. I would ask them to cover the cost.
They base the cost of adding the new line on the amount of expected revenue. So if I was doing a whole house and the pool, it probably would be free. However, this is a secondary line, so it will be less. My parents tried to add gas for their stove only and were told $24k and their house is only 30’ from the street. So $5k isn’t that bad.

What about a heat pump? Your pool builder should have recommended this after the above issues...
At this point I don’t want to do anything more with my builder.
 

Patrickoleary

Well-known member
Apr 7, 2019
160
Greensburg,PA
We're dealing with the same decision right now. We have a heat pump that died, and we want to add natural gas. Unfortunately, our existing line and gas meter is in the absolute worse location to run a new line. The line going through our house to the furnace is close to 100' away from the meter and only 1 1/2". The number in the attached chart show the expected BTU from a diameter of pipe and the length. We're already down to 411k BTU in the pipe and have gas dryer, gas fireplace, tankless gas water heater (that can use 200k BTU easily), and stove. With a finished basement ceiling, it's a complicated project. Of course where there is a will and a wallet there is a way, however it's not cheap. I'm going to call the gas company next week to see what their cost is to put in a secondary location, but short of that we are probably going to go with a new heat pump. We'd prefer gas because we don't always heat that often, but when we do we want it to work fast. It's certainly a luxury.

1584807511012.jpeg
 

malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
154
Middletown, NY
How long is the 1.5 inch main line running from the meter into the house? That will determine how many BTU that line can deliver. I would imagine that number is less than 20 feet as in most hours the meter is placed relatively close to where the furnaces/water heaters are. Just because the line out the the pool heater is 100 feet does not limit the entire system to 411K BTU, it limits the farthest appliance (pool heater) to 411K BTU. Also do not calculate your furnaces in your total use for this as there is almost zero chance you will be using your pool heaters and furnaces at the same time.

A plumber who knows what he/she is doing can do the proper calculations to figure out how much the end of the main line in your house can supply and the proper diameter of pipe out to the pool (may need 2 inch), and the main linen your house may need to be upgraded to 2 inches . This will probably be a lot cheaper than getting the gas company to install a secondary meter.
 
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Cephrael

Gold Supporter
Apr 19, 2019
286
Massachusetts
Update: gas project is done.

Eversource, our gas company, would not install a secondary service. So, project got a little complicated. Old line was retired, and a new 1.5” service was run to the pool house with the largest meter possible installed. Then we had to have our plumber run a line from pool house to the main house and hook in there. Also, had him run a line for a future gas fire pit since the trench was already dug. cost an additional $3800 for the extra plumbing work and $5000 to gas company. However, gas company reimbursed us the $3800.

and I’m glad it’s done because with the kids out of school because of Coronavirus, I’m thinking of opening the pool a bit earlier than originally planned.
 
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setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,336
Stuart/FL
Update: gas project is done.

Eversource, our gas company, would not install a secondary service. So, project got a little complicated. Old line was retired, and a new 1.5” service was run to the pool house with the largest meter possible installed. Then we had to have our plumber run a line from pool house to the main house and hook in there. Also, had him run a line for a future gas fire pit since the trench was already dug. cost an additional $3800 for the extra plumbing work and $5000 to gas company. However, gas company reimbursed us the $3800.

and I’m glad it’s done because with the kids out of school because of Coronavirus, I’m thinking of opening the pool a bit earlier than originally planned.
Thanks for the follow up. Looks like you netted out not too bad. Most importantly a leaky gas line could be disastrous. Sorry you had all this frustration with the heater but very glad you and yours are safe!

Chris
 

Patrickoleary

Well-known member
Apr 7, 2019
160
Greensburg,PA
Update: gas project is done.

Eversource, our gas company, would not install a secondary service. So, project got a little complicated. Old line was retired, and a new 1.5” service was run to the pool house with the largest meter possible installed. Then we had to have our plumber run a line from pool house to the main house and hook in there. Also, had him run a line for a future gas fire pit since the trench was already dug. cost an additional $3800 for the extra plumbing work and $5000 to gas company. However, gas company reimbursed us the $3800.

and I’m glad it’s done because with the kids out of school because of Coronavirus, I’m thinking of opening the pool a bit earlier than originally planned.
I meant 1” in my house not 1 1/2”.

I had a specialty gas plumber look at it yesterday. He said we should be fine, as long as the gas company can turn up the pressure. We already have a regulator on the meter so it should be easy to turn up.