Upgrading gas meter for pool/spa heater?

Mamiamjo

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2014
201
Cypress, Texas
Our PB tells us we need to upgrade our gas meter in order to accommodate adding the pool/spa water heater. Have any of you had to do this? If so, what does that entail? Any ideas on cost?
Thanks,
Mike
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
Who is plumbing the line to the heater? Are you hiring a plumber to do that ? If so the Plumber should call your gas co and make the arrangements. Gas companies like to deal with plumbers regarding gas lines.
 

will

Well-known member
Mar 9, 2015
50
atlanta ga
We did it this month last year (went to a 2# meter) ours was free. We actually moved into a house with a pool and spa but added a bigger heater and didn't have enough flow fr previous line. We have Atlanta gas but most sub out install and we needed new line fr street as well -if ur yard anal like me make sure they shoot line underground or it could be very messy
 

SuzfromTexas

Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 7, 2015
3,363
Houston, Texas
I live in Cypress, too, so I'm assuming you also use CenterPoint. I think ours was upgraded by Centerpoint when they switched us to the remote meter reading system (no more meter readers traipsing through our yard). There was no charge for that.

Our PB, along with the others we interviewed, all said it was possible we would need to upgrade but to wait and see after the pool was completed. Well, the pool was completed, and nobody ever mentioned it again. Things work fine now, so there must not be a problem.

The other possibility of when it was upgraded was when CenterPoint rerouted our gas line which was running through the middle of the pool location. I don't think it was done then, because CenterPoint was very precise about every step of that process, and nothing was mentioned about a meter upgrade. But if I'm wrong then, the upgrade was included in the rerouting - about $350.

I had to contact CenterPoint. They bill you through your gas bill, so they need your account number, etc. The good news is CenterPoint was great to work with unlike moving the cable of the phone/Internet company I use.

The other good news is I've been pleasantly surprised (so far) at the cost of heating our spa. It may get worse as the water is colder and takes longer to heat. On average, my son uses it about 4-5 evenings a week. He was very worried about the cost of heating it. We've had 3 bills since heating the spa. I told him our gas bills have almost doubled, and he nearly fainted. Then I explained they've gone from about $17 to $30 a month. (our only gas appliance is the water heater). He didn't find my joke very funny.

Take care,
Suz.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,885
Tucson, AZ
With the addition of a 400kBTU/hr heater, most standard residential meters are not large enough. Few household appliances (tank water heaters, forced-air gas heaters, gas stovetops, etc) consume as much gas as a pool heater. As well, most pool heaters have very tight inlet pressure requirements and, if the meter is too small, a sudden drop in gas pressure will cause the heater to shutoff. Natural gas is all about volume and flow as it specifically designed to be a low pressure system for safety purposes. Therefore, you not only need a large gas meter to supply the correct total flow rate for your entire home but also need to ensure that you have a long enough run of feed pipe to have a good size volume of gas to feed the heater with. It is also advisable that your gas line run from the main to the heater either be a single run with no stubs off to other equipment (like a BBQ grille) OR that it be a large enough diameter to accommodate all devices on the line. You don't want to turn on a gas grille or fire pit and suck all the gas away from a heater. The gas line installer (typically the plumbing sub but sometimes a specific gas specialist) should have accounted for all of this.

Most gas companies don't charge for meter upgrades as they are happy to supply you with more of their product ;)
 

Nursenini

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Sep 22, 2015
2,122
Bixby, Ok
My brother in law is a plumber. I just checked with him about mine. He told me not to stress over it because if we need one, the gas company will replace it at no charge to us. Whew!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,885
Tucson, AZ
Just remember that in a lot of areas, YOU, the homeowner, are required to call the gas company for final hook up. PBs and plumbers are not allowed to touch the gas company's equipment. Check local codes and with the gas company as well because they may require a copy of the signed and approved permit showing that the gas line passed pressure testing before they will hook up anything to their service meter.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk,16k gal SWG pool (All Pentair), QuadDE100 Filter, Taylor K-2006
 

Mamiamjo

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2014
201
Cypress, Texas
Thanks Everybody! Like the other Houston area Forum Members, we do have CenterPoint Energy for gas (is there any other options for gas?).
I guess I will call them to set up the upgraded meter once we get final HOA approval.
 

JayBauman

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 5, 2014
617
Katy, TX
Just an update. Center point told us it would be $350. to upgrade the meter they also said they couldn't do it until the pool was filled with water.
Yep, that's the way Centerpoint operates. I live in Katy.

You won't be running your heater during pool startup window anyway (at least a month), so the timing won't be a problem. My pool was complete in November 2014. Once I started filling, I called the gas company. Before they would set up the meter upgrade appointment, they had to have $350 up-front payment. Less than a week later, a guy showed up in a pickup truck with every gas meter imaginable. He looked at the appliances in my house and asked me if I was ever planning on upgrading (e.g. tankless water heater). Since the price was the same to me (and I had already paid it!), I ended up with a 2Million BTU/hr meter. This thing is huge!

There are a couple of reasons why they make you upgrade the meter. First, your existing meter may not have enough capacity to run your various household appliances/furnaces and heat your pool. Second, pool heaters take a lot of gas. For long runs (and yours is definitely long!), they do a partial step-down in pressure so you can run a 1" line to your pool heater and still have sufficient volume of fuel to run the heater. You'll then have a 2nd regulator at the heater to step-down to normal gas pressure. You'll also have a 2nd regulator at your meter to step-down your house gas pressure to normal levels.

I would assume that the extra gas they sell should more-than-compensate them for the new meter, but they charge you any way!
 

rphpool

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2015
503
Sugar Land , TX
I had to upgrade via Center Point also , $350. I had to run outdoor fireplace, grill, 2 fire bowls on pool, pool heater, and the house appliances. Well worth it. The spa heats quick and the fire bowls put out consistent flames. Never have had a pressure issue with multiple appliances running.
 

RyCotten

New member
Aug 5, 2019
1
Atascocita, TX
I’m hoping some of those here that are in Houston Metroplex area are still active on this thread. We had our pool finished 5/23/2019 and heater still not working. Hayward techs say heater is fine. We paid Centerpoint $350 to upgrade meter but both Hayward and PB are saying the meter was not upgraded. Does anyone have the specs on what your meter was upgraded to? Ours is in the pic. Thank you.114164
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,589
Your meter can do 250,000 btu per hour. I don't think that it was upgraded. What is the heater model number? Have you asked the gas company if they have actually done anything?