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Old 05-24-2015, 10:05 PM   #1
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Natural gas line cleaning?


Long story short my stove and gas grill are not getting enough pressure to work properly (grill cannot lite and stove can't get higher than a low flame). Gas company came checked the pressure to the house and it was more than enough. Then recommended to have a plumber come and blow the gas lines out. Has anyone ever heard of this before ?


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Old 05-25-2015, 03:10 AM   #2
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Natural gas line cleaning?


Never heard of that before. What are the lines inside the house made of? Copper or Iron Pipe? How long have they been in the house? Just keep going up the Gas company's food chain, until you get someone that is not lazy, and can come and do a proper pressure & leak check at every gas appliance.

Have you checked to make sure the inside shut off is fully open?

The only thing that a plumber is going to do. Is pressurize the system, and see if there are any leaks, or which appliance is getting lower pressure. Then they start working backwards, to see if there is a faulty valve, or a pressure regulator that has been installed, that should not be there.

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Old 05-25-2015, 03:55 AM   #3
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Natural gas line cleaning?


Iron pipe that seems fairly new.(purchased the home in January) compared to the house's age and yup triple checked every shut off


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Old 05-25-2015, 06:45 AM   #4
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Natural gas line cleaning?


Thinking outside the box, open up the breaker box and see if you see a double pole breaker marked range that's off, or look behind the range to see if there a 220 volt range plug near the floor not being used.
That would tell me at one time the house was all electric and someone ran new lines to convert to gas.
My wild guess after you follow gragzoll's advice is someone may have installed under sized lines.
Reason I suggest that is you have more then one appliance giving you trouble.
I have seen where the plumber screwed up and installed two regulators on a line to a genset that already had it's own regulator so there was not even one needed.
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:57 AM   #5
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Natural gas line cleaning?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sully6541 View Post
Iron pipe that seems fairly new.(purchased the home in January) compared to the house's age and yup triple checked every shut off


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check the preasure at the hook up , that will tell you if preasure is good ? if not work backwards and see where it is good ?? is this black pipe for gas or white pipe for water , the only time pipe would need to be blown out is if their is flacking inside , than replace pipe

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Old 05-25-2015, 07:22 AM   #6
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Natural gas line cleaning?


A couple things stand out here. First, pressure was apparently checked at the main connection BUT since when does a tech state the pressure is "more than enough" for anything? There are proper pressure settings and improper settings but "more than enough"? Sounds like somebody believes more is better kind of thing. Not a good line of thought with gas.

Then, there are two pressures he needs to be checking; incoming to the regulator and outgoing from the regulator. Did he check both and of not, did he check incoming or outgoing?

As another said; call the gas company again and try to get somebody else to check out the problem.


Then, did this issue come about suddenly or did it degrade over time?

a gas regulator can allow the static pressure to be perfect but it can be not function properly when there is a demand for gas. He should be checking low side pressure and then continue to observe it while attempting to use an appliance. It is stays good, it is on your end of the system. If it falls, it is the regulator OR there is a big leak somewhere.

Which gets to the next possibility.


Any underground lines?


You would likely smell any above ground lines that were leaning enough to cause this sort of problem but an underground line can leak underground and not surface. That can result in an extremely unsafe (dangerous) situation. The gas can track the underground lines and end up in crawl spaces or basements and the results can be deadly (asphyxiation or explosions).

While it is possible there are flow problems in your installation, if this was not always like this, chances are the lines are of adequate size when everything else is in good working order.


and realize that adequate static pressure does not mean there is enough volume to supply your equipment. Pressure, especially only static pressure, is only one part of the equation.


Get the gas company back out there to do a better job of checking this problem out.


btw: had a friend whose house blew up due to a gas leak. Nobody hurt (nobody home) but damn scary. We also have about one situation a year where the gas company evacuates homes in an area due to underground gas leaks. It is a very serious issue.

Last edited by nap; 05-25-2015 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by del schisler View Post
check the preasure at the hook up , that will tell you if preasure is good ? if not work backwards and see where it is good ?? is this black pipe for gas or white pipe for water , the only time pipe would need to be blown out is if their is flacking inside , than replace pipe
This is my next step just wanted to see if anyone has ever heard of gas line cleaning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
A couple things stand out here. First, pressure was apparently checked at the main connection BUT since when does a tech state the pressure is "more than enough" for anything? There are proper pressure settings and improper settings but "more than enough"? Sounds like somebody believes more is better kind of thing. Not a good line of thought with gas.

Then, there are two pressures he needs to be checking; incoming to the regulator and outgoing from the regulator. Did he check both and of not, did he check incoming or outgoing?

As another said; call the gas company again and try to get somebody else to check out the problem.


Then, did this issue come about suddenly or did it degrade over time?

a gas regulator can allow the static pressure to be perfect but it can be not function properly when there is a demand for gas. He should be checking low side pressure and then continue to observe it while attempting to use an appliance. It is stays good, it is on your end of the system. If it falls, it is the regulator OR there is a big
I left this part out to make a long story short. Our stove has been ****ty since we moved in. But we just chucked it up to being an old stove. Then when I hooked the gas grill up and that didn't work is when the light bulb flickered and thought that maybe the stove's problem is a pressure problem. So for me I couldn't tell if it was a sudden change or not.
He checked out going from the regulator which read 7.5 inh2o and then turned all the appliances on and it dropped to 6.4 inh2o



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Old 05-25-2015, 09:34 AM   #8
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Natural gas line cleaning?


Maybe follow the lines and see if a valve is partially turned off. Turn on the furnace and see if it ignites properly if it does then it's not the pressure coming into the house.
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:38 AM   #9
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Natural gas line cleaning?


I moved this to 'plumbing' for you----

To help the plumbers figure out the problem, answer this---

What size is the pipe coming FROM the meter --what size is the pipe running from that pipe to the appliances?
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:52 AM   #10
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Natural gas line cleaning?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
A couple things stand out here. First, pressure was apparently checked at the main connection BUT since when does a tech state the pressure is "more than enough" for anything? There are proper pressure settings and improper settings but "more than enough"? Sounds like somebody believes more is better kind of thing. Not a good line of thought with gas.

Then, there are two pressures he needs to be checking; incoming to the regulator and outgoing from the regulator. Did he check both and of not, did he check incoming or outgoing?

As another said; call the gas company again and try to get somebody else to check out the problem.


Then, did this issue come about suddenly or did it degrade over time?

a gas regulator can allow the static pressure to be perfect but it can be not function properly when there is a demand for gas. He should be checking low side pressure and then continue to observe it while attempting to use an appliance. It is stays good, it is on your end of the system. If it falls, it is the regulator OR there is a big leak somewhere.

Which gets to the next possibility.


Any underground lines?


You would likely smell any above ground lines that were leaning enough to cause this sort of problem but an underground line can leak underground and not surface. That can result in an extremely unsafe (dangerous) situation. The gas can track the underground lines and end up in crawl spaces or basements and the results can be deadly (asphyxiation or explosions).

While it is possible there are flow problems in your installation, if this was not always like this, chances are the lines are of adequate size when everything else is in good working order.


and realize that adequate static pressure does not mean there is enough volume to supply your equipment. Pressure, especially only static pressure, is only one part of the equation.


Get the gas company back out there to do a better job of checking this problem out.


btw: had a friend whose house blew up due to a gas leak. Nobody hurt (nobody home) but damn scary. We also have about one situation a year where the gas company evacuates homes in an area due to underground gas leaks. It is a very serious issue.
If you have underground piping from the street to the house you will find that you have water leaking into the pipe though rusted out pin holes in pipe showing those systems,
If so you need to have have a new main gas pipe installed I used to run into
this quiet often back when I first started Plumbing 1976 or so.
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:56 AM   #11
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Natural gas line cleaning?


The water lays flat in the pipe so it shows good gas pressure,
but then when you start to run the stove or grill the higher flow cause waves in the water so you get reduced pressure as well as flow problems
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:36 PM   #12
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Natural gas line cleaning?


1. Natural gas or Propane?
2. What is the pressure going into the house regulator
3. What is the outlet pressure leaving the house regulator
4. What is the pressure going into the appliance regulaltor
5. What is the pressure leaving the appliance regulator
6. Is the appliance set for the same gas as the house supply
7. Are there 2 regulators on the appliance ( I have only seen that once, & that was on a commercial appliance)
8. Are any regulators set for the proper gas
9. Are the regulators installed with the arrow pointing the direction of the gas flow
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:47 PM   #13
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Natural gas line cleaning?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap
A couple things stand out here. First, pressure was apparently checked at the main connection BUT since when does a tech state the pressure is "more than enough" for anything? There are proper pressure settings and improper settings but "more than enough"? Sounds like somebody believes more is better kind of thing. Not a good line of thought with gas.
The gas company's service regulator can be set within a range that follows company guidelines or government rules. For example, 1.75 kPa (7"wc) regs can be set between 1.65 kPA and 1.85 kPa per my gas company's guidelines. Now, 14 kPa (2psig) regulators fall under PFM rules set by Measurement Canada, and can be within 12.5 kPa and 16.3 kPa. As a gas company tech, I am trained to speak to customers in lingo they will understand, not technical jargon, so this is most likely why the tech in question would have said what OP said he did (and I'm sure he didn't just say it has more than enough pressure and walk away). Also, 'static pressure' that you mention is properly refereed to as lock-up pressure, and I'm sure anyone working for a gas company in this capacity will know how to test their own equipment.

OP- it's rare but not unheard of to have flaking occur in gas lines. Since you're looking at a potential blockage and debris that may come free and further affect your appliances, a licensed gas fitter would be your best bet to fix the problem without endangering yourself and property. Please update when you get this figured out.

Last edited by hvac benny; 05-25-2015 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:53 PM   #14
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Natural gas line cleaning?


Quote:
Originally Posted by fireguy View Post
1. Natural gas or Propane?
2. What is the pressure going into the house regulator
3. What is the outlet pressure leaving the house regulator
4. What is the pressure going into the appliance regulaltor
5. What is the pressure leaving the appliance regulator
6. Is the appliance set for the same gas as the house supply
7. Are there 2 regulators on the appliance ( I have only seen that once, & that was on a commercial appliance)
8. Are any regulators set for the proper gas
9. Are the regulators installed with the arrow pointing the direction of the gas flow
It's likely NG, since around here LPG isn't setup for those pressures.

Regs that are backwards act very differently then what's described. But it's still good to check.

My best guess is that if it's been this way since they got the house, the piping very well could be undersized. (It wouldn't be the first time) I would still check for partially closed valves along the system.

(Not sure about where you live, but we haven't been able to bury steel pipe for a while. Don't remember when the code changed regarding it around here. We have to use special abs schedule 80 stuff now. Gas utilities still do whatever they want)

I would check gas pressures, but not everyone has a certified manometer. Or know where to hook it up to.
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:16 AM   #15
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Natural gas line cleaning?


Thank you every for the replies. Sorry for my late response I work the graveyard shift
Quote:
Originally Posted by JERRYMAC View Post
If you have underground piping from the street to the house you will find that you have water leaking into the pipe though rusted out pin holes in pipe showing those systems,

If so you need to have have a new main gas pipe installed I used to run into

this quiet often back when I first started Plumbing 1976 or so.
It's underground to the meter but it's a a new plastic pipe dated 2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireguy View Post
1. Natural gas or Propane?
2. What is the pressure going into the house regulator
3. What is the outlet pressure leaving the house regulator
4. What is the pressure going into the appliance regulaltor
5. What is the pressure leaving the appliance regulator
6. Is the appliance set for the same gas as the house supply
7. Are there 2 regulators on the appliance ( I have only seen that once, & that was on a commercial appliance)
8. Are any regulators set for the proper gas
9. Are the regulators installed with the arrow pointing the direction of the gas flow
NG the pressure wasn't test going into the meter but there a metal service tag that states 60psi
All the appliances are for ng.
No other regulators are installed along the gas line

Quote:
Originally Posted by supers05 View Post
It's likely NG, since around here LPG isn't setup for those pressures.

Regs that are backwards act very differently then what's described. But it's still good to check.

My best guess is that if it's been this way since they got the house, the piping very well could be undersized. (It wouldn't be the first time) I would still check for partially closed valves along the system.

(Not sure about where you live, but we haven't been able to bury steel pipe for a while. Don't remember when the code changed regarding it around here. We have to use special abs schedule 80 stuff now. Gas utilities still do whatever they want)

I would check gas pressures, but not everyone has a certified manometer. Or know where to hook it up to.

I'm guessing that the abs pipe going to the meter. My father was a life long plumber and I remember him having a dial gauge and another gauge that he would have to pour mercury in for testing his gas pipe install. Not sure what they were set to measure. Worth a shot to see if I can find them with his old tools at my moms.

I check all the lines again. And over looked that it's 1" coming into the house then immediately hits an elbow reducer down to half inch for about a foot then another elbow that brings in back up to 1" for the rest of the main line. And 3/4" off the main line too each appliance.



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