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Old 01-17-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
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Natural Gas Standby Generator - Multiple Questions


I have a Briggs and Stratton 7KW Standby Generator hooked up to the natural gas supply from my meter using black steel pipe. It is buried for about 15 feet of length.
I have figured out that this is not smart for the long run.
To avoid burial/corriosion issues I want to relocate the unit closer to the back of the house, and I want to run the gas line above ground.
1. If the unit is sitting 5 feet from the building, is it OK to run the pipe above ground, and if so, how high off the ground and what type of support, since it terminates to a rubber flex hose that attaches to the generator 1/2" NPT inlet. The house is a concrete slab and I assume the pipe should be supported every 6 to 8 feet with clamps and tapcons drilled into the slab, but the section from the slab to the generator flex hose would be 5 feet minus the fles hose which is 24".
2. If it is OK to run above ground, I want to paint the pipe to protect it from rust. I noticed the existing utility feed is painted and it is looking good after 40 plus years. Is this an acceptable way to corrosion protect an above ground pipe?
3. Electical question. I have a NEMA 3 grey steel cutoff box mounted on the outside of the house for the control circuit and the generator output back to the manual transfer switch/subpanel) and a length of liquidtite 3/4 flex running underground to the generator. When I move the generator closer to the 5 foot point, can this electical conduit run above ground (as a whip) and if so, how high off the ground?
4. Method of support of conduit?
5. Instructions for the generator mentions the 5' distance to a combustible surface, but I read elsewhere that there should be 10' to any door or window. Is this 10' distance required by code?

I searched and can't see any hints on these items. Thanks in advance.


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Old 01-17-2012, 12:39 PM   #2
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The distance from doors or windows is probably a code requirement to minimize exhaust gases getting into the house. I had to meet such a requirement when I mounted my gas tankless water heater.

Have you thought this plan through? It is perfectly acceptable for gas pipe to be buried, and for much longer runs than yours. Running it above ground just seems nuts. And have you considered the noise issue if you move the generator closer to the house?

Sounds to me like you're looking for a very complicated solution to a nonexistent problem.


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Old 01-17-2012, 12:50 PM   #3
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I have thought about the noise, it's a toss up. Where it sits now, it is 12' from the back wall of the house, where the main bedroom is. It will get 7' closer, true.
The pipe corrosion issue is bugging me. I read about the need for factory wrapped pipe, or some advocating wrapping it yourself. I don't trust either one since the joints below grade are still vulnerable since they still have to be wrapped.
When I look at digging it all up, putting in new proper stuff, I see the move closer to the building/above ground as a cheaper alternative, the thing is a standby unit that runs perhaps once a year for a few hours.
With my plan, I can basically abandon the buired pipe, no digging.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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Are you sure it's unwrapped pipe? Buried bare steel pipe will corrode very quickly. Since you don't want to wrap it, I'd suggest replacing it with plastic PE pipe, rather than running the line above ground and moving the generator. You could dig a trench next to the existing pipe, which would be much easier than exposing the steel pipe to wrap.
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