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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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Here are my questions and comments from a TOPIX thread on natural gas wells:

Here's our story: We bought our turn-of-the-century farm house last December and I ran the old furnace off the gas well for a few months until the temps dropped into the single digits. That's when the regulator quit. The house is also connected to Columbia Gas so I turned some knobs in the basement and all ran fine after that. I wasn't in a big rush to get the well running again because I learned that the 60 lbs being fed into the house was dangerously high and that it's more common (and safer) to reduce and regulate the pressure outside the house and send just a single lb or so into the house. I have an experienced gas man who is going to run a new plastic line to the house with a regulator installed outside. He will also run a line to the barn where I have a small workshop and will run a small garage heater. He quoted $1,500 for the entire job including the trenching, both regulators, all pipe and fittings. He has also mentioned a water separator which he doesn't believe is necessary but I'm thinking is cheap insurance against freezing the regulators during the coldest months. We have a new high efficiency furnace and I am excited by the prospect of no gas bills this winter. I'll post more when the project is complete.Thanks for the reply Bill. So much new info to digest when it comes to gas wells. I've been corrected. My gas well is more likely about 800' deep. The info I found was for a nearby well that apparently has been capped. After some consultation with a local engineer I've decided to wait on the "bailing". I started with 60 and had 20 lbs of pressure right up until the regulator quit in February and we've installed a new high efficiency furnace since then. I've been told bailing could cost around $500, and disposing of the salty water would be my problem. One suggestion was to hire a septic truck to pump it into. BTW, it looks like I have a 6" casing based on the "3 bolt cap" on the well head. I guess there is some risk of too much of an increase in pressure after bailing and ending up with pipes or old regulators failing. Or one could discover that the casing itself is bad and leaks water. That would be worst case. We start the project next week....

Are you saying that 60 lbs is a relatively low pressure? It sounds pretty good to me given the whole house runs off less that 1 lb. How does that pressure-vs-volume thing work? I picked up my water separator last week at Ken Miller Supply in Wooster, OH($300) and am just waiting for my gas man to come out and do the installation. I cannot get the swabber (bailer?) to return my calls. Someone local mentioned that the procedure is fairly expensive... how expensive do you think? Probably the farther they drive the higher the price for sure.


UPDATE: I think that the water separator is called a "positive drip separator". It is the first thing inline after the well head, and before the regulator. Mine is the second of the 2 smallest sizes: the drip separators are 4" x 3' with a max 15# psi limit for $200 and the 6" x 3' is rated for 500# for which I paid $300. I bought mine at Ken Miller Supply in Wooster, OH but any well supplier may have them. Mine looks like it could hold about 3-4 gallons of water and it has a ball valve to blow out the water using the well pressure. It turns out my well is pretty dry because I haven't blown off more than a puff of moisture since it was installed and we have been running the entire house for 1 month now!:) With temps even into the single digits for 2 days I am very pleased. We do have a gauge on the well that drops roughly 10 lbs for every 10 degrees of temperature drop. We were 60 lbs with no heat running and just less than 20 lbs at 10 degrees F.(Our Columbia Gas line comes in at just 13 ounces pressure). Needless to say I am thrilled with the work my contractor did. We have all new piping and regulators from the well to the house and barn, and are currently running the natural gas furnace, hot water heater, stove, oven and cloths dryer. Our century home isn't even insulated so I figure even greater efficiency after we get that done. I had my contractor plumb gas to the workshop in the barn as well so I'll be ready to heat that when I get that insulated too. No doubt the $1,400 bill will not take long to recoup. I'll link to some pictures when I get the chance.



I would like to thank "Bill from Fredericktown, OH" for his kind replies.

This is the positive drip separator
Line to barn
Calibrating the regulator at the house



I'll continue add to this Thread as I find more info...

Steve
 

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Thanks for all that info Steve. I would of liked to find property with a natural gas well on it. But it didn't go that way. I think it was a wise investment to get the regulators and piping updated as well. It is kinda scary to have had a higher pressure regulator indoors. It's great you have the backup Columbia Gas source also.
 

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Need Help-No Heat

Steve,
We are also located in Oberlin, Oh in a century home with a gas well which has worked great since the 1960's when it was drilled. Yesterday, we lost gas and now we are really cold! Could you please let us know what contractor or repair outfit you used for your well? We don't know who to contact in this area for gas well repair. Your kind response would be greatly appreciated.

Hallauer
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
HI! Welcome to the forums :)

Tough luck...sorry I didn't notice this post sooner. Maybe your regulator froze. I lost a lot of pressure during the cold snap but nothing has frozen since I had the work done.

I used "Gas Line Specialties" in Elyria. call Ed at 353-9100 or 653-7221

He's not a "well expert" though he is an outstanding line installer with a great desire to problem solve. I have contact info for experts at home...PM (personal message) me if you still need it.

Please let us know more about your well: do you have a pressure gauge on it?

Steve
 

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gas well

The gas well was put in the '60's and for the last 16 years that we have lived here, we've had no problems and saved ourselves a lot of money, we figure about $50,000 as just about the entire house is on the well. One supplemental furnace on propane has sustained us for the week. But when the heat ceased last weekend, we needed to find a repair person, which wasn't easy. After several phone calls found a person who could bail the well, as it had accummulated water. It still would not produce gas and we discovered that the 1000 ft well was only at 870 ft indicating that the well had colasped at the bottom. So needed to find someone else who could drill out the debris from the colaspe. Found such a person through word of mouth and they are, as we speak, drilling out the last 200 ft of the colaspe with a guarantee that the well will be perfectly fine. This has not been a fun week, needless to say! But the gas well is certainly worth the $3,000 to have it fixed. We may put in a new liner in the spring. If you ever need drilling the company is called Sitework Drilling in Ashland. Thanks for responding. Enjoy your well. They're great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When I researched running my car off the well I found the following info that advises against using well gas in FuelMakers residential "Phill" appliance. #1 is an obvious concern for anybody with a well and the other principles may apply to furnaces and other appliances also.

1. Odorant - Natural gas is odorized by gas utilities to make leaks detectable by the average user. Non-pipeline quality natural gas may not have sufficient odorizing to make it detectable.

2. Gas Composition - The composition of pipeline quality natural gas is strictly regulated and constantly monitored by gas utilities. This ensures there aren?t excessive levels of elements in the gas that can cause corrosive or acidic reactions affecting the integrity of piping, cylinders and gas equipment. Non-pipeline quality natural gas may not meet these requirements.

3. Moisture - Unprocessed natural gas contains moisture which may promote metal degradation as mentioned in item 2. In addition, when unprocessed natural gas is compressed, moisture may condense out and create hydrates resulting in blockages (i.e. freeze-ups) in the delivery system or vehicle fuel system. Pipeline quality natural gas is processed to a recognized moisture level prior to distribution by gas utilities. Non-pipeline quality natural gas may not meet this level.

(My regional installer was perfectly willing to sell me $11,000 worth of commercial machinery though).

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've been wondering how to utilize the gas during the summer when the pressure is up while not using the furnace. I was recently given a 3k natural gas generator from a cousin who hadn't used it in 10 years. It was installed in his basement and I guess his power never went out. I connected it in the barn and it fired right up. Now the only question is how to use it. I would love to have it kick on this summer when the thermostat calls for the A/C. If the generator could run the blower and the compressor that would be a huge electric savings. My other idea, which would be a larger investment, is to treat the system like a solar or wind powered house and have a bank of batteries that powers an inverter. The generator would only run when the batteries need a recharge. In that case the inverter would run the whole house or just a select portion of it. I could also add wind power or solar panels to complement the system in the future.

And, of course I need to get a natural gas grill for the back porch :)
 

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I've been wondering how to utilize the gas during the summer when the pressure is up while not using the furnace. I was recently given a 3k natural gas generator from a cousin who hadn't used it in 10 years. It was installed in his basement and I guess his power never went out. I connected it in the barn and it fired right up. Now the only question is how to use it. I would love to have it kick on this summer when the thermostat calls for the A/C. If the generator could run the blower and the compressor that would be a huge electric savings. My other idea, which would be a larger investment, is to treat the system like a solar or wind powered house and have a bank of batteries that powers an inverter. The generator would only run when the batteries need a recharge. In that case the inverter would run the whole house or just a select portion of it. I could also add wind power or solar panels to complement the system in the future.

And, of course I need to get a natural gas grill for the back porch :)

Their are a/c units that run on natural gas. I have seen units with a small internal combustion engine and also have heard of ones using flame and absorption. I don't know if ether would be workable for your situation or supply but it would be a way to utilize the gas in the summer if something like that would work out for you .
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks a lot Matt, I found some good info and am researching those units now, I'll post what I find.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gas chillers

Robur Corp manufactures natural gas chillers for residential A/C

Robur Corporation

James from Calgary Canada on the Topix forum installed this unit:

Robar 3 Ton Natural Gas Chiller Model ACF36-00N-60H $2,650 made in Evansville, Indiana 47711.

Also:

There is a whole forum for CNG vehicle owners with some discussion of using well gas...

Steve
 

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Steve,
We are also located in Oberlin, Oh in a century home with a gas well which has worked great since the 1960's when it was drilled. Yesterday, we lost gas and now we are really cold! Could you please let us know what contractor or repair outfit you used for your well? We don't know who to contact in this area for gas well repair. Your kind response would be greatly appreciated.

Hallauer
Hi hallauer, I'm in Lagrange oh. and I live about 4 miles east of you. I've got a gas well that needs serviceing and I would like to get in touch with you to ask you about your gas well and who you found to work on your well. Are you in Hallauer house on Hallauer rd.? If so I think I met you about 3 years ago
 

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You next project is to convert your vehicles to natural gas. The other inspector at work is in the process of doing this. He has his gas compressor and equipment set up and is now working on his first vehicle.
 

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I also live in the Wakeman, oh area and would greatly appreciate info on someone who works on wells. Ours works great for the entire house until it gets cold outside and then the pressure drops on well & takes several days to get pressure back up to 40-45 ??
 

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Man, I wish I had a gas well. Ey333, I don't have a clue about gas wells but wondering if you can install a compressor and storage tank (like a propane tank) so you can store some for when the well can't keep up (if that's what the problem is?). You could also fuel your cars with the same setup as Ghostmaker suggests. That would be a sweet deal - especially if the well is already dug and producing.
 

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low gas supply

We are experiencing low gas flow from our gas well. The well is still owned by the company and we have gas rights to it. It has been cold here in the northeast of late but has warmed up in the last couple days to the high 30's and low 40's. We are trying to keep a low flow so it doesn't freeze tonight by running a burner on our gas stove on low but periodically it goes out and we have to wait a while before we can get it to light again. Also, there doesn't seem to be enough to keep our furnace going. Any ideas what may be going on and how to fix?
 

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Natural Gas well

Steve,

Saw your pictures of the positive drip separator that you installed on your gas well. It appears that the line comes off your well into the drip separator and that both are exposed. My well has the line coming off the well under ground and I am concerned it would moister would freeze before it was blown off in the separator. Have you ever had problems with the line freezing at this location?
Thanks
Mark
 

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Servicing Natural gas wells in North East Ohio

I have been working on Natural Gas Wells for many years, Cleaning, repairing, bailing, swabbing, home owner free gas hook up, freezing problems etc.
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