I have been running no heat calls all day - today I have found  lots of very low gas pressure you can run the Nat Gas hot water heater or 95% furnace.   Most days I find 5" to 5.5" and higher water Column then the regulator goes down to 4" then at burner is 3.5"   today at -10 outside  I find 2.1" at burner and the flame rod does not keep the burner on.   On the good side the BTU per burner is less and matches the load to home better, with most furnaces oversized.  Down side is close to sooting up the heat exchanger. Also the high heat is not in the mid air stream so using my flue gas meter the O2 goes up and flue temp goes down and heat rise goes down.   I have been looking for ways of testing gas BTU's in the feild?  

Views: 695

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

What does the gas utility say about the pressure?

The are having gas line constraint problems in some areas of the country.  If it is impacting home heat - then they should be contacting the commercial interrupt-able users and asking that they go offline for a few days.

Or is the cold weather causing some of the old regulators by the meters to fail?

Sounds like you want an easy to use calibrated bunsen burner - with a measured amount of water... and a thermometer.... some thing easy and nearly indestructable in the field.  

But honestly  - it sounds like the real problem is with the utility.  If you are seen lots of calls,  everyone else is also seeing them... and it sounds like its just overloaded gas transmission lines.

the gas utility says water in gas line is the main problem

Water in their side of the high pressure line?  Interesting  if so,  I thought they'd have traps for that along the way at the various compressor and storage facilities. I also thought they had inline gas drying...  since they often store NG in big underground salt caverns (at least in the NW),  it could come in contact with moisture ... so I'm pretty sure they'd dry it as it comes out of the storage facility.

If they are getting moisture into the high pressure lines -- seeping in to the pipes.... I'd hope they are running scared about pipe explosions later when everything thaws..

If it's in the house... seems you could turn off gas,  bleed off the pressure... and check one of the rust / sediment traps on the line just before it enters the furnace..

Knowing the BTU heat value is kind of interesting... but since you can't order different grades of gas to be delivered to the house - the best you really can do is use the previous months values from the bills or ask the utility what the current values are.   The NG in the system and its sources is constantly changing.

Hello Eric,

Sorry to hear you're having a quality problem with natural gas in your area. The cold weather may have contributed, but it's unusual for natural gas analyses to run anything less than 98% methane(CH4). To answer your question, you must take a sample in a glass Orsat tube and submit it for analysis to a lab like Sherry BTU Lab . They will analyze it by gas chromatography, and send you a report, for a price. The other possibility is to keep calling your local gas company and ask for the lab. Although they are extremely busy, if they believe there exists enough of a problem in the field, they will send a technician out to grab a sample, and a chemist will analyze it for BTU content by gas chromatography. Good fortune. Perhaps the problem will clear as the weather warms up.

This was an experienced answer, not conjecture from someone that hasn't actually worked in the field! Most engineers will just sit in their office and smoke cherry pipe tobacco. Try to get atech on it if possible.

today 36' and rain   just not a low gas  today to day is 6.4" water coll coming past gas meter .   I empted 4 traps/drip legs and all had lots of water in them.    My thinking is when gas presser is low- water leaks comes in. 

Has utility suggested where water is entering system...I can't imagine it being on the low pressure side of the meter...not in that quantity...  unless it somehow runs underground... it should be above water level. 

Or are the low pressure lines run under a slab from the meter to the furnaces?  That seems pretty risky..

If so, They must have had some kind of fault upstream.  If you are in city, I'd check with them incase they have a franchise agreement.  Cities and fire districts don't like the idea of responding to CO poisoning episodes, or gas explosions this time of the year...  I'd think they'd help push for some answers from utility...

Agreed. hope your gas company cooperated with you, and your gas quality problem is solved!

Eric: OK, I get it. You are a conscientious guy trying to solve this problem for your customers. You must be right, that the low gas pressure is allowing the water in. Action Idea: call the gas company and tell them that: the gas pressure may be too low, providing an inadequate and possibly unsafe flame. If they won't respond to you telling them there is an Unsafe Condition, then go public. Contact a local consumer oriented TV station who will put some pressure on the gas company for you. Wish you great luck in solving this for your people!

RSS

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Mst. Fatema Aktar is now a member of Home Energy Pros
58 minutes ago
Robert Leone added a discussion to the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
Thumbnail

Blower Door Package for Sale

Hi,I am selling my blower door with extras as a package or individually. These items are used but…See More
7 hours ago
Profile IconRobert Leone and Richard Vito joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
7 hours ago
Richard Vito joined Sean Lintow Sr's group
Thumbnail

Best Practices (Residential)

Best Building, Retrofitting, or even Auditing Practices - what are they, what should change, what…See More
15 hours ago
Richard Vito joined James Sayers's group
Thumbnail

Marketing Energy Efficiency

Sharing ideas, tools and examples of promoting energy efficiency to consumersSee More
15 hours ago
Richard Vito joined Allison A. Bailes III's group
Thumbnail

HVAC

HVAC design, Manuals J, S, T, & D, Duct leakage, Air flow, ENERGY STAR new home requirements,…See More
15 hours ago
Richard Vito joined Kyle Brown's group
Thumbnail

Wrightsoft - Manual J / Manual D

If you use Wrightsoft to calculate loads or design ducts, you likely have questions.  Get answers…See More
15 hours ago
Jim Gunshinan commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal
"I had a revelation while attending Bruce Manclark's session of duct leak testing at the Energy…"
yesterday
George J. Nesbitt commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal
"Blower Door; the 2007 test was a depressurization test, and the 2014 a pressurization test, which…"
yesterday
George J. Nesbitt replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"Plan, plan, plan, plan. The 1st step to is to understand the house, how it's built, the…"
yesterday
George J. Nesbitt posted an event

High Performance Windows - A Panel of Experts at Pyramid Alehouse`

April 26, 2014 from 3pm to 5pm
Join a lively panel discussion on high performance windows. We'll cover some basics, as well as…See More
yesterday
Kaushal Bharath Raju replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"Hi David, Thanks for pointing out Martin Holiday's article. I do not wish to engage in the…"
yesterday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service