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  1. #1
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    Default Service entance close to gas line

    The electrical service entrance (was a meter, but is still active as a junction box with breaker disconnect) is about 3 feet away from a LP gas shut off valve next to house (manufactured home). This seems to place a potential ignition source close to gas device, but can't find anything in IRC that seems to say its a no-no.
    Any ideas? If there is nothing wrong with it being that close to a gas shut off valve, what if it was a LP storage tank?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Service entance close to gas line

    Terry,

    Check current thread " Propane Clearances " in heating section it has some good information.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Service entance close to gas line

    Thanks Billy. I did a quick search in that section, but missed seeing that thread.

    That does apply to propane tanks (I had some info on that already), but it does not seem to specify anything about gas turn off valves. Propane tanks do have pressure relief valves and do occassionally out-gas. Turn off valves should not be releasing gas (unless a line breaks). However, I am still a bit confused as to what would fall under the term "ignition source". For example, the graphic that was offered, shows an image of an AC window unit that could be too close to a LP tank.

    For example, it is common to see natural gas meters right next to electrical service entrances. No problem there.

    What prompted my question is that while on site I was told by an insurance guy that the LP supply company had red-tagged a similar setup until that person relocated the gas line.

    So I still don't see how the clearance requirements apply to a turn off vavle (as I was told earlier today). As well as, what does constitute a "ignition source"?

    Will copy this thread over the the heating section.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Service entance close to gas line

    click New Posts thread is there.

    Ignition source might be a little tricky.

    http://www.propanegas.ca/FileArea/PG...ulations_E.pdf

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Service entrance close to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Ignition source might be a little tricky.

    Ignition source = main breaker = 3 feet clearance from regulator (if I recall correctly)

    By the way, where it the meter now? It has not been 'bypassed' has it?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Service entance close to gas line

    Thanks Jerry.

    I don't quite understand the reference to regulator.

    My assumption is that any pressure relief functions are at the tank. Therefore any normal out gassing would be at the tank. While there is a pressure regulator at the shut off valve next to the house, it should not normally be releasing any gas, right?

    re - the meter. There is a new meter and panel on a power pole about 100 ft away. The old service entrance in the picture is still active (is providing the grounding and bonding functions for the manufactured home).


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Service entrance close to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Beck View Post
    While there is a pressure regulator at the shut off valve next to the house, it should not normally be releasing any gas, right?
    "should not normally" therein is the key wording ... "should not normally" ...

    However, regulators are know to leak, and therefore (to my recollection) require the 3 foot clearance to ignition sources. Actually, as I recall, it is to "automatic" ignition sources. The reasoning being that a 'manual' ignition source would not be operated if the person operating the manual ignition source smelled gas and saw the gas source (tank, meter, regulator, etc.) nearby.

    However, with 'automatic' operating ignition sources, it will operate regardless if there is a noticeable smell (high concentration) of gas present.

    Breakers are considered automatic operating ignition sources.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Service entance close to gas line

    I see your point, and don't mean to beat the issue to death.

    However, I would assume there is some sort of regulator that is in all natural gas meters. I always see electrical meters and service entrance panels installed right next to a natural gas meter. Never seen any code against that. Is this different somehow?


  9. #9
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    Exclamation Re: Service entance close to gas line

    Terry, look at your photo: see the green round thing? That's a second stage pressure regulator. It knocks down the pressure from about 10 psi to 11-14 inches of water column, which is your typical working pressure. The round thing pointing towards the ground with a screen on it is the vent. All regulators must vent to the atmosphere in order to equalize the pressure. Therefore, every time the gas pressure fluctates, air and sometimes a little gas leakage burps out of this vent. However, should the rubber diaphragm rupture, you would have gas flowing at pressure. That's why the code requires a shutoff immediately upstream of any regulator. If you have fugitive gas under 10 psi, it won't take long to find a source of ignition, even if it is a few feet off the ground.

    For the case in point, all they have to do is run a vent line back to the tank bonnet and leave the regulator & shutoff right where they are.
    HTH,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  10. #10
    Rob Turner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Service entance close to gas line

    I see lots of different info being brought up on this subject.
    The problem is not the shutoff valve being near a source of ignition, but that of the 2nd stage regulator vent. Regs require no ignition source within 5 feet. In this case you would add a vent tube to the regulator so that any excaping gas released in the event of diaphram rupture, will be released 5 ft away. Relocation of regulator is not necessary.
    As for your question of ignition source, this includes anything that is permanent or moveable that has a flame or spark, ie electrical power boxes, a/ units and junction boxes, dryer vents, bbq's, pool and spa heaters


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Service entance close to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Turner View Post

    In this case you would add a vent tube to the regulator so that any excaping gas released in the event of diaphram rupture, will be released 5 ft away.
    .
    Only IF I worked for the Utility Company.
    .


    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  12. #12
    Fred Warner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Service entance close to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Beck View Post
    ................
    re - the meter. There is a new meter and panel on a power pole about 100 ft away. The old service entrance in the picture is still active (is providing the grounding and bonding functions for the manufactured home).
    This raises a question. Are there 4 conductors coming from the new meter and panel location to this existing meter/panel location?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Service entrance close to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Beck View Post
    re - the meter. There is a new meter and panel on a power pole about 100 ft away. The old service entrance in the picture is still active (is providing the grounding and bonding functions for the manufactured home).

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Warner View Post
    This raises a question. Are there 4 conductors coming from the new meter and panel location to this existing meter/panel location?
    Fred,

    Your question and his statement triggered another question of importance:

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Beck View Post
    re - the meter. There is a new meter and panel on a power pole about 100 ft away.
    I am presuming that is supplying power to the manufactured home, however, ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Beck View Post
    The old service entrance in the picture is still active (is providing the grounding and bonding functions for the manufactured home).
    The old service is still "(is providing the grounding and bonding functions for the manufactured home)"???

    Either I am missing something, or something else is screwed up there.

    What say you?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
    Fred Warner's Avatar
    Fred Warner Guest

    Default Re: Service entance close to gas line

    I say "Something else is screwed up!"


  15. #15
    John Steinke's Avatar
    John Steinke Guest

    Default Re: Service entance close to gas line

    The local utility sets the rule; check their standards. Most are available, free, on the internet.

    In my area, the rule is 36" from the meter (as measured from the center of the regulator) to anything that may spark (like a breaker). This is a direct measurement, and may be at any angle.

    Now, this is not the way it has always been. Formerly, they required meters grouped together ... so in many cases, you cannot comply with the new rule when upgrading the service.


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