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  1. #1
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    Default Gas regulator orientation?

    I have been asked if this gas regulator is installed upside down. I wasn't aware that it mattered... if so, why?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Gas regulator orientation?

    Those can be mounted facing up or facing down.

    Looks like a vent limiter in the vent hole.

    Some regulators have an air showing "UP" when installed vertically instead of horizontally like that one is. That is the main position indication I am aware of. Usually "UP" is where the gas supply enters and down (not marked as 'down', but the opposite of 'up' is 'down') is where the supply to the appliance comes out.

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

  3. #3
    buddy brault's Avatar
    buddy brault Guest

    Default Re: Gas regulator orientation?

    Hey Mike, It does matter on the orientation of the regulator when a vent limiter is used. The regulator must always be in a horizontal position. the reason if you were to pull the vent limiter off you would see a little ball which in normal use will not allow gas to vent. You can go to maxitrol gas regulator website to get a good view of this. If the vent limiter is removed and the regulator is vented to outside it can be in any position.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Gas regulator orientation?

    Quote Originally Posted by buddy brault View Post
    Hey Mike, It does matter on the orientation of the regulator when a vent limiter is used. The regulator must always be in a horizontal position. the reason if you were to pull the vent limiter off you would see a little ball which in normal use will not allow gas to vent. You can go to maxitrol gas regulator website to get a good view of this. If the vent limiter is removed and the regulator is vented to outside it can be in any position.
    Buddy,

    Maxitrol states: (underlining and bold are mine)
    - Optional automatic vent limiting device - ball check permits free inhalation for fast regulator - diaphragm response on opening cycle, but limits gas escapement to within ANSI standards should a diaphragm rupture. When using the vent limiting device, regulator must be mounted in a horizontal upright position for best performance.

    Note that it *is not* a "requirement".

    However, *IF* you are using the "vent protector", that is different:
    - Designed for outdoor applications. Use on vent opening to protect breather hole from rain, snow, dust or other foreign particles and insects. Note: Vent protector MUST be mounted in an upright position.

    One may think that is a small difference, but it is really a big difference.


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

  5. #5
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    Exclamation just a few points to ponder

    They get an 'e' for effort on this one. They do have an approved, listed shutoff within 6 ft of the appliance combination valve. They do have a medium pressure (MP) regulator downstream of the shutoff, they do have a tee fitting downstream of the MP reg. within 10 pipe diameters (5 inch in this case) and they have a ground union btw the shutoff and appliance. The MP reg. is "accessible". The MP reg. is not where it could ice up. The reg. is oriented up, which is the most common orientation for indoor MP regs. So, what did they miss?

    See that tee with the "icicle"? I'm sure they wanted this to count as a 'sediment trap' as well as a point to attach a manometer but......... This type of trap is expressly prohibited. You must have a gravity turn such as the one downstream. The easiest way to pipe in MP regs. is to use an approved gas shutoff that incorporates a 1/8" NPT tap plugged with the tap located downstream of the shutoff. These are all I use now because they allows quick access for me to get a true line pressure reading compared to taps on the appliance valve that undergo a 1.0-1.5 wci pressure drop through the valve itself.

    You can make a case for this MP reg. needing some means of physical protection from that bicycle and other implements of destruction.

    The orientation of a MP reg. is dictated by the mfr. Some are approved for mounting in any orientation while others are specific. The two most common reasons for orientation prescription are ice formation on the vent (outdoor regs.) and the use of ball checks as vent limiters. If they rely on gravity acting upon a ball to provide the vent limit, you defeat it when the reg. is oriented where the ball rolls out. When in doubt, take a pic of the reg., write down the make and model such as Maxitrol 325-3 so you can look it up later if need be. Don't make generalizations because, for instance that Max. 325 allows for vent limiters on the 325-3 and 325-5 but not the 325-7, which is rated for over 500 MBH and must be hard piped outdoors.

    When I see that much Rectorseal #5 pipe dope left on the joints not wiped, I'l take bets he doped the ground union, which is a major no-no and one of the most common sources of gas leaks. Ground unions are metal to metal on the seat of the joint--the two pipe threads of course do get doped. Also, ground unions are mated pairs. Often, re-used fittings get mixed up but the male and female should be an original pair and not intermingled. Sometimes you can tell if you look closely the two ends are different. This appears to have the female to the right, which is the way most pros do it.

    Any support for this gas pipe btw the ground union and point of entry into the CAZ? If disconnected, that whole leg would otherwise flop around compromising joint integrity.

    That nipple enterning the valve is probably from a home center. Not always but could be a sign of DIY plumbing. See the tape over the bar code?

    I hope that isn't Teflon tape I see dangling off the downstream on that gas shutoff. White Teflon it appears at that.
    Yes Jerry, that is the listed vent limiter. The face of the reg. will state the max. inlet pressure and outlet pressure range. If the inlet pressure exceeds 2 psi there must be a listed overpressure device located downstream to limit outlet gas pressure to 2 psi max.

    Thread drift (even farther): It would be appropriate (in my book) for all HIs to recommend the flame arrestors screen on all new FVIR WHs be annually inspected and cleaned as needed. As these screens clog up with dust bunnies, the temps. rise in the combustion chamber and combustion efficiency suffers. Eventually, the high temp. fuse will blow causing the homeowner to think the WH is ruined. A good cleaning and fuse replacement can get their hot water back on. Some WHs are a PIA to service though so don't quote low ball numbers for this service--set the expectation to pay a little bit but remind them it sure beats a no heat call.

    Is this platform approved for seismic zones? I didn't see any chains or straps but was just curious. The gas shutoff looks awfully close to that right leg of the stand.
    Ok, so their 'e' for effort was a lower case 'e'. :-)
    HTH
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  6. #6
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    Winston-Salem, NC
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    Default Re: Gas regulator orientation?

    Buddy & Jerry,
    Thanks for the info and the reference to the Maxitrol site... great information. I will now pay attention to the orientation, and whether or not there is a vent installed.
    This is a great site!



  7. #7
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    Default Re: Gas regulator orientation?

    Another observation:

    The gas shut-off valve used in the steel piping appears to be brass construction. Dissimilar metals should not be in contact. Moisture in the gas can cause electrolysis (galvanic corrosion).

    G2420.1.1 (409.1.1) Valve approval. Shutoff valves shall
    be of an approved type; shall be constructed of materials
    compatible with the piping
    ; and shall comply with the stan-
    dard that is applicable for the pressure and application, in
    accordance with Table G2420.1.1. [emphasis mine]


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Gas regulator orientation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Kallmer View Post
    The gas shut-off valve used in the steel piping appears to be brass construction.
    Brass and steel are compatible as brass contains a enough zinc to make it compatible. Copper and steel would not be compatible.

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Gas regulator orientation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Brass and steel are compatible as brass contains a enough zinc to make it compatible. Copper and steel would not be compatible.
    Okay. I didn't realize these metals were happy playing together. Brass is a little bit closer to steel or iron than copper on the nobility chart, but still seems far enough away to create electrolysis. Brass has an anodic index of 0.40 and copper 0.35. Steel and iron are 0.85.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Gas regulator orientation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Brass and steel are compatible as brass contains a enough zinc to make it compatible. Copper and steel would not be compatible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Kallmer View Post
    Okay. I didn't realize these metals were happy playing together. Brass is a little bit closer to steel or iron than copper on the nobility chart, but still seems far enough away to create electrolysis. Brass has an anodic index of 0.40 and copper 0.35. Steel and iron are 0.85.
    Tim,

    I guess I should clarify my answer as there are lots are variables which are unknown: It depends on the brass alloy and the steel alloy, however, "typically" brass/bronze fittings are used between copper and steel pipe because of its compatibility to both copper and steel.

    Thus, my answer is based on that "typical" use see in residential construction, which is what is shown in that photo - a typical installation of steel-brass-steel, which could have been steel-brass-copper.

    If you get into metal compatibility on a deeper level for critical environments and uses, they typically recommend staying within 0.25 V on the "Anodic Index" when in normal environments; brass and bronzes are between 0.35 - 0.45 and steel are between 0.85 - 1.20 ... which are separated by much more than the 0.25 V recommended for those normal environments. Such as is shown here: http://www.engineersedge.com/galvanic_capatability.htm

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

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