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Thread: Propane Systems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    Default Propane Systems

    This is something I rarely run across and know a fair amount about but am always interested in learning more. I have a big house coming up this week that is all propane and was trying to brush up.... So, what do you know and what would you care to share from an inspection perspective?

    Here's what I can think of:

    Propane appliances should be marked as being converted from LNG

    Propane is heavier than air while natural gas is lighter (I'm 90% sure on this.... I'm sure someone will jump in if I'm wrong). I always think of this in terms of fireplaces and other equipment where a leak would settle rather than drift upward (should propane house systems have a "sniffer" like in an RV?)

    There're more BTUs per cubic foot of propane vs natural gas (likely why it's heavier than air as opposed to LNG).

    It smells about as foul as LNG although slightly different odor

    How about storage tank regulations? From what I've experienced the delivery companies are pretty good about enforcing things before they'll fill the tank. Pretty much like the natural gas company around here. Meaning they won't turn the gas on unless all is well and the appliances are all generally safe.

    Things seem to be largely the same as LNG but, again, I don't see too many propane systems. Just curious what you all know....

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,247

    Default Re: Propane Systems

    There is: LPG (propane), NG (natural gas) and LNG (liquefied natural gas) ... are you sure you are not thinking of LPG and NG?

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: Propane Systems

    Oops.... yep, I was mixing up terms....

    natural gas systems are what I see everyday... propane very rarely.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Propane Systems

    If you see natural gas regularly, then there is likely no "conversion" as they are shipped ready for natural gas.

    You would need to look at the nameplate and it will state the type of gas, if different than what is being used, then a factory conversion kit would need to be installed, and that would need to be identified in some manner on the unit so everyone would know the conversion had been done.

    When I was in South Florida there were many parts which had natural gas, other part were strictly propane as they were never piped for natural gas.

    Up here in Ormond Beach, at least where I am, it is propane, not natural gas (although there may be some natural gas around and I may have just never run across it) ... come to think of it, I do now recall natural gas being piped to the two 26 story condo buildings I inspected, piped to the boilers up on the roof, nothing else - I inspected the gas lines and the pressure testing of them (those two buildings were in Holly Hill, but it does mean that natural gas lines are up here in at least some places).

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

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