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  1. #1
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    Default date on gas meter?

    Is there a date hidden in these numbers?

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  2. #2
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    Orlando, FL
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    Default Re: date on gas meter?

    My WAG would be '89.

    You could call American Meter if needed, they're somewhere in PA.

    http://www.gmaci.com/AMCO%20Literature/SB%203535.2.pdf


  3. #3
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    Nov 2007
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    Chicago
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    Default Re: date on gas meter?

    When you inspectors do a home inespection and come across a tankless gas water heater, do you all do a MAX BTU load on the home, and see if the meter is properly sized?

    Reason I ask is the unit pictured is rated at 250,000 BTU's with a max 5PSI pressure. Most tankless units are 199,000 BTU's which leaves you 51,000 BTU's to run the stove, oven, dryer, and furnace. Which is not enough at all, my small furnance in my apartment is 100,000 BTU's

    There are many untrained plumbers, and handymen that are installing tankless water heaters and are overlooking the meter size. I even seen trained guys miss the meter sizing. I get lots of calls in the winter months here about their tankless is no longer making enough hot water, in most cases its the meter and or the gas pipe sizing. The other cases are just improper installs.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: date on gas meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    When you inspectors do a home inespection and come across a tankless gas water heater, do you all do a MAX BTU load on the home, and see if the meter is properly sized?

    Reason I ask is the unit pictured is rated at 250,000 BTU's with a max 5PSI pressure. Most tankless units are 199,000 BTU's which leaves you 51,000 BTU's to run the stove, oven, dryer, and furnace. Which is not enough at all, my small furnance in my apartment is 100,000 BTU's

    There are many untrained plumbers, and handymen that are installing tankless water heaters and are overlooking the meter size. I even seen trained guys miss the meter sizing. I get lots of calls in the winter months here about their tankless is no longer making enough hot water, in most cases its the meter and or the gas pipe sizing. The other cases are just improper installs.
    Ron,

    Same concern with the electric ones being installed.

    Not only that, but if a couple of neighbors install the electric tankless water heaters and there are power problems (there likely will be) and the power company comes out and starts investigating ... the power company will change the transformer out with a properly sized one and then BILL THE HOMEOWNER for the change out. Those change outs can be quite costly too.

    Having contacted FPL (Florida Power and Light), the power company here, to ask about installing the electric tankless water heaters, some of which are 120 amp models, I was told that, no, they (FPL) cannot stop the owners from installing those high amp draw appliances, and we cannot 'not issue' a permit for the the change out as long as it meets code (they do), but that we should have them contact FPL and let FPL explain to the owner what the true cost of installing one might be (replacing the transformer).

    We had 3 or 4 installed in a couple of condos and told the contractor what FPL told us, and that they (the contractor) should advise their owner of the ultimate potential cost. After that first 3 or 4, we had the contractors provide a letter signed by the owner that the owner was aware of the potential costs for replacing a transformer and that they have discussed this with FPL, then we will issue the permit ... suddenly, we started getting calls from owners stating that the contractors told them (the owners) that we would not issue the permit - huh? We explained what was needed, what the potential might be (replacing the transformer, no cost mentioned) and suggested the owner fall FPL before providing the signed letter - the owners never called back, the contractors never came back in, the unsigned letter went in the file with the permit application in case there is a complaint raised later about us 'saying no permit will be issued'.

    I can think of two things which happened:
    1) The owner got smart and realized what the contractor was selling him might lead to the the owner paying to replace the transformer for the condo.
    2) The owner had the contractor install it anyway so FPL would not be able to trace the problem back to them. It will be very easy for FPL to trace any problem and high amperage use back to them - if they did this, we will eventually find out, and then there is the penalty for having done the work without a permit on top of the transformer cost, and the probability of having to re-wire it properly.

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: date on gas meter?

    Thank you Mr. Jerry Peck, for the response. I never knew that about electric tankless heaters and the transformers. I knew most home services could not handle the added demand of an electric tankless, which was always a large factor of not selling them.

    As for gas tankless water heaters, when I go and give an estimate, I educate the consumers on the basics. I inform them
    1. that these units draw a much larger amount of gas, which means the gas piping to the unit needs to be properly sized and the current 1/2" supply is not enough.
    2. Also inform them to contact the local gas company to see if their gas meter needs upgrading, and if there will be a charge or not.
    3. Tell them moving the heater to an outside wall for ease of venting is a bad idea due to the extending of the water piping system further away from the fixtures means the longer they need to wait for hot water to come out of the tap.
    4. Also that tankless water heaters are not "Instant" hot water heaters. If installed right where the tank was originally the time it takes to get hot water will be the same, you just do not run out of hot water.
    There is more, but you can see, that I firmly believe in a well informed consumer, so they can make the right choice when investing a large some of money in to a unit that will in most cases save them $80.00 a year, and that savings has to be spent in maintenance of the unit (deliming).


  6. #6
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    Default Re: date on gas meter?

    So, I have a rare (for me) new construction with not one, but two tankless gas water heaters, each rated at 199,900 BTU. Plus a 100,000 btu gas furnace and a gas fireplace. The meter is labeled exactly as the one in the O.P. here.

    While there, I remembered this post (thanks, Ron!) and told the client that I need to verify the meter info, but he almost certainly has capacity issues.

    Question: if all appliances are working and the gas supply is choked at the meter, does the delivered gas pressure drop below proper operating psi, or does the pressure remain steady and the volume of gas get reduced below proper operating input?

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    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: date on gas meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post
    So, I have a rare (for me) new construction with not one, but two tankless gas water heaters, each rated at 199,900 BTU. Plus a 100,000 btu gas furnace and a gas fireplace. The meter is labeled exactly as the one in the O.P. here.

    While there, I remembered this post (thanks, Ron!) and told the client that I need to verify the meter info, but he almost certainly has capacity issues.

    Question: if all appliances are working and the gas supply is choked at the meter, does the delivered gas pressure drop below proper operating psi, or does the pressure remain steady and the volume of gas get reduced below proper operating input?
    ?? Pressure is a function of volume. Too much required volume means the pressure drops.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  8. #8
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    Default Re: date on gas meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post
    So, I have a rare (for me) new construction with not one, but two tankless gas water heaters, each rated at 199,900 BTU. Plus a 100,000 btu gas furnace and a gas fireplace. The meter is labeled exactly as the one in the O.P. here.

    While there, I remembered this post (thanks, Ron!) and told the client that I need to verify the meter info, but he almost certainly has capacity issues.

    Question: if all appliances are working and the gas supply is choked at the meter, does the delivered gas pressure drop below proper operating psi, or does the pressure remain steady and the volume of gas get reduced below proper operating input?
    That meter shows that it is rated at 250 CFH (Cubic Feet Per Hour), which equates to roughly 255,000 Btu/hr, you listed 500,000 Btu/hr in appliance ratings, or about twice the capacity of the meter.

    If everything happened to be running full blast on at the same time, yeah, they would not operate full blast on at the same time.

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

  9. #9
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    Cool Re: date on gas meter?

    Each gas appliance should have a minimum inlet pressure on its rating plate. What that means is regardless of the other piping or appliances in the home, this appliance should always see at least this minimum pressure. Now, as for the flow, that is a function of the input BTU rating. The person piping it should calculate the pressure drop and flow based upon the length of run, type of piping, offsets and fittings, etc. and other appliance draws so this appliance always gets what it deserves.

    Now, with high draw appliancse such as tankless WHs, the meter must meet the combined BTU capacity of the house for starters. Then, the pressure drop to each appliance must be factored. This can be approached two ways: vastly increase the diameter of the pipe or boost the pressure. Plan B is the usual route by converting to a 2 psi system with MP regulators at all the other appliances. A lesser approach would be to change the regulator spring at the meter to a 12.2 wci inlet pressure but this works only on marginal load shortfalls. The case where the meter can provide 50% of the gas would require a 2 psi system because the interior piping was obviously sized for a 250CFH load--not a 500.

    Failure to supply adequate gas pressure and volume may result in delayed or failed ignition, sooting, carbon monoxide production, low heat and shortening the life span of the appliance.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: date on gas meter?

    In these cases it is best to call the gas supplier. They will tell you what kind of system is installed and what the meter is rated at.

    I just recently installed a sub-meter for a company, and the meter is just like the ones pictured. If you look close it says it is rated at 250K BTU @ 1/2" differntail. Now if they are running a Medium pressure or high pressure system it would only raise the capacity of the meter by 65 - 90 K BTU.

    So in this case that meter is very undersized to handle the 500K load. One question how about the stove and oven? This will raise your BTU load as well.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: date on gas meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    When you inspectors do a home inespection and come across a tankless gas water heater, do you all do a MAX BTU load on the home, and see if the meter is properly sized?

    Reason I ask is the unit pictured is rated at 250,000 BTU's with a max 5PSI pressure. Most tankless units are 199,000 BTU's which leaves you 51,000 BTU's to run the stove, oven, dryer, and furnace. Which is not enough at all, my small furnance in my apartment is 100,000 BTU's

    There are many untrained plumbers, and handymen that are installing tankless water heaters and are overlooking the meter size. I even seen trained guys miss the meter sizing. I get lots of calls in the winter months here about their tankless is no longer making enough hot water, in most cases its the meter and or the gas pipe sizing. The other cases are just improper installs.
    Great Point! I asked this before to a HVAC guy when I was considering a tank less heater. He said there would be no problem. I did not get the tank-less. I did think there would be a problem since my dryer, stove, oven and 150,000 btu furnace are gas. He acted as though I annoyed him. LOL! I am so glad I did not go tankless. I use way too much hot water. I ended up getting a 70 gallon Bradford White Direct Vent Heater. It is fast and we have never run out of hot water. Even with 4 showers running at full time.


  12. #12
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    Nov 2007
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    Chicago
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    Default Re: date on gas meter?


    Tankless heaters for residential, does not have a huge pay off. Residentialtank heaters are so well insulated the heat loss if very minimal. Also many do not have the tankless systemsized properly. People want to go withthe cheapest model they see, due to the way the manufactures advertise theunits.



    They claim their cheaper units can do 6 GPM (Gallons per minute), which isroughly 3 showers at once. But that is only with a 30 F temperature rise. That means the incoming water temp needs tobe 90 F to reach the 6 GPM at a output temperature of 120 F. That same heater here in Chicago with ourincoming water temperature of 45 F would only output about 1.5GPM. Sodepending on the size of the home (how many bathrooms) a larger unit might dothe job, or multiple units are needed.



    I personally rather install smaller multiple units for redundancy. This wayif you have a unit that fails, at least you will still have hot water, whilewaiting on parts which can take a few weeks to get. When you have multiple unitsthey also increase the total capacity (GPM) that can be used. When one unitfires and reaches 80% capacity, it will call the other heater in to split theload and both heaters are at 40% capacity and ramp up as needed. After the first unit has ran for 8 hourstotal time, or 24 hours has passed the other unit will be the first one to firethen.



    Now as for tank heaters a 75 gallon tank does a great job for multiple showersand filling those soaker tubs. But many homes just do not have the space oraccess to install one of those monsters. Bradford White makes a 25 gallonheater that has the same output capacity as a standard 75 gallon tank. Its themodel GX2-25S which gives a first hour delivery of 155 gallons, where a 75gallon tank only can give 95 gallons first hour delivery. Also the recoveryrate is very close. The 75 gallon tank recovers at a 90 F temperature rise of82 gallons per hour, and the 25 gallon GX2-25S recovers at 90 F temperaturerise of 84 gallons per hour. They also make a power vent model for those homesthat do not or have an undersized chimney system.

    http://www.bradfordwhite.com/images/shared/pdfs/specsheets/115-B.pdf



  13. #13

    Default Re: date on gas meter?

    Amerian 250 meters haven't been around for too long, but the local gas co. should be able to tell exactly when they installed it. Or of course you could contact the manufacturer to find out the manufacture date.

    The American 250 meters are rated for 2.5 therms (250,000 btu's) at standard pressure, and 5 therms w/ a 2# set. I could print out a chart at my day job if interested......


  14. #14
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    Nov 2007
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    Chicago
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    Default Re: date on gas meter?

    Lot of areas do not allow a 2# system to be used in a home, but there are areas that does. The easy way to tell if the home is a medium pressure system is you would see pressure regulators at each gas appliance, IE gas dryer, stove, furnace, and water heater.

    Now some gas meters do not double their capacity with increased pressures. Sensus gas meter which is a meter I just recently dealt with at a 1/2# it is rated at 250K BTU, and at 2# it is rated at 310K BTU. So as noted check with the gas supplier. They can tell you for a fact if the meter is properly sized, what kind of pressure the home is using, and the age of the meter.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: date on gas meter?

    This thread has been helpful. I have that same AC-250 meter on my own home, and I called the gas company about meter sizing and they told me it was good for 300,000 BTUs. I wasn't sure how they arrived at this, though.... Thoughts?


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