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  1. #1
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Low gas pressure?

    This is my own house, not an inspection...

    The other day I couldn't get any of the stove-top burners to light, while the oven was fired up and the boiler was fired up, and maybe the water heater, too. I could hear the ignitor, though.

    Seems kind of like a no-brainer - not enough gas to go around - but I've never actually heard of such a problem, except when installing tankless systems that require a larger gas service.

    Bad pressure regulator?

    Maybe some experimenting is in order.

    Inspection Referral
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  2. #2
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    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: Low gas pressure?

    Undersized gas line for number of appliances. I know this can happen with propane because I had this problem at the cottage. Six burner propane stove w/oven and griddle, three gas fireplaces, gas boiler, gas dryer, gas generator. If they are all running there is not enough pressure to fire all appliances.


  3. #3
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    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Low gas pressure?

    I would go with a bad pressure regulator at the meter if you are on natural gas. NG is low pressure when compaired to LPG. Call the gas company.....

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Low gas pressure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I would go with a bad pressure regulator at the meter if you are on natural gas. NG is low pressure when compaired to LPG. Call the gas company.....
    Even on LPG.

    Regulators can also leak and need repair/replacement (replacement is typically what is done). The diaphragm can fail, tear, develop a hole or puncture, etc. Check outside by the regulator to see if you smell gas - if so that is an indication of a failed diaphragm (among other potential things, but I would go with the diaphragm first - either way, it typically means a new regulator).

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

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Low gas pressure?

    Thanks all!

    The meter and regulator are inside, in the basement. No gas smell down there.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  7. #7
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Low gas pressure?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Thanks all!

    The meter and regulator are inside, in the basement. No gas smell down there.
    You don't have to have a gas smell for the regulator to be bad.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  8. #8
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Low gas pressure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    You don't have to have a gas smell for the regulator to be bad.
    Correct, only if it is leaking would there be a gas smell.

    I doubt it is a design issue unless this is a new installed and has never been 'fully' tested before, otherwise the issue would have shown up sooner.

    If some of the other appliances were turned off, did it light properly then? That would pretty much confirm there was a pressure problem and likely the regulator - unless your entire neighborhood had a similar problem at the same time, then it could be a system-wide pressure problem.

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Low gas pressure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    You don't have to have a gas smell for the regulator to be bad.
    Right. I was responding to JP's suggestion that I check for gas smell.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  10. #10
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    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
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    4,546

    Default Re: Low gas pressure?

    I think 5 million people turned the heat up all at once.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Low gas pressure?

    Maybe it was a neighborhood thing. I just fired up every gas appliance in the house, and had no trouble with stove top burners.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  12. #12
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
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    Default Re: Low gas pressure?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Maybe it was a neighborhood thing. I just fired up every gas appliance in the house, and had no trouble with stove top burners.
    We had an extremely cold few days a few years ago, and I was having some trouble with the water heater not being warm enough for a bath. I chalked it up to some type of utility problem with gas pressure or volume. Hasn't happened again, fortunately. Funny thing, that was the only time I ever attempted to use our soaking tub, because it was too cold to walk out to the hot tub. Still haven't been in the thing in four years.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  13. #13
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    Mar 2007
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: Low gas pressure?

    John,

    I had a gas-fired range once. When I had the "self-clean" function on, the heat coming out of the oven would prevent the cooktop burners from igniting automatically. I could light them manually, but the heat/airflow made the flames dance like mad. The oven vented into the space under the cooktop where the burners were and the airflow was so intense that the cooktop burners would not ignite. Once the self-clean was done, everything returned to normal.

    Maybe?

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  14. #14
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    Mar 2007
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    Philadelphia PA
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    Default Re: Low gas pressure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    John,

    I had a gas-fired range once. When I had the "self-clean" function on, the heat coming out of the oven would prevent the cooktop burners from igniting automatically. I could light them manually, but the heat/airflow made the flames dance like mad. The oven vented into the space under the cooktop where the burners were and the airflow was so intense that the cooktop burners would not ignite. Once the self-clean was done, everything returned to normal.

    Maybe?
    Thanks. I'll have to test that theory.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

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