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  1. #1
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    Default Propane regulator clearance

    Any regulations on clearance between a propane regulator and ignition sources?
    I came across one tucked between the A/C condinsing unit and exterior wall today.
    Thanks, Jim

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    Jim Luttrall
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Propane regulator clearance

    Also, are drip legs /sediment traps required on propane systems?
    Thanks, Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  3. #3
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
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    Default Re: Propane regulator clearance

    Jim,

    I have yet to find any specific code for that, but I gotta wonder about the accessibility issue of that regulator?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Propane regulator clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Also, are drip legs /sediment traps required on propane systems?
    Thanks, Jim
    Drip legs and sediment traps are different animals for different uses.

    Sediment traps are required at each appliance *except* "illuminating" appliances and those which are manually operated, i.e., gas ranges, clothes dryers, gas lights, gas grill, things which a person must turn on. Things which are not 'automatic' in operation.

    There are many clearance issues there (at least that's what it looks like to me).

    The regulator should be, I believe, 3 feet from, or below, the a/c condenser unit. Propane is heavier than air, so the distance is horizontal and down. Natural gas is lighter than air, so the distance is horizontal and up (if natural gas is being used instead of propane).

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Propane regulator clearance

    Jerry, thanks for the reply, but the question I really have is whether or not there is a difference between propane and Natural Gas systems in the requirements for sediment and/or drip legs.
    Also, I see sediment trap and drip leg used interchangeably referring to the same design of trap. Do you know of any diagrams or specific description that would explain the difference between the construction and application of the two?

    On the clearance issue, I see from the Fuel Gas diagrams, etc. there are distance requirements for propane storage tanks but they fail to mention regulators. Do you have a reference or source for the 3' rule you mention?
    Thanks!
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Propane regulator clearance

    The 'design' of a sediment trap and a drip leg are basically the same.

    The 'location' of a sediment trap and a drip leg are totally different.

    A sediment trap is required at each appliance, except those I mentioned as being excluded, for any type of gas, anywhere in the country.

    A drip leg is used when the gas contains higher levels of moisture, and for that, you would need to contact the gas supplier and ask them if a drip leg is required, and, if so, the drip leg is installed at the lowest point in the line where condensation can collect. The drip leg can be drained by unscrewing the cap on the end of the drip leg, just like a sediment trap can be cleaned by unscrewing the cap on the end of its trap leg.

    The clearance are, I believe, listed in NFPA 58.

    Bob H. would have more knowledge on those clearances than I, and I was hoping that he would have replied by now (I see Bob has replied to a couple of other posts).

    Bob H., how about those NFPA 58 tank size limitations / locations / set back from the house and property line? Did you find those yet?

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

  7. #7
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    Talking Re: Propane regulator clearance

    NFPA 58, 3.2.12.5

    3 ft from building openings below level of discharge (vent)
    5ft from a source of ignition

    The box and condenser are both ignition sources so it is improper. Before you bust on the LP company, need to know chicken or the egg. Who was there first?

    Sediment traps are a function of the gas codes. Whether NFPA 54 or IFGC, both say same thing as Jerry pointed out. No distinction is made to what flavor fuel you are burning. All gas utilization equipment except those Jerry listed. This brings up the Point of Delivery. With NG systems, it is the discharge out of the gas meter where your local codes take effect. With LP, it is the fitting coming out of the second stage regulator, whether that is located under the bonnet of the tank or against the side of the house. Thus, in Pa, NFPA 58 governs LP piping in the yard up to the second stage reg. against the house but then the IFGC takes over.


    To remedy, the situation in the photo, the AHJ would probably allow a vent line run away from ignition sources or building openings, etc. and leave all this equipment where it is. Cheap fix.

    I have those pics Jerry--I promise I'll scan and share tomorrow. The check is in the mail!

    Last edited by Bob Harper; 04-14-2007 at 11:38 PM. Reason: had my eyes dilated today. -First exam in 45 yrs.
    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Propane regulator clearance

    I have nothing to add to this thread, except...
    Nice pointing job!

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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  9. #9
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    Talking other issues

    C'mon John, I would have thought you would have pointed out the splash block!

    You just can't please some folks.....;-)

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Propane regulator clearance

    Bob and Jerry, thanks for the clarification and references.
    BTW the pointing job is that way by design, not my cup of tea, but they pay extra for stuff like that around here.
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Propane regulator clearance

    All right, then, what about that splash block? It's an abomination! How's that, Bob?

    "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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    Default Re: Propane regulator clearance

    No one has mentioned the disconnects BEHIND the a/c condenser unit.

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

  13. #13
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
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    Default Re: Propane regulator clearance

    nor the uneven bricks leading up to the condenser


  14. #14
    Jim Dull's Avatar
    Jim Dull Guest

    Default Re: Propane regulator clearance

    Or the shrubbery touching the brick walls.


  15. #15
    Jack Murdock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Propane regulator clearance

    per NFPA 58 sec 3.2.12.5 the relief vent on that second stage regulator must be 5 feet from a source of ignition or air intake and 3 feet from any building openings below the level of the vent. The regulator in this picture could be back piped away from the ac equipment. The regulator was there before the condenser was installed otherwise the lp tech could not do flow or lock up test. Jack


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Propane regulator clearance

    The deal killer in the picture is that cut in half whiskey barrell against the foundation beam wall. When ole Rick tips the planter forward and finds about a million termites below it, the buyer is going to freak and want the whole house termite treated and then realtor says we'll pay for a spot treat and the buyer say no way, we're terminating the contract.

    Its happened.

    Rick


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