Natural Gas Connections
Once you start getting to that time of the year, homeowners and business owners in Tillsonburg and Southern Ontario have to start thinking about their heating systems. Your furnace or fireplace is an essential part of heating once the temperature changes and it starts to get cold again (On a day like today, in June, it is hard to think about this time, isn’t it?).
Using natural gas as a heating fuel is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to fuel your boiler, furnace, or fireplace. No doubt, when thinking about using natural gas, there will be some concerns about safety and general responsibilities once using it.
However, when making these types of natural gas connections in your home or business place, it is best to have an inspector come out to do a site inspection, or get in touch with a professional gas fitter to analyze the environment and see what is required for your gas line installation.
A professional will help to identify any deficiencies that may compromise the safety of the location while using natural gas. Below we will look at a few areas that must be considered when thinking about underground natural gas connections.
Natural Gas Connection/Installation Terms
Supply of the Natural Gas
The piping that is required at your location is referred to as the building line or the gas supply line. There are Branch Lines which will be piped to the individual appliances at the location.
The branch line will terminate in what is known as a drop line, this is a vertical pipe that comes down to the appliance from an overhead branch line. The drop line is referred to as a riser if it is used to move gas up to an appliance from a branch line that is located below the appliance.
There is usually a trap located at the connection point of the appliance that is referred to as a sediment trap or a dirt pocket. If the area happens to have a nipple and a cap, it will be called a drip leg. This extension is normally at least 3 inches long and is meant to catch foreign material or water that may be in the gas. Despite what we often think about our utilities, even natural gas can have particulates and debris.
This is used as a protection mechanism to prevent foreign material from getting into the appliance. How it works is essentially like a gravity system as it allows the solids and liquids to fall into the pocket.
It is important to note that there are some parts of the system that are the responsibility of the building owner and some are the responsibility of the gas company. The piping that goes downstream is normally the responsibility of the building owner.
The upstream pipe of the gas meter and the meter itself is usually the responsibility of the gas company.
There are a few materials that you can expect to use when piping natural gas connections. Steel, copper and brass can be expected with black steel being the most common one used.
You may also find galvanized steel, brass or corrugated steel tubing but some companies restrict the use of copper.
Flexible connectors are used to connect appliances to the gas piping provided. There must be a shut off valve at the connection to the rigid piping and this should be located in the same room as the appliance. So these connectors cannot go through walls, ceilings or floors so they cannot be concealed.
For different appliances or applications, the length of them is usually between 3 or 6 feet. Also, sometimes based on your area and conditions you may face, there may be additional restrictions placed on the flex connections so it’s good to know your local code.
Barbecue Gas Line Installation
To connect natural gas to a barbecue, first, you would want to ensure you have enough capacity to support the grill. You would then have to tap into the existing gas line and pipe a new line to the location of the grill.
Remember it is required to have your shut off valve installed to ensure you are complying with the requirements of new setups.
Installation at Homes, Shops or Garages
When installing a natural gas connection, it usually involves two main stages. These are the installation of the service line and the installation of the gas meter.
Remember that the piping before the gas meter is the responsibility of the gas company and the piping after is that of the building owner. It is good to get an understanding from your gas company surrounding its installation policies to know what their turnaround times will be.
It is also good to get their supportive model so you are comfortable with them and know how they would respond to any of your concerns.
There are a few things in regards to safety that should be considered when you have a natural gas connection at your location. There are a few problems that can occur and they are:
- The tubing may not be properly labelled.
- Piping is placed incorrectly.
- Exposed piping
- Improper connections
- No shut-off valve
- No drip leg
- Pipe rusting
- No support from the company
- Incorrect materials used
When considering all these, the major issues that you would worry about are gas leaks and explosions. The initial inspection would layout and identify any potentially unsafe situations that can be prevented when your system installed.
Most electrical companies bill their clients in the same way. The way bills are issued are per kilowatt-hours (kWh) based on the gas usage per month.
Based on the usage on the meter, you would multiply this by the current kWh rate that is charged. Companies may charge a service fee and calculate the total.
The average costs of supplied natural gas will vary based on a commercial or residential basis. The average cost is approximately CAD$0.036 per kWh for residential use and CAD$0.022 per kWh for commercial use.
Check out Gerodo Contracting in Tillsonburg for more Information on underground gas line connections:
1 Vance Drive, Unit 3