Gas Plumbing for Pool Heater

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Old 09-15-19, 12:08 PM
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Gas Plumbing for Pool Heater

I need to run a gas line out of my basement to a pool heater. Looking at 175-200k BTU. Luckily, the most convenient place to tap into the natural gas line is right off of the 2" line from the meter. It runs through the floor joists in my basement. From there it would run about 15 feet inside the basement, and then I'd run 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" plastic line in a trench. Total is about 75 feet.

First question is does the pipe sizing sound good so far?

Next, what's the best way to get the line out of the basement and underground? Do I pop through the block foundation? Or outside through the wood, elbow it somehow, and then go underground? As an aside, I had the natural gas installed 3 years ago when I bought the house. The plumber went through the block, but that was because of the meter placement.

Alternatively, I have a 1,000 gallon underground propane tank that was originally for the whole house. Now I just have a hot water heater and outdoor grills on it. Plumbing to it would be easier since it's already outside, but propane will be a lot more expensive in the long run (I think). I've tapped into it for grills and whatnot (using CSST) so I'm a bit familiar with the plumbing work.
 
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Old 09-15-19, 03:05 PM
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80' of 1-1/4" will yield 239k Btu's
80' of 1-1/2" will yield 443k Btu's.

You can go out thru the block. It just needs to be sleeved. A PVC sleeve would be fine.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 09-15-19 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 09-15-19, 06:28 PM
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You need to come right off the meter to the pool heater. I doubt where you want to tap in would be to code.

You are taking permits out correct?

Just put a riser at the meter and one at the pool heater. Size in on how many feet and btu capacity. use poly gas pipe, and tracer wire at least 14 gauge.

if you tap into your line somewhere you can starve other appliances of gas. Then have draft issues and possible CO concerns.
 
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Old 09-21-19, 02:12 PM
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Thanks for the replies. For some reason I'm not getting e-mails when people reply, so I apologize for the delay.

Yes I plan to get permits.

Where I plan to tap into the system is the line that comes right off the meter. It goes into the house through the block foundation, and straight back about 20 feet where it elbows to feed the appliances in the house. I plan to tap into it there - it's 2" at that point and gets smaller as the run gets longer.

And I see that the plumber put the pipe through PVC when he put it through the block, so that makes sense.
 
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Old 09-22-19, 06:23 AM
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Yes its ok if its close to meter. Just that how will you tap into that 2" line?

Easier to tap at meter and add tee there as that is where the union is. Then get back in home if needed to other side of house and out. But often its easier to just dig from meter to area underground all the way with poly pipe and risers.
 
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Old 09-23-19, 06:19 AM
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Thanks. I can T it about 20-feet from the meter, in the basement, before it branches off to any appliances. There's a union down there, too, so I can install a T/elbow without having to disassemble the whole system.

T'ing at the meter would be tough. It's at the front of the house, dead center. I'd have to tunnel under the front steps and sidewalk, around the side of the house and then 100 feet back to where the heater will be. It would be best, as you've said, to poke another hole in the front of the house, go through the basement, then back out the back of the house. But I don't think that's necessary. I don't see the difference between T'ing it 20-feet in in the basement vs. T'ing at the meter. Worst case is I can T it right where it pokes through the wall from the meter but, again, that doesn't seem necessary?
 
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Old 09-23-19, 07:11 AM
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Here are some pics. The line comes in the front of the house from the meter, goes through some elbows to get around the foundation and then ultimately to where you see that elbow/reducer. Counting the elbows, it's about 30-feet in total. My kitchen range is connected to that reducer. It then runs another 6 feet or so to a union where I can disassemble it. It's 2" pipe.

Alternatively, if it's even possible, I could run it underground outside and around the back of the house which would add 30 feet to the run.

Or as was suggested, T it right at the meter and put another hole in the house.





 
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Old 09-30-19, 06:43 PM
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So I had a plumber come out to give me a quote. He came in super high. His plan it to tee at the meter, poke 1 1/2" pipe through the front of the house, through the back of the house and then 1 1/2" poly to the heater. $4,300. I'm responsible for the trenching and sand.

I still don't know why I can't just tap into the existing 2" line in the basement.

I had natural gas run up to the house - 450 feet from the street - for $3,700 and they dug their own trench and filled it back in.

I'll be getting another quote. Or I may just do it myself.
 
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Old 10-01-19, 10:49 AM
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I don't think tapping into the 2" pipe is an issue... but I think it might be more work than you're expecting - thus the other plumbers suggesting to go straight from the meter.

Disconnecting the 2" piping will probably require a pair of at least a24" pipe wrench to get the torque, and it's not in a great spot between the studs. Then pressure testing the whole system will require disconnecting appliances - since there's no good way to only test the new addition.

Though I would definitely recommend a second quote!
 
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Old 10-01-19, 03:22 PM
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There's a union before the 2" line feeds the appliances, so it would only need to be disassembled at that elbow so a tee can be installed. The new tee would be the only disturbance of the existing line.

But yeah, the gas would have to be shut off, and the valves to all the appliances shut off, off in order to test it.

The guy that did the original natural gas installation is coming on Friday...

Thanks!
 
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Old 10-16-19, 10:55 AM
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Just thought I'd follow up on this. The plumbing in the house is 1 1/2", not 2" as I had assumed. So the line has to come from the meter. The second guy was only slightly less $$. So I'm toying with the idea of either doing it myself or abandoning the gas heater completely and going with a heat pump (which has mixed reviews in my part of the country).
 
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Old 10-16-19, 08:51 PM
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Yeah..... you're in my neck of the woods here in North Jersey.
Unfortunately.... natural gas is the way to go .
 
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Old 11-28-19, 10:41 AM
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The pool guy continues to push a heat pump - he must get some kind of commission on them. I have not read a single positive review of using a heat pump to extend the pool season in the Northeast. I ultimately decided to pay a guy to run the pipe from the meter, through the house, and 115 feet out to the heater. It $marts but will be worth it in the long run to have natural gas out there. They're doing the work next Tuesday.
 
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Old 11-28-19, 11:16 AM
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Good move. Natural gas in this area is the smartest choice.
 
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Old 11-28-19, 11:19 AM
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Until you get your gas bill......Most gas heaters I install get used the first year then abandoned the following year.

Lets say $300 a month gas bills? If you can afford it, go for it.

And heat pumps at 14 cents a kilowatt your electric bill will be double or more also..

IMO I would spend the money on solar. its the only option I would consider,,

Solar Swim ? A Cure for the Common Cold

 
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Old 12-03-19, 11:29 AM
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Yeah the plumber said he has a gas heater. His kids keep it on 90 degrees (!!!) and he said his summer gas bill is $250/month. I only plan to use it to extend the season, which is where the heat pump won't work (too cold). The pool gets (or will get once it's done) plenty of sun and I plan to get a solar cover for it for the true summer months.

So the plumber is wrapping up now. I was under the impression that he was going to tee into the meter outside and run 2" pipe from there, through the house and to the heater. Instead, he teed into the 1.5" line that I posted pics of earlier and ran 2" line from there to the heater. The only difference is that he tapped into that 1.5" line about 3 feet from the meter rather than 25+ feet away in my basement where I wanted to. I guess that makes the difference? Less volume loss? I dunno.

The line with the valve is new:
 

Last edited by turbojimmy2; 12-03-19 at 12:00 PM.
 

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