Natural Gas Measurement, Underground Utilities and More Blog
We provide insights on natural gas measurement, underground utility damage prevention, utility contractor services and various natural gas products. Formerly the Linc Energy Blog.
Natural gas regulator vent tips and vent line protector
Natural gas regulators require venting. Here are some regulator vent tips and an introduction to IMAC Systems’ Vent Line Protector.
Natural Gas Meter Sets
Natural gas meter sets consist of three vital components used to safely deliver gas to the house. The gas meter measures gas flow into the building. The natural gas regulator reduces and modulates the pressure of the gas to the meter. A shutoff valve on the riser pipe, just below the regulator, provides an emergency shut off in the event you smell natural gas in the house. (Note: if the shut-off valve is turned off, it is likely the gas distribution company will be needed to reestablish service; a small price to pay in an emergency.)
Vent Line Tips
The natural gas regulator is a critical component of the meter set, and needs to be vented and should comply with local and federal venting requirements (may vary from county to county). The vent functions as a safety measure and allows the diaphragm within the regulator to breathe. Additionally, if the diaphragm ever ruptures the vent facilitates a leak path to atmosphere. If the vent becomes restricted the regulator will not properly regulate the pressure to the meter. For this reason, meter installers should take precautions to avoid vent limitations and the following are guidelines or venting tips:
- When plumbing vent lines, do not use excessive fittings or long runs. In some cases increasing the pipe size can increase stack effect and reduce losses from friction.
- Never reduce the vent pipe size from the regulator.
- To limit the consequences of rain, snow or debris getting into the vent, always turn the outlet of the vent down and above potential water or snow lines.
- A bug screen on the vent outlet will deter insects from nesting in the line. Never paint over the bug screen.
- If a vent line runs to a roof, assure that the line clears where snow can accumulate on the roof.
- The vent line should discharge away from people, fresh air intakes or windows.
Vent Line Protector
The IMAC Vent Line Protector (VLP) is a new product being used on houses and business in areas prone to flooding, such as: coastal areas, facilities near rivers, low lying areas, or in pits or below ground applications. The VLP protects gas regulator vent lines from encroaching water. Designed specifically for guarding natural gas and LPG lines, the VLP is installed on the vent line and is normally “open.” However, should water enter the vent line via the VLP a float will seal the vent line closed. Alternately, when the water recedes, the float will drop, re-opening the vent to its normal position.
The Vent Line Protector was developed to address National Fuel Gas Code NFP 54 / ANSI Z223.1 which states, “Regulator vents shall be designed to prevent entry of water, insects or other foreign materials that could cause blockage. At locations where regulators might be submerged during flooding, a special anti-flood type breather vent fitting shall be installed…”
Another scenario where the VLP may be of assistance is in high snowfall areas, where snow routinely blocks the vent opening of regulators. Perhaps a VLP could provide the extra protection from intruding moisture and save the regulator from damage and corrosion. If you have experience using the Vent Line Protector in a snow application we’d love to hear your insights with it.