Continuing my "Back to Basics" series, I thought I would address sizing natural gas regulators.
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.
As a distributor for Itron, occasionally we’re asked, “How do you install a natural gas pressure regulator?” The following provides installation and start-up instructions for Itron’s B-series regulators (Models B42, B57, B58, B31, B34S, B34, B38, B35, B36 and B56).
Itron is the manufacturer of industrial, commercial and residential natural gas meters and regulators. Itron US Gas is located in Owenton, Kentucky. If you’re unfamiliar with the trade name Itron, over the years these products have been marketed under the names: Actaris, Schlumberger and even Sprague. Linc Energy has represented Itron, Actaris and Schlumberger since 1992, and currently is a stocking distributor for the states of: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Montana, western North Dakota, western South Dakota, western Nebraska, western Kansas and New Mexico.
As a stocking distributor of natural gas regulators, I’m often approached by customers seeking alternatives to a specific competitor's natural gas regulators. While there are other manufacturers, there seem to be five which are noteworthy to cross reference.
In this back to basics entry, I discuss why natural gas pressure regulators are used in a delivery system.
After natural gas makes its way out of the well, into gathering and transmission systems, and gate stations, it ultimately enters distribution lines (or “mains”).
B31 residential regulator
While gas is in the distribution system, regulators control the flow from higher pressure to lower pressure. Regulators sense if the pressure in a line drops below a specified set point and opens, allowing more gas to flow. On the other hand, if pressure rises above a set point the regulator will close so that the downstream pressure adjusts.
When natural gas leaves the main, it travels through a “service line” to reach homes or businesses. This service line is likely to be polyethylene, perhaps an inch or less in diameter and ranges from about 60 PSI to ¼ PSI. Once the gas reaches the home or business meter it passes through another regulator to reduced the pressure under ¼ PSI and is measured in water column.
Throughout the gas delivery system, from the well to the stove burner, regulators are used to adjust the pressure to ensure safety.