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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    pittsburgh
    Posts
    504

    L.P. flow meter?

    Does anyone know of an "in-line" flow meter, or gauge, to measure the volume of L.P. gas that is being used by a furnace? I've had a customer ask me about this but I'm not sure if I've seen anything other than the type of meter that natural gas companies would use for the main supply line. And I'm not sure is those type of meters could be calibrated for L.P. The issue in this situation is that the homeowner seems to be using an excessive amount of propane, (or at least the gauge on the L.P. tank says so) but doesn't believe the furnace could be using that much. The home owner is at the mercy of the propane supplier filling the tank properly and charging $$$ accordingly. I have checked the system and found that there are no leaks in any of the lines and the furnace is operationg properly with correct pressure settings and correct orifice's installed for the burners. It is a York 2-Stage furnace at @ 93.7% efficiency. (80,000 btu at high fire) The furnace is the only thing in the house using the propane and the house is also well insulated. Coldest temps in this area have been in the teens and the customer has had their 500 gal tank filled twice already this season. And now the gauge on the tank is nearing empty again. The homeowner and myself just don't believe the gauge on the tank is accurate, but the propane supplier is charging $$$ according to what the gauge says, and not the actual amount of propane in the tank. This is where it would be nice to have an in-line meter to measure exactly how much L.P. is being consumed and verify the problem with the tank. Any feedback on this issue would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by gpjazz1023; 02-22-2007 at 06:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    132
    I have seen lp gas meters that are like natural gas ones. I have seen them on lp tanks where customers pay off the meter instead of the tank. The catch is that I have not seen one put on a tank in a very long time. I don't know if they still exist.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,003
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,876
    archibaldtuttle, this is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MD
    Posts
    3,836
    i would do a combustion analysis on the furnace. figure out the actual btus the furnace is putting out. then use the formula (outout btus/input btus) this will give you thermal efficiency. you may even need to make the unit cycle in high fire all the time which will decrease propane usage. i would then do a system(duct) test to determine the actual system performance and how many btu's you are losing out of the duct and registers. i think you will find the furnace is actually sucking that much propane if you find a flow meter for it. if you tune it properly you will be golden in the home owners eyes!

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