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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Central California
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    Hi everyone. I'm a retired scientist with an interest in
    energy and am trying to read my natual gas meter's
    'test dials'.

    here's my request
    My gas meter has two 'test dials' that are labeled
    1/2 cu ft and 2 cu ft. They each have 10 divisions on them.
    What I would like to know is whether each division represents
    1/2 or 2 cu ft. Or if an entire rotation is equal to 1/2 or 2
    cu ft. The reason I ask is because I want to run my gas wall
    furnace for one hour straight and see what the usage is.
    But the other dials are too coarse and won't move enough with
    just one hour of the wall furnace.

    Can you help me? Thank you.
    If you are not sure or what to check yourself perhaps you could
    pass this email to an engineer or technician for a check.
    Please include this email in your reply. and thank you.
    Here is a photo of a gas meter similar to mine showing the two
    test dials of 1/2 and 2 cu ft.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    The gas volume posted below each dial is the gas consumed by a full revolution of that dial.

    So a revolution of the 1/2 foot dial indicates 1/2 cubic foot of gas used.

    One revolution of the 2 cubic foot dial indicates 2 cubic feet consumed.

    An AVERAGE figure is that one cubic foot of gas contains 1,000 BTUs of heat energy. If you look at the rating plate on your equipment it may give a BTU input of 80,000 BTUs, which would indicate about 80 cubic feet of gas used per hour.

    Often times gas bills are figured in therms, which converts the cubic feet of gas used to BTUs, with each therm being 100,000 BTUs of heat.

    To measure the actual gas consumption of an appliance, turn all other appliances off or so the main burners wont turn on.

    Turn on the main burner of the appliance whose gas consumption you want to measure. Measure the seconds it takes for the 2 foot dial to make a full revolution.

    Divide the number of seconds into 7200 to get the number of cubic feet used per hour. (If the two foot dial turns 360 degrees in 72 seconds, the appliance uses 7200/72 or 100 cubic feet of gas per hour).

    Seattle Pioneer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Central California
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter

    Great Reply - Super to discuss things

    Isn't this SUPER to have forums like this? Our knowledge
    is growing exponentially isn't it?

    Regarding this heater. The interesting thing that struck me
    is that it will have a BTU rating on it. Perhaps it is about 60,000
    BTU's (per hour?) and so that's easy to figure what it uses.

    But I'm cheating. There is a gas valve right at the heater. And
    because it is very agressive in a relatively small room I turned
    down the gas flow so that when it comes on the burner is
    running rather low. I'd guess about 1/5 or 20% of maximum.

    So because of that I am even more interested to measure the
    actual usage of it. AND if I can compare the usage to
    the temperature outside here is what I will do next.

    I will make some changes to the large amount of window area
    in the room. And then take some more measurements.
    It's all a bit emperical so be it. But in the final analysis
    it's fun, educational, and useful information.

    Thank you for the tip about the 7200. I will be glad to
    do that.

    I ran the heater for one hour a few days ago.
    The temperature in the room went up to about 90° F
    and I used 1.75 cu ft of gas ( I think). That would be
    equal to about 2000 BTU's and that does not equate
    to a room temperature after an hour of 90F. So
    there's a mistake somewhere.

    This is where it gets fun. Finding out where the mistake is.

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