What do I need to know about the options here?
A new gas line for a fireplace insert would have to run about 70 to 90 feet, depending on the routing from the meter. My HVAC dealer, who does not sell fireplaces, says I'll likely want a split gas meter to have a smaller diameter line making the run. The sales lady where I have decided to buy an insert says the gas company charges $200 for the split meter. Her installer will have to tell me the pros and cons of doing this compared to running a low pressure line.
By the way, my HVAC guy said something about needing a tag on the gas line every two feet???
Can I paint over the ugly yellow line that I expect to see?
you should have just made one thread :-p
never heard of a split meter..... (I dont do A LOT if stuff with gas lines, but a little). Anyway, you could prob use a regulator inline to change pressures if you needed to. And yes, if they run gastite outside you can paint the yellow jacketing. That stuff is made to protect the gasline form just about anything, including acid wash used to clean up masonary stuff. Not sure about any other brands (I am certified for gastite installation).
If all you're doing is running a branch line for a gas insert and not service to a tenant such as in a garage apt., you don't need a separate meter.
What you need is for someone who knows gas to do a load calculation on your home as it is. Then compare the total BTU load to the meter. Figure 1,000 BTUs= 1 C.F.H. Can your meter handle the new load? If not, you may need the gas utility to change the spring in the regulator to a 12.2 wci system if it isn't already. Another option is to switch it to a 2 psi system, which will require a regulator at each appliance to knock it down to a working pressure of about 6-7 wci.
If you're pulling 70-90 feet, you'd need at least a 3/4" CSST line unless you go to a 2 psi system. This could easily be done using plastic coated copper to the psi to inch water column second stage regulator. If you don't like that gas line there's always LP. A tank might be able to be set close to the Fp. If you go that route, make the tank at least a 240lb--no 100 pounders. They cannot vaporize enough fuel to keep up. You'll have low flames, sooting or delayed ignition.
Keep the fire inside the fireplace.
Re: Split Decision
Hearthman, thank you for the pressures and split discussion. I'll bone up on the basics to follow some of that. In this case, the gas insert will simply relieve some of the BTU load from the furnace, so I would expect minimal impact on the flow requirement through the meter. The total BTU requirement for the house remains the same, and my HVAC dealer did a thorough heat load on the house a couple years ago. The new furnace has less BTU input than the original one.
As for the split meter, I understand the Washington Gas booklet to say that installing this option with the 2psi line for the insert could be cheaper by offsetting labor costs than using a low pressure line, as well as looking not as bad.
Yesterday, I mentioned using LP to the sales lady/half owner where I'm buying the insert. She sold me my wood insert back in '82. She said they go for LP only in very unusual cases, not for my case. For looks, the LP tank would be worse than any gas line routing.
Find a contractor to bury the line if it cannot be run inside out of sight.There is nothing more hidious than running gas tight outside a building & it would decrease the value of your home IMO.
Take your time & do it right!