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  1. #1

    Combing 3 gas lines to 1?

    Hello to all, I am new here with a general question, please excuse that I have no knowledge what so ever on HVAC, so that is why I am asking my question here. I tried doing a search on the net, but been unsuccessful for days now. Anyway here is my question:

    I am currently looking into a property that has 3 apartments, and I notice that the house has 3 gas meters, one is for ranges, second is for the water boiler and the 3rd is for the furnace (radiant heat in walls) for all 3 apts. I had my real estate agent find out how the gas bill is paid? And it seems the owner pays 100% for gas and during the winter months he charges tenants $100 extra to cover the gas bill. The water boiler, furnace and gas meter are in the same room, so I was wondering if it is possible to combine the 3 gas line to 1 and reconnect everything, so then each tenant can pay for each meter, as opposed to buying 3 water boiler and 3 furnace. It might sound crazy, but I am wonder if this is possible, also I am taking into consideration if an apartment because vacant I will be paying for it.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    it can be done, however i think it would be way too costly.ie not worth it.
    a plumber could give you a bid.and this job it supposed to be done by a licsensed plumber.
    best of luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Coastal Maine
    Posts
    867
    That would be a question for your local gas authority. It would be their decision on what they will allow you to do.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Denver/Boulder
    Posts
    2,406
    I didn't understand the full scope of your question, but I will address this none the less.

    1) Some states/local governments require separate billing for separate units so you would need multiple meters.

    2) Is it Technically possible? more than likely, but as said check with your utility.

    3) I see no benefit in grouping everything together by appliance as it would seem you suggested. you might save a small amount my having a single account but I think the cost of the work might dwarf what you save.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.


    Two pressures, four temperatures = SUCCESS!


    Boulder Heating Contractor


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Mich
    Posts
    90
    Im not exactly sure what your asking,but it would probably be to cost prohibitive,I work for a major utility,and as darctangent said you might want to chk with them,just so I understand are you wondering if you can hve it piped so that each tennant pays their own gas bill? If this is correct let us know

  6. #6
    Thanks everyone, I will call the utility company and find out, but to be more clear, the building has 3 separate meters already, my goal is not to change anything from the meters to outside, the change I would like to make is after the meters, I try to explain it better:

    Current setup for 3 apartments = owner pays for all 3 meters

    Meter 1 -> gas range
    Meter 2 -> water boiler
    Meter 3 -> furnace

    Ideal setup = tenants split the 33.33% cost (tenant will put meter under their name)

    Meter 1 -> range+water boiler+furnace
    Meter 2 -> range+water boiler+furnace
    Meter 3 -> range+water boiler+furnace

    For example the furnace will have 3 gas lines feeding it, instead of only 1. And yes I think this is a job for a licensed plumber. I really don't want to be responsible paying tenants utilities or even make other tenants pay if one tenant doesn't pay, but it would be too costly to put in 3 water boilers and 3 furnaces, another alternative I am considering is a mini-splite system (ac & heat) for each apartment and remove the furnace or leave as a backup. Right each tenant pays electrical bill. Your thoughts?

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario
    Posts
    4,622
    Quote Originally Posted by Caferacer View Post
    Thanks everyone, I will call the utility company and find out
    Up here anyway, this would be the correct way to do it. The utility companies own the meters and contractors are only allowed to connect to them and nothing else. Any issues with the meters go through the utility.
    Is this a Fabreze moment? C.Y.D. I'm voting white elephant. 2’.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Denver/Boulder
    Posts
    2,406
    Quote Originally Posted by Caferacer View Post
    Thanks everyone, I will call the utility company and find out, but to be more clear, the building has 3 separate meters already, my goal is not to change anything from the meters to outside, the change I would like to make is after the meters, I try to explain it better:

    Current setup for 3 apartments = owner pays for all 3 meters

    Meter 1 -> gas range
    Meter 2 -> water boiler
    Meter 3 -> furnace

    Ideal setup = tenants split the 33.33% cost (tenant will put meter under their name)

    Meter 1 -> range+water boiler+furnace
    Meter 2 -> range+water boiler+furnace
    Meter 3 -> range+water boiler+furnace

    For example the furnace will have 3 gas lines feeding it, instead of only 1. And yes I think this is a job for a licensed plumber. I really don't want to be responsible paying tenants utilities or even make other tenants pay if one tenant doesn't pay, but it would be too costly to put in 3 water boilers and 3 furnaces, another alternative I am considering is a mini-splite system (ac & heat) for each apartment and remove the furnace or leave as a backup. Right each tenant pays electrical bill. Your thoughts?

    Thanks
    Ok, that's the strangest thing I've heard of in a while and I couldn't recommend it in the least, nor do I believe the utility company would go along with it.

    In short without sending through a technical class, the meters would never feed equally.

    That scenario is too strange for me to contemplate.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.


    Two pressures, four temperatures = SUCCESS!


    Boulder Heating Contractor


    For Consumers:

    For HVACR Professionals:


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Denver/Boulder
    Posts
    2,406
    If it is allowed in your area just add up the bills, divide by three and bill the apartments separately.

    otherwise request past billing history for the accounts, develop an average, add X% for variables and trouble, risk. Then add that in to the rent. Re-evaluate as needed.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.


    Two pressures, four temperatures = SUCCESS!


    Boulder Heating Contractor


    For Consumers:

    For HVACR Professionals:


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,540
    Quote Originally Posted by Caferacer View Post
    Thanks everyone, I will call the utility company and find out, but to be more clear, the building has 3 separate meters already, my goal is not to change anything from the meters to outside, the change I would like to make is after the meters, I try to explain it better:

    Current setup for 3 apartments = owner pays for all 3 meters

    Meter 1 -> gas range
    Meter 2 -> water boiler
    Meter 3 -> furnace

    Ideal setup = tenants split the 33.33% cost (tenant will put meter under their name)

    Meter 1 -> range+water boiler+furnace
    Meter 2 -> range+water boiler+furnace
    Meter 3 -> range+water boiler+furnace

    For example the furnace will have 3 gas lines feeding it, instead of only 1. And yes I think this is a job for a licensed plumber. I really don't want to be responsible paying tenants utilities or even make other tenants pay if one tenant doesn't pay, but it would be too costly to put in 3 water boilers and 3 furnaces, another alternative I am considering is a mini-splite system (ac & heat) for each apartment and remove the furnace or leave as a backup. Right each tenant pays electrical bill. Your thoughts?

    Thanks
    I think your calling a boiler a furnace, and a hot water heater a water boiler.

    What you are suggesting probably won't be allowed by any gas company. Anytime the water heater or boiler would run, all the meters feeding it would allow gas to go through them, so each tenant would show gas usage, even though they weren't the one using heat.

    Better off just charging the tenants an extra 75 to 100 bucks a month every month to cover the heating bills. And install temp limiting thermostats.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Mich
    Posts
    90
    I can tell you right now theres no way the utility that I work for would go along with that,follow what beenthere said,sounds like a good idea to me

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
    Posts
    2,397
    Why not put some kind of an hour meter for each apt so when that apt calls for heat, HW, what ever the meter counts up then just divide the util by usage. The furnace and boiler should be easy, the range - i don't know.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,760
    i have a 3 unit building that i converted years ago to 3 furnaces and 3 water heaters. each tennant pays their own utility bills and you don't have to worry about who is hot or who is cold since they control their own temperatures.

    as others have said what you are proposing would never be allowed and would not work as you hoped even if it was.

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