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Thread: Sizing a Propane Pipe

  1. #1

    Default Sizing a Propane Pipe

    I am building a new house right now (I mean I am building it with the help of my dad) I can do pretty much everything with no problems, but I am a little worried about properly sizing the propane line. I found one guide online that helped, but it was not 100% clear. I live in Texas and I am way out in the sticks, so I am not sure if that matters. I need to fuel 440,000 BTUs worth of stuff in my home. I am thinking I need 1 1/4 inch pipe coming in, but man that is a serious pipe. I will have a two regulator setup one coming off the tank and one at the entrance to the house. My understanding from the propane company is they will be running high pressure to the house so I am not sure if I should count the distance from the tank to the house in my equation. If I remove that length of pipe I can go with a 1 pipe I think.

    So I guess I really have two questions.

    1. Do I need to count the distance from the tank to the house since they will be running high pressure to the house?
    2. Do you know where I can find a really good guide to help me size my line?

    Of course, if anyone on the board could help me size the line I would be very grateful. If you are local to my area I would be willing to pay someone to come out and evaluate my needs.

    I am in New Caney, TX

    Thanks,
    Troy

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member SolarGuy's Avatar
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    Default

    To answer the first question, you count the pipe starting from the low pressure regulator. Around here, its usually located just before the pipe enters the house.

    Good luck. Let me know if you find a good source of info.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default gas

    To size the line you have to know the total length from the second regulator to the farthest appliance and the btu's of each appliance, and calculate the total btu load at each connection point.

  4. #4

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    I know each appliance BTUs and I can easily measure the distance. Trick is to find a formula or guide I can use to determine the pipe size.


    From second regulator to first appliance it 5 foot and the BTUs are 199,000
    From there the second appliance is 8 foot and 40,000 BTUs
    Third is 25 feet from the second and it is actually two furnaces 80,000 BTUs each for a total of 160,000
    Fourth is 15 foot from there and is 47,000 BTUs.

    The distances could be off a little, but pretty close. I need to bust out the tape to be 100%.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber-Gas Fitter shacko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrors4
    I know each appliance BTUs and I can easily measure the distance. Trick is to find a formula or guide I can use to determine the pipe size.


    From second regulator to first appliance it 5 foot and the BTUs are 199,000
    From there the second appliance is 8 foot and 40,000 BTUs
    Third is 25 feet from the second and it is actually two furnaces 80,000 BTUs each for a total of 160,000
    Fourth is 15 foot from there and is 47,000 BTUs.

    The distances could be off a little, but pretty close. I need to bust out the tape to be 100%.
    Propane will not forgive, what you asking takes years in the trade to calculate the proper sizing for a system, I think you need a pro., sorry for the negitive.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member CHH's Avatar
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    Here's a design guide:

    http://www.propane.ca/Resources/page9.asp

    The table use seemed a little non-intuitive to me so I'd suggest working carefully through their examples before solving your problem.

  7. #7

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    Do a search for propane pipe sizing tables, you will find many of them on the net. CHH snuck in ahead of me!
    Last edited by PEW; 06-15-2007 at 10:15 AM.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member CHH's Avatar
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    Snuck? Hell, just strolled right in...


  9. #9

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    This is just what I need!!!!!!!!!! Man I Googled that crap but this never came up for me.

    THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by CHH
    Here's a design guide:

    http://www.propane.ca/Resources/page9.asp

    The table use seemed a little non-intuitive to me so I'd suggest working carefully through their examples before solving your problem.

  10. #10

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    CHH, you was not there and then you was! Guess I have to be a faster typist!

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member CHH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrors4
    This is just what I need!!!!!!!!!! Man I Googled that crap but this never came up for me.
    As I understand it, that pipe selection procedure is for minimum size. Any particular appliance may have a larger specification. It's sort of an interesting rule which requires knowledge of a particular appliance while still in the rough-in/building stage.

    A good example of the potential problem is a Munchkin T80 boiler. For my installation the existing 1/2 line from the main supply would have been fine for 80 MBTU. The only problem is that Munchkin put a 3/4 x 1/2 reducer as the first connection on the appliance with the service line connecting to the 3/4. The result is that I had to run a 3/4 line in place of an existing 1/2.

    Moral of the story, check out the specs on the particular appliance(s) you are planning to install while still in the design phase.

  12. #12

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    I did it one step better, I bought all my appliances last week, so I know exactly what I need.

    I hate to leave room for error.

  13. #13
    Commercial Plumber markts30's Avatar
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    Another thought....
    If you might, at some future time, wish to add another appliance (ie a propane heater for a pool or hot tub), then try to plan for it now...
    It is not hard to oversize the piping now and put a "future" where it is convenient for future requirements. It is hard to re-do piping or make a whole new run later for the add-on....

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member CHH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrors4
    I did it one step better, I bought all my appliances last week, so I know exactly what I need.

    I hate to leave room for error.
    You should be in good shape then. My project was boiler replacement so changing out the gas line just 'cause Munchkin required an oversize line was a pain.

  15. #15

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    Got all the pipe purchased today and layed out for installation tomorrow. I went with 1 1/4 inch at the start and reduced to 1 inch after the tankless water heater and so forth from there. Should be all good.

    Thanks for the help!!!!!!!

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