gas line appliances BTU
Gas Line and Appliances: Basics and BTU Ratings
May 11, 2021
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Gas Line and Appliances: Calculation and Professional Help

gas line appliances calculations

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on the gas lines in your home and the appliances they generally service. There are several appliances that rely on a gas line for their fuel, from stoves and ovens to dryers, water heaters, furnaces and many others, and knowing some basics here – including the size of a gas line and how many appliances it can handle – is important for proper use and maintenance of these appliances.

At All Pro Appliance Service, we’re happy to provide quality repair services for numerous appliances that involve a gas line, including furnace repair, oven repair and many others. While we kicked off the process of determining how many appliances your ¾-inch gas line will be able to support in part one of our series, today’s part two will go over all the subsequent steps to making this determination so you know your appliances will have the proper amounts of gas available to them.

Gas Line Length Calculation

Once you’ve established the BTU requirement held by each of your gas appliances, plus added these up to bring you a final total that you need to provide for, it’s time to determine if your line can support these numbers. One of the first big steps here is calculating the actual length of your gas line, from the gas main itself to the final appliance on the line. You gas main, or meter, can usually be found under the house or on its exterior, or perhaps in an interior cabinet (it may also be buried, in which case you may need to contact your gas company for assistance).

One important note here that goes against what you might have expected: A longer gas line actually supports fewer BTUs, not more, because of the distance that needs to be traveled.

Gas Line Branches

In many gas lines, the line will “branch” out one or more times to different areas. As you may have imagined, each of these branches will lower the overall BTU capacity of the pipe – but by exactly how much is not a precisely-known area. Generally, we recommend adding six inches to your total pipe length for each of these branches.

Pipe Sizing Chart

Now that you have some general numbers in place, you will need to consult a gas pipe sizing chart, which can be found from many local utilities or companies. Use the proper chart depending on whether you use propane or natural gas – and also remember that generally, gas flow numbers are shown in BTUs by the thousands, not by individual numbers.

Professional Assistance

There are parts of this process that might be confusing for some, including locating the gas line and determining how much various branches reduce the BTU output from it. To avoid any mistakes here, plus to ensure there are no safety hazards or risks posed to your new appliances, it’s often good to work with pros. Your gas company will assist you with identifying gas lines and capacity; if your gas appliances are having issues that may be related to the gas line, it also pays to work with quality appliance repair pros like ours, who are familiar with these items and how they work.

For more on gas lines and gas appliances, or to learn about any of our other appliance repair services, speak to the staff at All Pro Appliance Service today.