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How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

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  • #16
    Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

    Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
    I found this thread interesting because as a retired telephone lineman, I know the telephone co. had a big program of pressurizing cables to keep water "out". The system had alarms that would indicate pressure drops, and things like compressor failures. I may be wrong but I think the answer to this question is, water can't leak in if the line is truly pressurized! There must have been a drop in pressure somewhere, at sometime, long enough to allow the water to enter.
    well, i have to disagree that water can not leak into a pressurized line. If CAN IF the pressure outside the pipe is greater than that inside the pipe. All it would take is for a old section of gas pipe to have a through wall leak at a bad or old fitting or in a section of damaged or corroded through pipe. If there was standing water in the area of the pipe and the pipe was deep enough then the head pressure of the water could be enough to push it into the pipe and with gas flowing inside if velocity was high enough then a venturi affect could also draw water into the pipe. It could be a small leak almost anywhere. If the pipe pitches back to the main then the water will flow back to the main where it would collect into a big slug of water and get pushed by the gas down the line.

    A previous home of mine was built in 1905 and was piped for gas lighting when built. that pipe was still in service when I bought the house in 1982 and when I sold it in 1998. There was a 1-1/2" main into the house because it was the original pipe from the old gas light company from turn of the century and they ran very low presssure, only a couple inches of water. The 1-1/2" main ran back the length of the house with multiple branches which ran up the walls to supply gas to ceiling and wall lights in most of the rooms. Some of those fixtures were combination gas and electric! Those were scary as the gas was still live right up to the fixture when we moved in back in 1982. Needless to say I disconnected all the branches to the lights and remove much 3/8 and 1/4 red brass over the years as we refurbished the house.
    Last edited by Bob D.; 09-29-2012, 07:14 AM.
    "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


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    • #17
      Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

      If it is a new cross connect sending water in the gas line, I would hate to be the person when they open their quarterly water bill and see the amount. Add a sewer charge based on water usage so they may need to call the Brinks truck to pay the bill.