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

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

    KMGH - Xcel crews spend four days looking for gas line leak impacting about 200 homes - Local Story

    Xcel Energy crews spend four days looking for gas line leak impacting about 200 homes
    Gas meters of affected customers must be replaced

    DENVER - Xcel Energy crews have spent about four days dismantling a series of pipes, looking for a leak that is letting water into the natural gas system and disrupting service to about 200 homes in Denver.

    Xcel spokesman Mark Stutz said the first complaints about loss of gas service were received on Saturday morning. Later that day, Xcel determined water was the issue after a crew detached a home's gas meter and saw water pour out.

    Since then, crews have dismantled pipe after pipe, draining out the water and trying to determine how the water got into the system. The affected pipes are in the area bounded on the north by 12 th Ave., 6 th Ave. to the south, Fairfax St. to the west and Holly to the east.

    Stutz said most gas meters of affected customers will need to be replaced, because of the water that got inside. Appliances, he said, should have been protected by built-in safety measures.

    What are the "built-in safety measures"?
    Last edited by Robert Gift; 09-25-2012, 06:42 PM.
    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

  • #2
    Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

    Those measures are them covering their tail so they aren't replacing water heaters, furnaces, stoves, ect. on their dime.......... Lots of servic calls for the plumbers in that area.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

      drip legs
      ~~

      ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

        Depends. I suppose the pressure & break could theoretically create centrifugal (?) force pulling water into the system.

        Along with temperature variation & condensation.

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        • #5
          Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

          Originally posted by BobsPlumbing View Post
          ... theoretically create centrifugal (?) force pulling water into the system...
          Do you mean "venturi" instead of centrifugal?
          I would still expect pressure to push anything out.

          Did someone accidentally connect a water line to a gas pipe?
          (That happened to a mobile home I worked on. They filled the black pipe and furnace valve full of water. The water froze and split the black pipe. Ice forced the valve's valve through its seat.)
          I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
          It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
          "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

            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.

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            • #7
              Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

              I was thinking inadvertent cross connect in a house or business with the water at a little higher pressure and its pushing into the gas main

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              • #8
                Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

                I see and hear water gurgling in gas mains all the time. We have very low pressure here, less than 6" of W.C. and old piping. Ground water can seep its way in. We also get lots of condensation due to frequent freezing and thawing of shallow mains.
                Last edited by plumberscrack; 09-26-2012, 01:44 PM. Reason: clarity

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                • #9
                  Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

                  Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                  I see and hear water gurgling in gas mains all the time. We have very low pressure here, less than 6" of W.C. and old piping. Ground water can seep its way in. We also get lots of condensation due to frequent freezing and thawing of shallow mains.

                  Surely the mains aren't 1/4 pound. Many mains around here are over 50 psi.
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                  • #10
                    Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

                    Originally posted by Gettinit View Post
                    Surely the mains aren't 1/4 pound. Many mains around here are over 50 psi.
                    It's true!

                    Before I quote for replacement boilers and tankless heaters, we test the incoming gas pressure and match it to the minimum specs of the new equipment. We've had to swap out tankless heaters because they didn't meet minimum specs. Washington Gas Co. has the ability to increase pressure but won't do it until new mains are installed.

                    Most of the gas meters on Capital Hill don't even have pressure regulators.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

                      [QUOTE=plumberscrack;383446]It's true!

                      Before I quote for replacement boilers and tankless heaters, we test the incoming gas pressure and match it to the minimum specs of the new equipment. We've had to swap out tankless heaters because they didn't meet minimum specs. Washington Gas Co. has the ability to increase pressure but won't do it until new mains are installed.

                      Most of the gas meters on Capital Hill don't even have pressure regulators.[/QUOTE]

                      that's because there is so much hot air up there without the need of natural gas. but then again it's natural gas

                      my thought is that someone connected a water line to a gas line either intentionally or accidentally. i'm not aware of any kind of check valve that would prevent the introduction of water back into a gas main. unless the pressure regulator would hold back the positive pressure on the outlet side and possibly discharge it through the vent


                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

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                      • #12
                        Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

                        They dont say if the water was under pressure . As i was reading the story my first thought was some one hooked up a waterline to the gas pipe .
                        I would like to see what they find
                        Charlie

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                        • #13
                          Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

                          Originally posted by BobsPlumbing View Post
                          Depends. I suppose the pressure & break could theoretically create centrifugal (?) force pulling water into the system.

                          Along with temperature variation & condensation.
                          Sorry to be stepping on toes but is it not vortex action which draws the water in. Also the gas is usually wet and wate rseparates to traps in main

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

                            Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
                            Do you mean "venturi" instead of centrifugal?
                            I would still expect pressure to push anything out.

                            Did someone accidentally connect a water line to a gas pipe?
                            (That happened to a mobile home I worked on. They filled the black pipe and furnace valve full of water. The water froze and split the black pipe. Ice forced the valve's valve through its seat.)
                            Just brought backmemories of prac exam at trade school many moons ago. One guy did exactly this and then tried to show the inspecting/testing officer how to use it. Couldnt understand why pilot wouldnt light though

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                            • #15
                              Re: How does water "leak" into a pressurized natural gas line?

                              We have huge issues here in low pressure areas after heavy storms(Gas Companies deny this though). We have suck out points but due to privatisation little maintenance is carried out. Also we have lost the knowlege base as the old guys were dismissed as incompetent old fools. Amazing how they managed the state with little complaint and now we are stuck with incompetent fools. Call centre girls who dont understand that turning off the inlet valve to the meter wont stop the main line into the house leaking.

                              Our gas is somewhat wet and our pipes have leaks all over. We have guys drilling and testing soil every day m onitoring unbtil it gets too bad and then they dig and repair.
                              Definitely vortex action sucking water in

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