LP Gas Tanks (C) Daniel Friedman When & Why to Use 2-Stage Gas Regulators for buildings & Appliances

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Two-Stage LP or natural gas regulator requirements:

This article explains why, when, and where a two-stage gas regulator system is recommended at a building. Our page top photo shows a a large, remote, and centralized outdoor LP gas storage tank serving multiple homes in a small community in New York.

A second LP gas regulator was required at individual buildings.

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Recommendations for use of two-stage gas regulation for LP or Natural Gas fuel systems

In this article series we provide descriptions and photographs of unsafe gas piping, regulators, or controls on heating systems, indications of unsafe or improperly operating gas appliances, gas meters, and other gas installation defects. This document also provides free sample draft home inspection report language for reporting defects in oil and gas piping at residential properties.

Gas Cylinder or Tank Regulators: Readers concerned with installing, inspecting, or testing LP Gas regulators which are found on outdoor above ground or buried gas cylinders used for storage of LP Gas on site should also see How to Inspect & Test LP Gas Tank or Cylinder Regulators.

Readers concerned with changing the fuel type between LP gas and natural gas for a gas fired appliance should see our safety warnings at GAS APPLIANCE CONVERT LP-NATURAL GAS.

General safety warning: improper installation and even improper inspection and testing methods involving natural or "LP" gas can involve dangerous conditions and risk fire or explosion. If you smell gas you should leave the building immediately and should do so without doing anything that could create a spark such as operating a light switch or telephone. From a safe location, call your gas company's emergency line and/or your fire department. The text provided here is a working draft and may be incomplete or inaccurate.

Many residential LP gas installations will be found with a single gas pressure regulator at the storage tank.

A "two stage" LP gas regulation system uses two gas pressure regulators. Gas flows out of the LP Gas storage tank first through a "high pressure" regulation stage (usually installed right at the LP gas tank) and then through a second "low pressure" regulator as a second stage (usually installed close to the point of LP gas entry into the building).

Two stage LP gas regulation is required for certain installations but is less often found installed at single family residential properties. Experts recommend this "two-stage" regulation of LP gas installations, particularly where large LP tanks are installed above or below ground for several reasons:

Actual NG or LPG gas pressures vary: [Note: the exact pressure you see in the building at an appliance may vary from these numbers depending on the gas distribution piping system size, diameter, number of appliances served, number of appliances operating, regulator adjustment, and other factors.
See LP or Natural Gas Pressures for a table showing the range of variation in LP gas pressure in the tank at various temperatures. - Ed.]



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