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Gas Line to Pool Heater
Old 03-24-2019, 06:56 PM   #1
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Gas Line to Pool Heater

I am mostly trying to figure out who I need to talk to about this -- Plumber, pool contractor, someone else.

We currently have a house with gas heat and water heater and have gas heat to the pool. We can heat the pool and the spa. We bought the house existing so I have no idea where the gas line is for the pool. Specifically, I don't know if it goes through the house or if it is a separate gas line to the pool.

We are going to be replacing our HVAC system and water heater and probably will end up with a heat pump system and tankless electric water heater.

At that point, we could basically turn off our natural gas service but for the pool. I've looked at options in our area and gas heat for the pool is the only feasible option. That's fine.

But, ideally, I would prefer not to have the gas line come through the house if it didn't have to. If it doesn't come through the house then we could simply turn off all gas to the house and wouldn't have to ever worry about safety issues related to gas in the house.

So - what I want to know is:

1. Does the existing pool gas line go through the house? If no, then I assume I could just turn off the gas to the house and leave it running to the pool.

2. If yes, is it economically feasible to re-route it to just go directly to the pool heater?

What I don't know is how do I find out the answers to these questions. Do I ask a plumber or find a pool contractor (we do have a pool service company) or someone else?
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:04 PM   #2
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If you do not know how to trace the line then call a plumber. It should be obvious but if it's not, then you really need a plumber. Plus, if you want the line redirected, you will need a plumber. I'd recommend a plumber
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:44 PM   #3
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I'm wondering out loud if the gas company might have records of where the line runs and/or if Dig-Safe could track where the line runs for you.

If there are separate lines then I would think that you would have separate meters and separate gas bills.... one for house and one for pool. If you have one meter then most likely it goes to the house and then to the pool.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:50 PM   #4
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Take some pic(s) of the meter and piping and post it. If the pool heater is close by, include it with meter in one pic. Maybe we can see something; maybe not.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:40 PM   #5
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Definitely want to use a plumber. If the pool heater is the only appliance that will use the natural gas you might want to look into whether it's possible to convert over to propane, sometimes it's just an easy nozzle switch out at the burner. Not sure how you're billed for natural gas but you're probably paying a monthly fee even if you don't use any gas that month. With propane there will be some up front cost to buy a tank (don't lease one) but after that you just pay to have the tank filled.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:13 PM   #6
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Definitely want to use a plumber. If the pool heater is the only appliance that will use the natural gas you might want to look into whether it's possible to convert over to propane, sometimes it's just an easy nozzle switch out at the burner. Not sure how you're billed for natural gas but you're probably paying a monthly fee even if you don't use any gas that month. With propane there will be some up front cost to buy a tank (don't lease one) but after that you just pay to have the tank filled.
If she's got safety worries about a 1" natural gas line that is under less than 1 psi of pressure (after the regulator/meter), I'm guessing the idea of a couple hundred pounds of liquid propane in proximity to her dwelling is probably a no-go. But, maybe not.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:54 PM   #7
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If she's got safety worries about a 1" natural gas line that is under less than 1 psi of pressure (after the regulator/meter), I'm guessing the idea of a couple hundred pounds of liquid propane in proximity to her dwelling is probably a no-go. But, maybe not.

I wouldn't consider a propane tank a safety issue if installed properly, might be more of aesthetic issue but they can be installed almost anywhere on the property.
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:01 PM   #8
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I wouldn't consider a propane tank a safety issue if installed properly, might be more of aesthetic issue but they can be installed almost anywhere on the property.
I agree with all of that (though tank locations can be restricted depending on its capacity. And it has to be within the reach of the hose on the truck).


People have differing concerns. A car parked with 10 gallons of gas in the tank (maybe parked in an attached/nearby garage) has 1,150,000 BTU of explosive chemical energy on board. A split rubber gas hose could spill that fuel on the floor in a few minutes. A residential gas line that is totally severed and wide open (3/4" line, 40' from the regulator) would require 12 hours to release that much explosive energy content. Natural gas is lighter than air and tends to rise and disperse, gasoline vapors and propane tend to sink and collect in structures. But, every potential risk is a potential cause for concern.
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:27 PM   #9
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OP lives in TX and needs a pool heater ?
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:16 AM   #10
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OP lives in TX and needs a pool heater ?
Look into a small solar outfit for the pool only-they are very popular and inexpensive. Makes sense: sunny days are when you most use the pool!

We once had a "party pool", 4 ft. depth overall. Had a solar pool cover which kept it quite toasty w/o heater. At that time, running the heater (nat. gas) was very expensive.

If either option works, cut off your gas supply.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:21 AM   #11
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You should have a shut-off valve for the gas right where it enters the house. Sometimes it's co-located with a low pressure regulator. First verify your pool heater lights off correctly. Next, try shutting off this valve, then testing to see if the pool heater will light off. If it does, then the pool heater is serviced with it's own unique line, separate from the house.


Also, the gas line is usually some sort of plastic. When it is buried in the ground, a 'tracer' wire is buried with it. This is usually a copper wire that can be detected with a metal detector. You may try borrowing a metal detector and searching for a gas line that runs through the underground between the gas meter and the pool heater.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:47 AM   #12
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Heating and cooling guy can help with this too.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:45 AM   #13
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OP lives in TX and needs a pool heater ?
I used to live in Lake Jackson, TX (1 hour South of Houston). We'd heat the pool over school's winter break. If not, the water was too cold for prolonged activities.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:03 AM   #14
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You should be able to locate your gas meter and figure out which way your gas lines go. Natural gas is piped through very heavy cast iron pipe, and it is under very low pressure. No matter where the pipe goes, natural gas is very, very safe.

If you've got natural gas service, it's going to cost you dearly for a monthly hookup charge just to have the service for the pool. I found out the hard way when I had my gas service for two direct vent fireplaces only--and found it cheaper to have the gas company cut off service April to October.

If you have natural gas service, why would you switch to electric heat pump and a tankless electric hot water heater? Natural gas is more efficient and feels so much warmer. Use enough hot water with electric tankless, and you might see the lights dim in the neighborhood (LOL!) It might take another breaker box to hook up 4 220 electrical circuits (8 breakers) for the water heater--$1000? $2000? And does your current electrical service even have enough unused space for the heat pump? My box is full.

My house has a conventional natural gas furnace in the attic and a heat pump for the basement--both large units. I use the heat pump sparingly to save $. I do find heat pumps great for those without natural gas service--out in the country often. Propane is an expensive alternative. And I find heat pumps okay south of middle America. But given a choice, give me natural gas anytime.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:20 AM   #15
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If it's natural gas from the utility line it is going through the gas meter. I did have a rental house in college that was in the basement but since then they are almost always at the side of the house. If you look at the meter and see one line in and one line out then the the pool must be getting its gas from the lines in the house. If you see a third line sniped in and going under ground outside the house then that is likely to the pool. I know here at my house while there is a regulator (pressure reducer) as part of the meter, there is a secondary regulator installed for my gas grill and one for gas logs. Have no idea what the pressures are before/after any of them.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:58 AM   #16
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OP lives in TX and needs a pool heater ?
We live in Texas and have a pool heater. It's not needed in the summer (June-Aug). But it helps extend the swimming season into May and Sept. We used it a lot when the kids were young. If the air was warm, they wanted to swim. But the water temp in May and Sept can get quite cold. We rarely use it these days.

Ours has a separate gas line from the meter. On the output side of the meter, there's a "T", with one pipe going into the house and one going into the ground, which feeds the pool heater. It would be very easy if we wanted to disconnect the house and only use gas for the pool heater. But we have 3 gas furnaces, a gas water heater, and we cook with gas. It's cheap and efficient in these parts. And I love cooking with gas.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:17 AM   #17
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I did have a rental house in college that was in the basement but since then they are almost always at the side of the house.
Growing up, our gas meter was in the basement. I still remember the meter reader knocking on the door and yelling “gas man!”. Of course anything referring to ‘gas’ is memorable and funny to three young boys
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:27 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
I am mostly trying to figure out who I need to talk to about this -- Plumber, pool contractor, someone else.

We currently have a house with gas heat and water heater and have gas heat to the pool. We can heat the pool and the spa. We bought the house existing so I have no idea where the gas line is for the pool. Specifically, I don't know if it goes through the house or if it is a separate gas line to the pool.

We are going to be replacing our HVAC system and water heater and probably will end up with a heat pump system and tankless electric water heater.

At that point, we could basically turn off our natural gas service but for the pool. I've looked at options in our area and gas heat for the pool is the only feasible option. That's fine.

But, ideally, I would prefer not to have the gas line come through the house if it didn't have to. If it doesn't come through the house then we could simply turn off all gas to the house and wouldn't have to ever worry about safety issues related to gas in the house.

So - what I want to know is:

1. Does the existing pool gas line go through the house? If no, then I assume I could just turn off the gas to the house and leave it running to the pool.

2. If yes, is it economically feasible to re-route it to just go directly to the pool heater?

What I don't know is how do I find out the answers to these questions. Do I ask a plumber or find a pool contractor (we do have a pool service company) or someone else?
Gas lines for pools typically tee off the gas line meter with it's own shut off valve. One goes into the house and one goes to the pool. There should be another shutoff valve just before the pool heater. In our area they have to bury the gas line at least 36" deep (minimum). The information you seek should be available at the city building plans office with the pool construction permit that was submitted by the contractor.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:28 AM   #19
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"We are going to be replacing our HVAC system and water heater and probably will end up with a heat pump system and tankless electric water heater. "

Electric lowers your costs over NG? I'd be surprised.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:29 AM   #20
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Growing up, our gas meter was in the basement. I still remember the meter reader knocking on the door and yelling “gas man!”.
Same here.
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