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My gas line can't be pressurized since there is a pressure regulator installed after the gas shutoff valve.

My solution was to install an additional shutoff on the outlet side of the meter, circumventing the pressure regulator.

enter image description here

Was there a better way to do this?

For the pressure test, should I have removed and capped the regulator, leaving everything else as is?

3/4/2020 Gas man came to the property and said my setup was perfect since everything after the meter is my property. He stated that a pressure test is not supposed to include the gas company's equipment (the pressure regulator), and that the regulator was working fine. He performed his own test by disconnecting and hooking up a meter in between my line and the meter, and there was no pressure loss.

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  • Was that square plug on the left picture not a valid place to connect test equipment?
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 20 '20 at 19:25
  • I initially connected the test equipment there, but all pressure escaped out of the pressure regulator vent.
    – Chris Em
    Feb 20 '20 at 19:31
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    "Additional shut off valve" ??? i do not see the official shut off valve. How did you shut off the gas to make your "modifications" Does the gas company know you have modified their meter? I say call the gas company and ask them how you should be doing this.
    – Alaska Man
    Feb 20 '20 at 19:32
  • I modified nothing on the meter, nor any equipment leading to the meter. I only changed the piping going to my property. Also it was the government official who stated that I could perform the gas drop test myself, so, here I am... The official shutoff valve is in the shadow of the picture on the left. The new valve is blue
    – Chris Em
    Feb 20 '20 at 19:38
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    @ChrisEm I think that pressure escaping from the regulator was an actual problem like longneck has mentioned. More pressure should just close the regulator harder. I guess too much pressure could have damaged it, and it might leak gas at this point.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 20 '20 at 20:01
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My gas line can't be pressurized since there is a pressure regulator installed after the gas shutoff valve.

That's... not how it works. Regulators don't vent in an over-pressure situation, they just close. If it's venting, then you have a bad regulator.

You should have tested with your regulator in position. Your pressure test did not test the regulator for leaks, and it should have.


Your pictures are a little hard to see, but here is an image that I think matches your setup: regulator before the meter, test point after the meter. Your pressure test should be testing the parts I have colored red, plus the piping and appliances inside.

enter image description here

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  • I assumed one point of a pressure test was to bring the entire system above the "normal pressure" and then make sure it doesn't leak down. With the regulator in place, you wouldn't be able to get this over-pressure.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 20 '20 at 19:14
  • Right, I'm not saying it vents. I'm saying that if the only place I can put pressure into the system is before the regulator, the system will never get to over the pressure the regulator is set to. Ae you saying the regulator should be in place and you apply pressure after it? Or are you saying that over-pressuring the system is not a goal of the test?
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 20 '20 at 19:23
  • Pressure is added in whatever segment needs testing. In the picture above, the regulator is before the meter, and the test pressure should be added after the meter.
    – longneck
    Feb 20 '20 at 19:25
  • (Sorry, I deleted my comment between @JPhi1618 first two comments. I was trying to edit and deleted by accident.)
    – longneck
    Feb 20 '20 at 19:29
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I had the same question as the OP. The code is not very clear and I was getting all kinds of different and vague answers from certified plumbers and even the local chief mechanical inspector. So I emailed this question to Maxitrol, the company that makes the regulator in my home, and they told me this...

"With regard to a line pressure test, NFPA 54 in Chapter 8 states that during a line pressure test gas controls including the regulator must be isolated or removed from the test."

And this...

"The outlet side of the regulator should never be exposed to an incoming gas pressure"

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I don’t see your gas’s shutoff it may be on the right at ground level but I would want one. In my jurisdiction the pressure test is only done after the meter, in fact a new system has to have an inspector’s green tag before the meter can be turned on. I would bubble test and outside I would not be worried as long as a bubble test did not show any leaks, however I have seen bubble tests show no leaks where in a wall there was a slight leak that showed up on the pressure test. That slight leak inside a wall could have built up to a hazardous level , but not outside. I just find it strange that the gas company did not install a shutoff valve.

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  • There is a shutoff valve, it's in the shadow of the picture on the left. Also based on the comments above, it sounds like the pressure regulator is bad, since any pressure placed into the system, is ejected with a big fart. Using a bike pump
    – Chris Em
    Feb 20 '20 at 19:46
  • @ChrisEm, the regulator has a rubber membrane in it to control pressure, so it's not that far off from a whoopie cushion if the membrane tears or has a hole.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 20 '20 at 20:11
  • I am not sure why I got a down vote as I did not see the shutoff. I actually checked and a shutoff is required.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 20 '20 at 21:51
  • 100% whoopie cushion sound when applying pressure before changing the pipes. The maximum gauge pressure when the regulator was part of the circuit - maybe 1/2 psi; after - stable at 10. I will follow up with the gas co and provide an update
    – Chris Em
    Feb 20 '20 at 23:22
  • I want to say we had to have 30 psi for the pressure check but it may have been a 30 psi gauge with at least 15 psi during the inspection with no loss to get the green tag.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 20 '20 at 23:39

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