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I am DIY-ing a house in Montana where a mobile home used to exist nearby (150ft away). There is an existing NG meter (250CFH). Of course my home is much larger and needs a little over 500 CFH. This does not include the demand for a future planned shop. The main line will support me, but the meter must be swapped regardless (at the utility company's cost). The current meter is at/near the future shop location. This is important to remember (if I move meter to house, I still need gas for shop eventually).

The question is - pay to move the meter ($2200) or install my own gas line? Paying to move the meter is a simple solution that is done by someone else per the utility company requirement.

My own gas line: This is a 150ft run. I would need a 2" inch line at 2PSI (gives me 900 something CFH) and the utility company is "uncomfortable with this, but will do it." However, isn't the 2 PSI an issue for appliances? Utility company won't advise on things beyond meter. But, seems like I'd need some pressure reduction system for each device? One for entire home?

My appliances are: Gas HVAC: 200k BTU Gas on-demand hot water: 250k BTU Gas dryer: 25k BTU Gas cook-top: 45k BTU

Future: Pool heater possibility and exterior BBQ.

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Yes, if you take 2 PSI service, you'll need one or more regulators so that the appliances receive 4 ounce pressure. Inquire with the utility about the monthly service cost -- my utility charges a base connection fee and the fee is $10 higher for 2 PSI service every month. I don't know whether this is common with other gas companies.

Some factors to consider:

  • the shop is merely future/planned. Will there be issues with the utility or building inspector if, for now, you have a free-standing gas meter out in the field 150 ft from the house? Will it require bollards, a fenced enclosure, or other protection you hadn't considered?
  • what if the shop construction is delayed or its plans change (ie dimension or location)? Will the meter-in-field anchor point be a problem?
  • the 2" HDPE pipe isn't cheap and the risers aren't either -- just for budgetary purposes, the Orange Box home improvement store lists these online at $460 for a 250 ft coil and $190 (times two) for the risers. That's over one third of the cost of moving the meter to the house and doesn't include tracer wire, warning tape, nor installation (trenching) costs.
  • how much gas demand is expected in the shop? A pipe carrying gas from house to shop might be half the size and cost of the 2" you'd need to carry gas the other direction.
  • if the service is moved to the house would you still need 2 PSI service? If no, then the cost of regulators further erodes the savings of leaving the service in its current location.

All things considered, if I were in the situation I'd have the meter moved.

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  • Excellent, thorough answer. Thank you very much! Fortunately there are zero inspections or building permits here, so that's not an issue, though I was going to plant a big bolder there in the interim. I hadn't considered some of those points and definitely had no idea it could be an additional service charge for 2psi. Also a good point on the shop gas use being far less. Could probably get away with a 3/4" line to shop. Utilities engineer also pointed out that a separate shop meter might be nice anyway. Thanks again! Scheduling the meter move. – maplemale Sep 30 '20 at 20:18
  • Marked answer as correct, but just FYI: Never considered the privacy Pros to doing our own line. Already seriously regretting the decision of having the meter moved. If I had to do it over again, I'd have had them put it at the street, another 150ft (300 total) away and eaten the cost. – maplemale Nov 30 '20 at 22:21

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