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Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage Installing Vapor Meters Vapor meters are precision measuring devices that require care during handling and installation. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. In this module you will learn to identify: (1)Methods for storing, transporting, and handling vapor meters (2)Procedures for installing vapor meters (3)Specific installation practices
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 1 Storing, Transporting, and Handling Vapor Meters Meters should always be shipped, stored and installed in an upright position. Each meter is shipped from the factory with dust caps covering the inlet and outlet openings. These caps should be left in place until installing or proving the meter. When removing a meter from service, dust caps should be reinstalled to prevent dirt and other contaminants from entering the meter Figure 1. Retain Dust Caps in Meter Openings
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 1 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters Are based on common industry practices and various manufacturers installation instructions. Are designed for low-pressure meter installations commonly used in residential and small commercial applications. May be used for meter installations with either half-pound or 2-PSI two- stage regulation. An important factor which effects meter accuracy is a constant inlet pressure. Some existing systems using a single stage regulator cannot provide a constant pressure to the meter. When installing a vapor meter on an existing single-stage system, it will be necessary to install a two-stage regulation system to be sure that the meter can receive a constant inlet pressure. Propane vapor meters are delicate measuring instruments and should be handled and installed with care. The following procedures
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 2 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters Propane Container Installations— The vapor meter may be installed at the ASME tank or DOT cylinder(s). The meter must be located immediately downstream from the outlet of the integral two-stage or 2-psi service regulator. There are two common meter locations in this type of installation. 1.Directly on the tank or cylinder(s). Some ASME tanks have an attachment to support a special mounting bracket for the meter. Most meter manufacturers supply brackets that are designed especially for their meters. The mounting bracket keeps the meter stable and level, and minimizes the distance between the regulator outlet and meter inlet. 2.On a post directly adjacent to the tank or cylinder(s). This type of installation is often used when there is no provision for a mounting bracket.
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 2 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters The vapor meter and regulator may be mounted on a building wall by attaching the meter to a bracket on the wall immediately downstream from the regulator outlet. Figure 2a. Wall Mounting Bracket Figure 2b. Hanging the Meter Bracket on Wall Fasteners Building Service Entrance Installations Two meter mounting methods may be used.
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 3 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters If the regulator is located at the end of a riser, the meter may be installed without a bracket. This type of installation is called "freestanding." Figure 2b. Hanging the Meter Bracket on Wall Fasteners Use a freestanding installation only when the distribution line is assembled from rigid pipe.
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 3 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters Post mounted and wall mounted meters must be at least 12" off the ground. Freestanding meters should be installed on the riser so that the bottom of the meter is a minimum of 6" off the ground. Meters should not be located where they will be subjected to water or ice damage. Meters should not be installed under roof lines in snow country because of the possibility of snow and ice sliding off the roof and striking the meter. Protect the meter by building a protective hood around it, but leave a means to read it. For meter accuracy, avoid locations where there is a source of heat. Heat pumps, air conditioners, and electrical dryer exhausts are all heat sources. Meters should be located at least 3 feet from sources of ignition such as gaslights, air conditioning compressors, heat pumps, and electric meters. Location Guidelines
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 4 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters Selecting a Meter, Materials, Valves, and Fittings for the Installation. The meter selected for the installation 1.should be equipped with a temperature compensator, and 2.have a vapor measuring capacity that exceeds total gas appliance demand. Preparing the Meter for Installation Steps for preparing the meter are shown in the following slides.
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 4 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters Figure 4. Making Pipe Connections Step 1: Remove the plugs or caps from the meter inlet and outlet. Step 2: Install any fittings or nipples into the meter inlet and outlet. Step 3: Once the fittings or nipples have been installed, be sure to recap or plug the meter inlet and outlet (Figure 5). This helps prevent dirt, moisture, etc., from entering and damaging the meter. Figure 5. Inserting Dust Caps in Pipe Connections
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 5 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters Step 4: If necessary, install any required connection fittings on the riser or distribution line of the meter. CAUTION: Be sure the service valve on the container is closed and the distribution line is not pressurized. Step 5: Install all mounting hardware. Figure 6. Checking for Closed Service Valve and In-Line Valve
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 6 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters Step 1: Close the service valve on the container. If one is installed, close the manual shutoff valve in the line upstream from the meter. Step 2: If necessary, carefully remove the cap (or plug) from the distribution line upstream from the meter inlet. Step 3: Remove the cap (or plug) from the inlet of the meter. Step 4: Carefully connect the inlet of the meter to the distribution line. Hand-tighten only! Placing the Meter Into Service
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 6 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters Step 5: Using the appropriate tool, carefully tighten the fitting that joins the meter inlet to the distribution line. Step 6: Once the meter inlet is connected, check the manual shutoff valve at each of the appliances to be sure they are closed. Step 7: If necessary, remove the plug (or cap) from the distribution line downstream from the meter outlet. Step 8: Carefully connect the outlet of the meter to the distribution line (Figure 8). Hand-tighten only. Figure 7. Tightening the Distribution Line to the Meter
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 7 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters Step 9: Using the appropriate tool, carefully tighten the fitting that joins the meter outlet to the distribution line. Step 10: If necessary, remove any temporary support(s) holding the meter. Step 11: Obtain a commercial leak detector (bubble leak solution or electronic). Step 12: Return to the container and open the service valve SLOWLY. If necessary, slowly open the manual shutoff valve upstream from the meter inlet. Figure 8. Hand-Tightening the Connecting Pipe Union
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 7 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters Step 13: Using the leak detector in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, check all of the connections between the meter and the distribution line, all connections on the meter, and all mating surfaces between meter cases (Figure 9). Figure 9. Applying Leak Detector Solution to the Meter and Its Connections
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 8 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters Step 14: Once the meter is proven leak free, purge the meter and distribution line. Step 15: Once the system is purged, light a pilot and main burner on one of the appliances in the system. A small space heater burner or a top burner on a range will be sufficient. Step 16: Return to the meter and check the proving dial index to be sure the meter is registering gas flow (Figure 10). Figure 10. Checking the Meter Register Before and After Operating a Gas Appliance
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 8 Procedures for Installing Vapor Meters Step 17: If the meter is operating properly, turn off the burners. Step 18:If necessary, record all required information on any company forms. Step 19:Clean and store all tools, supplies, and equipment.
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 9 Identifying Specific Installation Practices Pipe scale, chips, rust flakes, etc., must be removed from the inlet or service piping. Thread sealant or pipe dope and plug valve lubricants are common causes of equipment malfunctions. 1.For accurate meter operation, the meter must be plumb and level in all directions. A meter installed in a tilted position, especially front to back, may cause inaccurate measuring of gas volume. 2.When a number of meters are placed in the same location, each meter shall be tagged or marked to indicate the customer served by it. The owner of the property is responsible for keeping the identification. 3.To prevent corrosion, inspect all surfaces for nicks, breaks, scratches or gouges in the paint, especially where a pipe wrench has been applied, and touch up the damaged painted surface.
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPage 9 Identifying Specific Installation Practices Pipe scale, chips, rust flakes, etc., must be removed from the inlet or service piping. Thread sealant or pipe dope and plug valve lubricants are common causes of equipment malfunctions. 4.If an insulated union or joint is installed, make sure a sealing wire or mounting brace is not accidentally or deliberately installed or strapped across the insulation, which would defeat the purpose of the corrosion protection of the electrical isolation fitting. 5.After installation, verify that the regulator output pressure is correct for the system appliances and that the regulator locks up properly and there is no leakage from the vent.
Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research CouncilPages Time to See If You Got the Key Points of This Module… Complete the Review on pages 10 & 11. See if you are ready for the Certification Exam by checking off the performance criteria on page 12.
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