Need information about using well-head gas

Old 09-27-07, 08:50 PM
rusticdon's Avatar
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Location: near Spencer, WV
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Need information about using well-head gas

A gas well has just been completed on my property, and I am entitled to receive free gas from this well. The gas company will run a buried 1-inch plastic line to my house.
Does anyone have knowledge about installing well-head gas for home heating, including running lines and what types of heaters to use? I plan to begin with a wall-hung heater for my workshop. I'm not sure whether a natural gas or propane heater would work better because I am told that the well-head gas has higher Btu rating than natural gas but lower than propane. Can anyone help me?
Old 10-11-07, 11:29 AM
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I used to be an engineer in the natural gas industry, so I hope I can help you with some of your questions.

First of all, natural gas from the ground is odorless. The characteristic "gas" odor is added afterwards by the supplier. Ask the supplier if your gas service will be "odorized", meaning they will install a small pot with mercaptain, which will give it the characteristic "gas" odor. Otherwise, with wellhead natural gas, you will not be able to detect a leak, as it will be odorless.....not a safe situation.

Also see if they are going to install a scrubber or liquid trap. Most natural gas directly from the ground contains at times a liquid component, which you don't want getting into your system.

I would asssume you will want a heater designed for natural gas, as the supplier should be supplying the gas at the nominal pressure expected of domestic natural gas. If the BTU content is significantly higher than commercial natural gas, then you may want to contact the furnace/heater manufacturer about installing smaller orifices. Usually though, the gas supplier should be able to give you recommendations concerning this.

In my area of the country, it is pretty common for rural homeowners to tap onto natural gas wellheads or gathering systems, and most installations I've seen have the usual regulators and meters, accompanied with liquid traps and odorizers. Hopefully, your's isn't the first domestic tap your particular gas company has made!

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