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Frequently Asked Questions About Converting

Frequently Asked Questions About Converting

What needs to be done before service line installation can begin?

For new buildings: The foundation must be completed, and our selected meter location must be marked, backfilled to final grade and free of obstructions.

For existing buildings: The house piping must be installed and/or proof of purchase of natural gas heating equipment must be provided.

Meter placement: Typically, the meter will be installed outside the residence, opposite the driveway and no farther than five feet from the front corner of the house. However, National Fuel may install the meter in another location that it determines to be reasonably accessible, convenient and safe. If your house gas piping is in place, National Fuel will be able to set your meter the same day the service is installed, or you can call us to schedule the meter installation after the service line has been installed.

Main line restoration: If main line extends through your property, National Fuel will backfill the main line trench. Depending on the type of main line extension project, National Fuel may provide limited property restoration.

Service line: National Fuel will backfill the new service trench with original soil but will not restore your lawn or landscaping.

How do I convert my house piping?

Please consult with a licensed plumber. All inside and outside house piping is the responsibility of the customer. Wall piece must be one-inch black iron pipe and terminate six inches from the exterior wall or foundation. Wall piece must be sleeved with P.V.C. pipe if running through any type of masonry. It’s the responsibility of the customer to connect wall piece to meter bar. Trunk line must be one-inch black iron pipe or any other approved A.G.A. piping material.

How do I convert my appliances?

Please consult with a licensed heating contractor or plumber.

What is the procedure to get natural gas service for a manufactured home?

It’s critical that customers meet with our representatives to stake the proposed home location before any construction begins. We will estimate the meter location according to the building site plan. This will enable us to complete our process and install the gas service soon after your home arrives. If the final meter site is moved from the original staked location, you may be invoiced for additional charges, particularly if the new location is farther away from our facilities than originally planned. Mobile homes are often serviced with a remote meter location. The customer or their plumber installs the houseline from the meter site to the mobile home. Piping requirements for remote settings are as follows:
  • The piping must be sized to meet the demand of the appliances. This is a product of total gas load and the total distance of the pipe to be run. Your plumber or contractor should be able to determine the size for you.
  • Steel pipe is not recommended for burial. Steel pipe can be buried if the piping is wrapped, coated and cathodically protected. This protection must extend six inches above grade at both ends.
  • Plastic pipe and associated fitting shall be used outside, underground only. The plastic pipe must be labeled “ASTM D2513 for gas only.”
  • All piping must be buried with at least 18 inches of cover.
  • A locator wire shall be installed with the plastic pipe of not less than #12 gauge. This wire shall be brought above grade at both ends for at least six inches.
  • The piping riser must have a manual shut-off valve installed outside.
  • The building entry shall be made outside above grade. This wall piece shall be protected against corrosion when passing through concrete or block foundations.
  • Homes with no foundation must utilize an A.G.A.-certified flexible connector installed above ground. Inlet rigid piping must extend at least four inches outside the exterior wall.
  • All piping exposed to the weather shall be painted or wrapped to protect against corrosion.

Can I install my own service and trench for main line to save cost?

Often main lines are operating at relatively high pressure and require special training and equipment to safely modify. National Fuel does permit customers to trench the service line, but not the main line. This is subject to National Fuel approval on a case by case basis. In such cases, the per foot service line charge can be reduced, resulting in a lower customer cost for the service. Customers are required to sign a Customer Service Trench Agreement and agree to the conditions as outlined in the agreement. National Fuel will install and backfill the line and make all connections at the main. You are responsible for notifying the one-call system to identify underground buried facilities when trenching your own service line.

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Trenches are dug to a depth of 27 to 30 inches and should be in a straight line between the markers placed by National Fuel. Restoration is to be completed by the customer.

How much advance notice does National Fuel need in order to install a new service?

If a main line extension is required there may be right-of-way agreements that have to be acquired from other landowners. Our service department will need to investigate. Engineering may need to conduct a gas flow analysis. Average time frame is four to six weeks. In some cases, conditions other than a main line extension may exist. For example, if a road crossing permit is required, additional time may be necessary. Average time frame is three to four weeks. From October through the end of November, installation may take as long as six to eight weeks due to an influx in applications. Normal installation time for a service only and meter set application is two to three weeks. Certain construction conditions may also delay installations.

I am considering buying or building. Can I get an estimate on the cost of getting service?

Yes, our representative will locate the nearest gas in the area and measure the distance to your proposed site. Providing building size, anticipated gas usage, occupancy and intended use of the building will assist in the accuracy of the estimate. As construction or purchase plans change, so do the requirements for natural gas. Estimates are given based on the knowledge that is available at the time of the estimate. Occasionally, gas facilities may have to be run differently than originally estimated, due to system limitations or construction difficulties. Our representatives will make every effort to provide you with the most complete and accurate information possible. However, National Fuel does not guarantee estimates. Estimates are not final bills. The cost amount is not finalized until the installation is complete.

Will natural gas still save me money when I have to pay for service?

In many cases natural gas will still save you money. In order to understand how much natural gas will save, you will need to look at several factors:
  • The cost to provide natural gas service to your home. This would include the service line and, if necessary, the main line cost.
  • An estimated annual energy requirement. This can be obtained from many heating contractors and utilities. Representatives calculate the amount of energy needed to heat and cool your home.
  • Determine what an acceptable payback period is. For example, do you expect to recoup your investment in two, three or five years?
  • Have your National Fuel representative do an annual energy use estimation for each appliance being considered.
  • Then, project your savings for a period of time, perhaps 10 years.

How are costs determined when a group of people request a gas main line extension to a neighborhood?

There are four components to determining the individual customer cost:
  • The distance (footage) of the necessary main line extension and the associated construction costs
  • The number of customers interested
  • House size
  • The length of each individual service line
Our representative will calculate the main line cost and then divide equally between each resident. An average service line distance is calculated and an average LJI credit amount is estimated. Each potential customer is given a cost estimate comprised of:
  • Main line share cost
  • Service line cost
  • LJI credit
  • Remaining balance or customer cost
After receiving the estimate, customers have the opportunity to indicate whether they are still interested in proceeding with the project. If any customers drop out, the customer cost is revised. If everyone decides to proceed, our site investigator will measure the distance for each service line. Customers will be billed for their portion of the project. Installation can then begin as customers are ready for service and monies are received. It’s likely that each customer will receive a slightly different invoice amount as each service cost will vary and each LJI credit will differ.

How do you calculate the cost for new service line installations?

Each customer’s cost is determined by:
  • Measuring the distance from the main gas line to the gas meter set location.
  • Applying a cost per foot based on the appropriate service size needed to meet the customer’s needs.
  • Determining National Fuel’s Load Justified Investment (LJI) credit amount. This is based on the estimated gas consumption of each individual customer. The credit is subtracted from the total cost of the installation project. If the credit is equal to or more than the project cost, there is no charge to the customer. If the credit is less than the project cost the customer would then receive an invoice for the portion of the project not covered by the LJI credit.
In some cases, customers are charged for a portion of the service installation. Customers who pay for service are generally:
  • Located a long distance from National Fuel’s main line or require a long service.
  • Have received a lower LJI credit because the consumption estimate is lower.
  • May have special construction difficulties, e.g., rocky ground or terrain.

Is natural gas available in my neighborhood?

Call us to find out where we are and where we’re expanding to next.

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