Natural gas service to a facility will not begin until an HPU inspection has been conducted and passed. The HPU has the right to inspect a customer’s natural gas installation prior to rendering service and as needed thereafter, but the HPU assumes no responsibility as a result of having made such inspection.
Certification of Inspection
Upon completion of natural gas service, natural gas piping,
or the installation of any natural gas equipment, it is the responsibility of
the customer to request a natural gas piping inspection. The HPU gas inspector will inspect a natural gas installation within 48
hours of the time that an inspection request is received. If the natural gas installation is found to be in compliance with HPU
procedures and regulations, the inspector will make the necessary connections to
the main natural gas service. No energized connection will be made to any natural gas piping until the
Certification of Inspection has been signed and submitted by the inspector.
Inspections will not be performed on weekends or holidays.
Inspections will be done on Monday for any requests received on Friday.
The HPU Certification of Inspection is required in the following situations:
A new natural gas service line is installed or an old line is replaced.
An alteration or addition is made to the existing natural gas piping of any building.
Connection is made with a natural gas service pipe.
Installation is made of a natural gas furnace, conversion burner, natural gas stove, hot plate, hot water heater, clothes dryer or any other natural gas appliance.
Natural Gas Leaks
Customers must notify the HPU immediately if any escape of natural gas is suspected or discovered. There is no charge to the customer for investigation of a suspected natural gas leak. When a leak is discovered, the natural gas will be shut off at the structure’s service valve or meter valve. Open lights are not allowed near any escape of natural gas.
The HPU is not responsible for any damage or loss that may result from the escape of natural gas on or in a customer’s premises or property. (back to top)
Gas meters used to measure the quantity of natural gas used by a customer are owned by the HPU. The HPU and the customer will jointly determine the location of all natural gas meters. The HPU will install, set, and maintain the natural gas meter. Only authorized HPU personnel can set a meter, turn a meter on or off (except in emergencies), connect a meter to the main gas system, or remove a natural gas meter.
Residential Natural Gas Meter Installations
The location of residential meters will be jointly determined by the HPU and the customer in accordance with the following guidelines:
Meter installations must comply with all local, state, or federal regulations as stipulated in CFR Part 192.
Meters will be located in a safe location that is readily accessible for meter reading and repair.
Outside meter locations are mandatory. Outside meters will be installed by a meter set bracket.
Inside gas meters are prohibited.
Meters and associated relief valves will not be closer than 3 feet to any source of ignition such as electric meters, switches, and transformers.
Meter locations will avoid water taps, electric facilities, air intake vents, edges of sidewalks, and driveways.
Meters must be installed at least 6 inches above finished grade level.
Commercial and Industrial Natural Gas Meter Installations
Factors that determine the design of a commercial or industrial natural gas meter installation include:
Volume of natural gas to be delivered.
Pressure at which natural gas is metered.
Type of structure or business.
Number of occupants.
Public or non-public nature of structure.
All buildings must install new natural gas meters outside. The meters will be hard case and hung where practicable. Meter installations at schools and playground buildings must be protected from potential damage.
Outside meters and relief valves must not be installed closer than 50 feet from any standby propane storage tank or fuel transfer points.
Meter setting materials and natural gas pipe materials must comply with standards specified for natural gas service.
Using a mounting bracket for support of the meter is preferable. A meter shelf or slab may be required.
Meters will not be installed where rapid deterioration from corrosion or other causes is likely.
A protective device, such as a backpressure regulator or check valve, will be installed by the customer downstream of the meter under the following conditions:
If the nature of the utilization equipment may induce a vacuum at the meter, install a backpressure regulator downstream from the meter.
Install a check valve if the utilization equipment might induce a backpressure, if gautilization equipment will not be connected to a source of oxygen or compressed air, or if liquefied petroleum gas or other supplementary gas is used as standby and might flow back through the meter.
A three-way valve installed to admit the standby supply and shut off the regular natural gas supply at the same time may be substituted for a check valve.
Appropriate instruction as given for residential meter installations will apply to commercial and industrial meter installations.
A bypass valve and piping with test tees may be required on the large volume or interruptible meters, depending on the method used to test the meters.
Special Large Capacity Natural Gas Meter Installations
Special natural gas meter installations that require more than the standard metering facilities include:
Installations where metering is done at unregulated medium pressure and above.
Installations where metered natural gas exceeds 5 mcf per hour, any pressure class.
Installations where a meter house or enclosure is required.
Factors that determine the degree of special treatment design of a natural gas meter installation include:
Volume of natural gas to be delivered.
Pressure at which natural gas is metered
Type of structure or business
Public or non-public nature of structure
Number of occupants
Need for securing accessibility to the metering facilities
If customers request or require a separate meter house or enclosure, the HPU will provide information and will approve the final plan.
Typical meter installations for various applications can be obtained from the HPU Heat Department.
All natural gas piping from the point where the service enters the structure to the meter will be exposed and accessible. The piping to the meter will be installed so that the connections to the meter fit without strain.
The HPU will furnish a separate meter for each consumer classified as a complete apartment or business.
Natural gas services will not be turned on before piping has been completed to at least one major appliance and after an inspection has been made and passed by the HPU. (back to top)
Natural Gas Rates
The Rate Schedule is available at the HPU offices. Standard agreements to supply natural gas service are based on the ability to purchase natural gas from the supplier and the HPU’s capacity limitations and distribution facilities.
The HPU is responsible for the installation and repair of all natural gas services. All required permits and licenses must be obtained from the City of Hibbing Engineering Department or the City Clerk prior to any work beginning on public property. (back to top)
Natural Gas Service Installations
Natural Gas Installation Requirements
The customer’s gas service installation will be constructed and maintained in accordance with HPU procedures and policies. The Code of Federal Regulations Part 192, & the Minnesota Uniform Mechanical Code are the accepted standards for all installations.
The customer will not utilize any apparatus or device that may adversely effect the natural gas service. The HPU reserves the right to discontinue or withhold natural gas service to any installation failing to conform to these requirements.
Natural Gas Service Line Ditches
Natural gas service line ditches will not be used for the installation of electric, telephone, sewer, or water services unless previously approved by the HPU. There must be at least 12 inches vertical and horizontal separation between underground services. Depth of natural gas lines must be at least 18 inches under the surface.
Natural Gas Service Size
The HPU will determine the sizes of residential, commercial, and industrial natural gas services on the basis of governing codes, rules, and regulations. Sizes include low pressure, medium pressure (up to 10 PSIG), and high pressure (10 to 50 PSIG).
Natural Gas Piping
The customer’s piping is to be done by a qualified licensed plumber or qualified natural gas pipe fitter. Piping must be in accordance with the following regulations that ensure safe and satisfactory residential installation of natural gas pipe:
Pipe will be of ample size to carry the desired BTU load, preferably not to exceed a 0.3-inch drop in water pressure. The HPU Gas Department will provide pipe-sizing information.
Gas piping and fittings will be clean and free of cutting burrs, defects in structure, or threading.
Every appliance will have an approved shut-off cock with a lever handle.
An approved union will be installed between the shut-off cock and appliance.
All gas pipe concealed will be completely welded using either butt or socket weld fittings. All concealed construction will be inspected, tested, and approved before concealment.
All gas lines running under concrete slabs will be encased in steel or wrought iron casing. The casing will be sealed at each end and a suitable vent to the outdoor atmosphere provided in an accessible location.
The use of bushings is prohibited. Reducer fittings must be used.
The use of street elbows is prohibited.
Cast iron and compression fittings are prohibited.
Old pipe or galvanized pipe will not be used.
The use of pipe plugs is prohibited. Caps must be used at all times to terminate open pipes.
Tin straps, wires, and makeshift supports will not be used. Use only standard wire pipe hanger hooks, pipe straps, or straphanger iron.
Use only reliable standard ground joint unions.
Hose or flexible connections shall only be allowed in the vicinity of the appliance connection.
Cement or caulking is not allowed to repair faulty fitting work. All imperfect fittings must be replaced.
Use as few elbows and couplings as possible.
Elbows and couplings that are not essential will be removed.
Testing of Pipes
All piping will be air tested before the natural gas is turned on. Natural gas piping will be tested under at least 25 pounds of air pressure for not less than 12 hours without loss of pressure, and soap tested at all joints. All appliances must be disconnected when testing as the usual stove cock will not stand this pressure. Appliances will be tested as provided for in the National Board of Fire Underwriters Code No. 54 and the Minnesota Uniform Mechanical Code, Chapter 1346.25.
Natural Gas Main Extensions
The HPU is not required to make an extension from a natural gas main unless the present main has sufficient capacity to provide the additional gas service required by the extension, and the extension will not jeopardize gas service to the area currently being served by the main. Residential, commercial, and industrial extensions are subject to negotiation between the requesting party and the HPU regarding the ability to provide service, cost of services, and facilities.
Approved Natural Gas Appliances
All appliances must be approved by the American Gas Association or the National Board of Fire Underwriters or the Minnesota Uniform Mechanical Code.
Contractors installing natural gas-fired services of any type are to notify the HPU of the installation. An HPU employee must conduct and pass service inspection before flowing natural gas to the system. The HPU employee will verify the following:
For piping, a lever handle cock will be installed in the drop pipe to the furnace or burner not less than 5 feet from the floor.
All electric wiring between the gas appliance and the building wiring will be installed by a licensed electrician and will conform to HPU procedures and regulations and to the National Electric Code of the National Board of Fire Underwriters. (back to top
Natural Gas Servicing and Metering to a Garage
No more than 1 single meter is allowed for a residential natural gas service. The meter can be either outside of the house or the garage. The HPU does not allow a separate meter for the garage that is fed from an existing riser on the property (the house service) unless specifically approved. Second service runs from an existing riser are intended to supply a natural gas load that is less than the supply to the residence.
A second service run tapped from the main to the garage is typically the only option in which to meter a garage separately.
Approval to run a second service from the main to the garage for metering purposes must be obtained from
the HPU Director of Utility Operations.
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Natural Gas Service Territory
The natural gas service territory consists of all areas served by the HPU natural gas lines, subject to capacity limitations of the HPU system, their ability to purchase natural gas from the supplier, and their distribution facilities. (back to top)
Information as to the availability of service must be obtained from the HPU Engineering Department.