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BBQ Gas Pipe Sizing

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  • May 16th, 2020 10:36 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 12, 2013
140 posts
64 upvotes
Mississauga

BBQ Gas Pipe Sizing

I got a few gas fitters come in to size the pipe size to use for a bbq and getting different response. Any experts on the topic would appreciate their views whether a 1/2 or 3/4 pipe would be suitable for this bbq line.

New BBQ line 55ft direct from meter. This would be longest line from meter. There will also be about 8 elbows along the wall.

Currently have the following branched from a 1inch pipe from meter:
- furnace 80k btu
- tankless water 200k btu
- fireplace x 2 - 36k btu

On another 1/2 pipe from meter - only 5ft length - garage heater 36kbtu

Update: sorry should have said bbq is rated for 80k btu
Last edited by winjones on May 16th, 2020 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
11 replies
Jr. Member
Sep 21, 2004
125 posts
79 upvotes
North Vancouver, BC
You did not state what type of BBQ you have. But if we assume (quick google) 10,000 BTU/hr per burner and you have a 4 burner BBQ then that is 40k btu.
If you are T'ing off from the main line right at the meter, then you need to look at two things - how far from the Meter are you T'ing off (Lets say less than 10'?). Even if all the services would be running off that small section (80k+200k+36k(2)+40k+36k = 428 k btu) . Assuming your regulator to your house is 7 in w.c (standard) then 20' is your limit on a 1" line before you start to see to much pressure drop (according to code anyways).
But lets assume however you are T'ing off right at the meter (a foot or two so negligible drop in pressure to the T), then you only need to look at the services that are on the BBQ line. At 40 k btu you can go over 100 feet before you start seeing pressure drops that would not meet code. You are half of that at 55 ft.
I'd go with the gas fitter that told you that you only need a 1/2inch line personally.

Full disclosure - I am far from an expert (nor am I a gas fitter), my background is electrical - but I have full access to all codes and did my own house gas lines (with Permits) for Furnace/Hot water Heater/Fireplaces/Dryer/Stove. Passed inspection no issues and been running without issues for over 5 years. In this case CSA B149.1. Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code.

Others can jump in with their thoughts to either back this up or complete negate everything I've just said :)

Table attached
Images
  • Screenshot.jpg
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9652 posts
5041 upvotes
Paris
BouncyBall wrote: You did not state what type of BBQ you have. But if we assume (quick google) 10,000 BTU/hr per burner and you have a 4 burner BBQ then that is 40k btu.
If you are T'ing off from the main line right at the meter, then you need to look at two things - how far from the Meter are you T'ing off (Lets say less than 10'?). Even if all the services would be running off that small section (80k+200k+36k(2)+40k+36k = 428 k btu) . Assuming your regulator to your house is 7 in w.c (standard) then 20' is your limit on a 1" line before you start to see to much pressure drop (according to code anyways).
But lets assume however you are T'ing off right at the meter (a foot or two so negligible drop in pressure to the T), then you only need to look at the services that are on the BBQ line. At 40 k btu you can go over 100 feet before you start seeing pressure drops that would not meet code. You are half of that at 55 ft.
I'd go with the gas fitter that told you that you only need a 1/2inch line personally.

Full disclosure - I am far from an expert (nor am I a gas fitter), my background is electrical - but I have full access to all codes and did my own house gas lines (with Permits) for Furnace/Hot water Heater/Fireplaces/Dryer/Stove. Passed inspection no issues and been running without issues for over 5 years. In this case CSA B149.1. Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code.

Others can jump in with their thoughts to either back this up or complete negate everything I've just said :)

Table attached
My BBQ is a weber 3 burner plus a side burner and the side burner burned me to have to run 3/4.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3166 posts
2136 upvotes
Toronto
What's the price difference of 1/2 to 3/4"? I'd go larger if the cost is similar, which it should be. Labor is going to be the biggest cost component.

You may want to T off the connection for another appliance. Build a massive outdoor kitchen with grill, pizza oven, gas fireplace all running at the same time.

I'd be asking why not go with 3/4"?
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9652 posts
5041 upvotes
Paris
torontotim wrote: What's the price difference of 1/2 to 3/4"? I'd go larger if the cost is similar, which it should be. Labor is going to be the biggest cost component.

You may want to T off the connection for another appliance. Build a massive outdoor kitchen with grill, pizza oven, gas fireplace all running at the same time.

I'd be asking why not go with 3/4"?
I wanted to go 1” for a future patio heater but the black iron cost difference was significant between 3/4 and 1” and I was the one buying the parts, had a certified guy just doing labour.

Edit: my garage heater though only required 1/2” and I went 3/4” in case I changed from 40k to 75k heater. I don’t think the black iron difference was significant there. Also, 40k in the 2 car garage was more than enough.
Jr. Member
Sep 21, 2004
125 posts
79 upvotes
North Vancouver, BC
torontotim wrote: What's the price difference of 1/2 to 3/4"? I'd go larger if the cost is similar, which it should be. Labor is going to be the biggest cost component.

You may want to T off the connection for another appliance. Build a massive outdoor kitchen with grill, pizza oven, gas fireplace all running at the same time.

I'd be asking why not go with 3/4"?
All depends on what future plans are, and what the cost difference is. Sure if the cost is only a few bucks then why not. But sometimes installers will use the line increase to charge quite a bit more. Also if the line is running largely outside the house (like it was with mine just under the stucco) I took every effort to minimize the size so it was not so obvious. Corners are smaller (not sticking out as much) and fishing it under the deck was much easier. I suppose it depends on the owners requirements. But certainly no harm going larger - just a matter of circumstance I suppose.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
1354 posts
1128 upvotes
Ottawa
I agree, not being a gas fitter, a 1/2" run is probably fine, but I'd go higher in case you want a bigger grill in the future.

I didn't even think about gas line size when buying our new grill ... today!

The previous owner had an older model of the same grill we have. I suspect it was slightly less BTUs than ours - they had the Napoleon Prestige P500 with 4 main burners, side burner, and rotisserie with a 3/8" quick connect. Ours is the same, but likely slightly more BTUs as we have the IR side and rotisserie and a 1/2" quick connect.

Anyway, our natural gas line was all installed during the previous owner's renovations. We have a 1" main line of ~30 foot (with probably only 2-3 elbows) run from the meter.

We have quite a few appliances off of it:

- 40k BTU furnace at about 20' off the main line (~3' of 3/4")
- 20k BTU (unused) dryer connection branched off at about 20' of the main line (same 3/4" branch as the furnace, ~20' hose)
- 55k BTU (I think) stove branched off at about 25' of the main line (32' hose)
- 200k BTU tankless water heater branched at about 30' off the main line (~5' of 3/4")
- 80k BTU grill branched at 30' off the main line (~3' of 3/4" -> 1/2", then 10' of 1/2" hose).

So, ya, we have a 30' run of 1" steel with 415k BTU (at max burn, with the dryer that doesn't exist) hanging off of it.
Last edited by Dynatos on May 15th, 2020 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sr. Member
Jan 19, 2013
519 posts
304 upvotes
Ottawa
If it’s 1/2 black steel pipe, you’re good to go.
As others have mentioned running 3/4 for a fire pit or something is not a bad idea. Labour basically same. Materials would be a tad more.
Deal Addict
Oct 20, 2011
1084 posts
380 upvotes
Mississauga
Winjones
Insufficient information, what we would need to know is

Total Btu's for the whole bbq including accessories.
The size of rough in pipe which is being tied into.

Personally, if the price difference isn't significant, I'd go 3/4" in case you ever want to add onto the same line or decided to get a larger BBQ in the future. I ended up going with 3/4".
[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 12, 2013
140 posts
64 upvotes
Mississauga
My bad, I updated the thread. Bbq is rated for 80kbtu
3/4 is the way to go based on all the feedback.

Thx
Deal Addict
Dec 19, 2009
3922 posts
1910 upvotes
BouncyBall wrote: You did not state what type of BBQ you have. But if we assume (quick google) 10,000 BTU/hr per burner and you have a 4 burner BBQ then that is 40k btu.
If you are T'ing off from the main line right at the meter, then you need to look at two things - how far from the Meter are you T'ing off (Lets say less than 10'?). Even if all the services would be running off that small section (80k+200k+36k(2)+40k+36k = 428 k btu) . Assuming your regulator to your house is 7 in w.c (standard) then 20' is your limit on a 1" line before you start to see to much pressure drop (according to code anyways).
But lets assume however you are T'ing off right at the meter (a foot or two so negligible drop in pressure to the T), then you only need to look at the services that are on the BBQ line. At 40 k btu you can go over 100 feet before you start seeing pressure drops that would not meet code. You are half of that at 55 ft.
I'd go with the gas fitter that told you that you only need a 1/2inch line personally.

Full disclosure - I am far from an expert (nor am I a gas fitter), my background is electrical - but I have full access to all codes and did my own house gas lines (with Permits) for Furnace/Hot water Heater/Fireplaces/Dryer/Stove. Passed inspection no issues and been running without issues for over 5 years. In this case CSA B149.1. Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code.

Others can jump in with their thoughts to either back this up or complete negate everything I've just said :)

Table attached
With regards to Table A1 supplied which is for gas pressures less than 7 in w.c. ... as the gas utility usually supplies the gas at 7 in w.c. would you not use Table A2 which is for pressures of 7 in w.c. up to 14 in w.c.?
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2011
1002 posts
145 upvotes
If you don't mind me asking, how much did the gas fitter charge you to run the new line?

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