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Converting From Oil Furnaces to Natural Gas In NE USA States Means Adding Gas Safety Devices, Too.

by Barbara 4. December 2014 09:04

Question about safety issues when converting from oil heat to gas heat.

Q: "A natural gas shale line from Marcellus Shale gas in Pennsylvania may extend into the Northeastern states in the next year, if approved (Quote from CBS 12/3/2014) We currently are using oil heat. Replacing the furnace with natural gas will save us a lot of money. How can we avoid the health risks associated with natural gas?"Thanks Tom.

Answer: Continue using carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors as you have been doing, remembering to test them monthly and change batteries once a year. I would also suggest you add a Scentry III Gas Shut Off system on your main line into the home as well as Safe-T-Alert Combustible Gas Alarm or a Safety Siren III natural gas alarm near your natural gas appliances such as ranges, fireplaces, etc.

With the Scentry III GFRAB, you can add additional remote sensors, a battery back-up and a connection to a home monitoring system if you have one or plan to get one.

Remember that natural gas is lighter than air and "puddles" at the ceiling above the appliance using it. If near an open stairway, the gas will go to the top of the stairway.

An annual furnace tune up with filter change is needed with gas furnaces as well as with oil. If you want the best disposable furnace filters, use the 4 inch or 1 inch Safe Home filters.

Thanks for your questions.

Sincerely,

Barbara

 

Install Safety First Automatic Gas Valve System and Prevent Gas Explosions In Home or Business

by Barbara 20. September 2010 13:13

Question about the Scentry III GFRAB Automatic Gas Valve and Gas Detector System and the Scentry III SFGVC Gas Valve Controller, No Gas Valve

Q:"After the explosion in San Bruno, CA on 9/9/2010, I am concerned about my home exploding. I have a natural gas furnace, a natural gas fireplace, a natural gas water heater and a natural gas range. I don't have a full basement: my crawl space is about 12 inches high. Drainage is excellent. There would be some moisture but not water. Can this automatic gas valve and sensor system system be installed there?I see that the Scentry III has a connection for an auto-dialer and also can be connected to a ventilation system. Thanks. Thomas."

Answer: This unit allows you to use remote gas detectors to place near your other gas appliances. There is a battery back-up available if you want protection during a power failure. We do have an installation manual available on our website for this unit.The Scentry Installation Manual.

The GFRAB stands for gas sensor, mounting feet, remote ready, alarm and battery and includes the gas valve shut-off/controller. NOTE: Must be used with a Scentry III gas valve (sold separately).  Each Scentry gas sensor is calibrated in a gaseous atmosphere so it will alarm at 10% of the lower explosive level (LEL) of the combustible gas. This is not a carbon monoxide alarm as it has only a combustible gas alarm sensor.

Scentry III-GFRAB Gas (Mounting) Feet Remote (Ready) Alarm Battery Specifications:

  • Case: ABS Plastic
  • Physical Size: 7.6 inches by 4.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.25 lbs
  • Color: Gray
  • Power consumption: 1.5va
  • Supports up to 4 calibrated remote sensors (not included)
  • Requires Scentry III-GVD gas valve (purchase separately)
  • Supports Battery Back-Up (Not Included)
  • Gas Valve Controller for combustible gasses such as natural gas or propane gas. Includes a 24 volt transformer.
  • Connections: screw terminals
  • Input Power: 115VAC, 60 Hz
  • Output Control Relays: 2 amps, 24 VAC
  • Alarm Signal Output: 12V DC @500 ma
  • Reset: manual
  • Sensor Type: Tin Dioxide Semiconductor
  • Alarm Points: Propane (LP) <5200 PPM
  • Alarm Points: Natural Gas / Methane <12,200 PPM
  • Manufactured Proudly in the USA for Safety First USA, Inc.
  • Warranty: 1 year from date of purchase.

The gas valves that interface are a 1/2 inch, a 3/4 inch and a 1 inch valve.

Scentry III-SFGVC Safety First Gas Valve Controller Specifications:
  • Case: ABS Plastic
  • Physical Size: 4.6 inches by 3.1 inches
  • Weight: .5 lb.
  • Color: Bone
  • Reset: manual
  • Output Control Relays: 4 amp, 24VAC
  • Power: 1.5va
  • Sensor Type: Tin Dioxide Semiconductor
  • Connections: screw terminals
  • Propane alarm point: <5200 PPM
  • Natural Gas/Methane<12,200 PPM
  • Note: Requires a UL Listed Scentry III .5 inch, .75 inch or 1 inch diaphragm type gas valve that is compatible (not included).
  • Note: Requires a 24V transformer (NOT INCLUDED). See installation instructions for specifications i.e. must match the transformer to power requirements of your gas valve.
  • Note: No option for battery back-up to be added later
  • Note: No option for additional sensors to be added later.
  • Made in USA.
  • Manufacturer: Safety First USA

The gas valves that interface are a 1/2 inch, a 3/4 inch and a 1 inch valve.

So the main differences between the units are that the Scentry III-GFRAB gas alarm and gas valve controller (shut-off) includes the 24 volt transformer, has mounting feet and can add options of battery back-up, remote gas sensors and remote alarms.  With the battery option, the pilot lights remain litt during intermittent power failures in regions such as the mountain states where electric power is not always continuous. A 12V output allows adding a phone dialer to alert owners of vacation homes, etc. when an unsafe condition has occurred. Remote gas sensors can be added near gas ranges, gas water heaters, gas furnaces, gas heaters, etc. to add protection using only one gas valve controller.

Please contact us if you have questions about what components to install.

Remember that you need carbon monoxide sensor alarms on every floor of your home and in every bedroom where you close the door. The CO monitor does not monitor propane or natural gas leaks: it monitors the carbon monoxide levels from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels like wood, coal, gas, charcoal, etc.

Thanks again for your timely question.

Sincerely, Barbara

 

Which Gas Detector Do I Need? I Have Anosmia.

by Barbara 11. August 2008 09:27

Q: "I have anosmia, i.e. I have lost my sense of smell. We have natural gas heat, a natural gas water heater and a natural gas cooking stove. I cannot smell a gas leak. Which gas detector do you recommend?"

Answer: Currently, we sell two brands of combustible gas alarms and an automatic gas shut off system that shuts off gas and sounds a loud alarm when a significant gas leak occurs.

Two brands are UL1484 listed for use with natural gas and propane gas and also work with gasoline fumes and butane fumes. These are the Safe-T-Alert 40-411AC and the Safety Siren Combustible Gas Alarm and the Safety Siren CO and Combustible Gas Alarm.

The advantage of the Safe-T-Alert is the long cord for proper positioning of the detector, i.e. high and near the appliance for natural gas and low and near the appliance for propane. We also sell the Safe-T-Alert Combustible Gas Alarm in a 230VAC unit for Europe and Asia. The Safety Siren unit is a direct plug in with a safety tab that the outlet cover center screw (standard 2 or 3 prong outlet) goes through so the unit cannot be easily removed. Most customers who buy the Safety Siren model install an electrical outlet at the proper height for natural gas or propane.

All our combustible gas alarms sound at less than 25% of the lower explosive or flammable level of the gas.

The Scentry III GFRAB propane/natural gas detector is only one component of this home safety system. The GFRAB means Gas, Feet on the bottom of the case, Remote, Alarm and Battery. To have a complete system, you need these additional components:

As noted above, the compatible valves are in .5, .75 and 1 inch sizes. Each valve is an electrically operated gas shut off valve that opens and closes on a demand signal from a thermostat or other controlling device. Can be used with both natural gas and LP gas at pressures up to 0.5 psi. The White Rodgers replacement is a compression spring closing and soft seat construction gas valve.

The advantage of this system is that the controller unit supports up to 5 calibrated remote sensors.

Scentry III-GFRAB Specifications:

  • Case: ABS Plastic
  • Physical Size: 7.6 inches by 4.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.25 lbs
  • Color: Gray
  • Power consumption: 1.5va
  • Supports up to 5 calibrated remote sensors (not included)
  • Requires Scentry III-GVD gas valve (purchase separately)
  • Supports Battery Back-Up (Not Included)
  • Supports Gas Valve Controller for Explosive Gas (Not Included)
  • Connections: screw terminals
  • Input Power: 115VAC, 60 Hz
  • Output Control Relays: 2 amps,
  • 24 VAC Alarm Signal
  • Output: 12V DC @500 ma
  • Reset: manual
  • Sensor Type: Tin Dioxide Semiconductor
  • Alarm Points: Propane (LP) <5200 PPM Alarm Points: Natural Gas / Methane <12,200 PPM
  • Manufactured Proudly in the USA for Safety First USA, Inc.
  • Warranty: 1 year from date of purchase.

Thanks for your question. Just remember propane gas and natural gas are safe sources of energy if you add protective measures including alarms, shut off valves and regular maintenance of the appliances that use gas.

Sincerely,

Barbara