Pipeline to Meter – Expanding Your System

Pipeline to Meter – Expanding Your System

Rising new construction gives growth to new opportunities to build out your natural gas system.

As 2017 came to a close, the trend in new construction – both residential and non-residential – was on the rise. In the residential segment, tight inventories of houses for sale are driving a rebound in residential new construction. This growth has been primarily in new single-family homes, with new home starts increasing by 5.3%. With interest rates and unemployment remaining low and overall economy growth, this trend is continuing in 2018.

Commercial construction – office buildings, parking garages, transportation terminals, etc. – is also on the rise, with an expectation to increase by 12.4% in 2018 and continued conservative growth into 2021. Non-residential construction (which includes industrial, warehouse, educational, and public buildings) is expected to grow by about 6% over last year.

This activity in new construction means there are opportunities for your utility to grow its system. Knowing where to get the right equipment and materials to expand your natural gas infrastructure “pipeline to meter” will be key.

GROEBNER has a large, dependable network of manufacturers who have been focused on the natural gas industry for years. We can make sure you obtain the best components for the expansion of your services.


New construction of both residential and non-residential facilities requires the build-out of new natural gas lines from the main to the buildings. You need piping that meets all PHMSA regulations for materials and manufacture. GROEBNER offers you Dura-Line PolyPipe, one of the largest manufacturers for medium and high-density pipe. PolyPipe is made of 100% prime virgin resin, a non-toxic material, for high reliability. It’s lightweight and flexible, known for its durability and safety.

Dura-Line is the only nation-wide manufacturer of the new and unique high performance medium density gas distribution pipe – PolyTough1. PolyTough1 is manufactured using a bimodal resin that provides outstanding resistance to slow crack growth and rapid crack propagation which provides for a safer gas distribution system at a lower cost.

GROEBNER also provides PE fittings manufactured by Georg Fischer Central Plastics, a leader in the natural gas industry. Georg Fischer Central Plastics offer a variety of fittings and specialty fittings in butt fusion, socket fusion, and electrofusion connections. Both Dura-Line and Georg Fischer offer all the sizes and configurations that are required which will get the job completed correctly, every time.


PE pipe offers many advantages in safety and ease of installation on site. One is the ability to fuse pipe at the construction location, joining natural gas lines safely and reliably. There are several types of PE fusion joining methods – butt fusion, electrofusion, socket fusion, sidewall fusion – each of which is designed to meet differing needs and site conditions. GROEBNER represents leaders in the field on all these types of fusion.

Butt fusion is the most widely used method, and McElroy machines are the industry leader. McElroy is recognized for the most reliable, rugged, and technically advanced fusion equipment on the market. Their butt fusion machines are sized to fuse 1/2” CTS to 78” OD PE pipes. McElroy’s Mini-McPit Bull 14 Machine, Pit Bull 26 Machine, and 28 Machine are the go-to equipment to meet the jobsite demands of the natural gas utilities and their contractors.

To meet the latest demands of quality and accountability, McElroy’s butt fusion machines can be paired with the McElroy DataLogger, an Android-powered tablet that records and documents the key parameters of the fusion process. These joint records provide a quality check and verification that proper fusion procedures have been followed prior to installation, which is a growing jobsite requirement.

The electrofusion process is a simple and effective way to join PE pipe. Georg Fischer Central Plastics’ MSA 340 is the electrofusion processor on all crew trucks. The MSA 340 performs the fusion process and records the fusion data in its memory for future record keeping. As important as the EF processor is having the right tools to get the pipe ready for electrofusion. Cumberland Products’ Mandrel Pencil Scrapers and Mainline Scrapers prepare the exterior pipe so a quality electrofusion can be performed.

Sidewall or saddle fusion gives you high quality joins to main pipelines. And socket fusion is regularly used for smaller pipeline. When it comes to these two types of fusion, McElroy’s expertise has you covered there too. McElroy’s socket tooling offers the perfect method for the installation of fittings with the ability to socket fuse 1/2” CTS to 4” IPS pipe. Kits come in a range of sizes to fit your specific needs and include all of the necessary tooling. The Sidewinder fusion machines saddle fuse the branch saddles, tapping tees, and service saddle fittings onto the larger main sizes to run natural gas to the homes and commercial buildings.

In your construction projects, you may need to use any one or perhaps all these fusion methods, depending on your particular site and project requirements. By working with GROEBNER, you’ll have access to the leaders in the fusion manufacturing field. We can help you determine the best fusion type for your application. And through our reliable network of fusion equipment providers, we can offer you the best in each type of fusion equipment and accessories.


GROEBNER represents several manufacturers that provide protective products to strengthen old pipelines, reinforce the connections being made to them, and protect new pipeline from possible damage.

Tuff-N-Nuff Rockshield protects the pipeline from damage from rocks and debris, during and after the filling of the ditch. This Rockshield doesn’t interfere with manufacturer-applied cathodic protection and it’s designed for flexibility even at cold temperatures. Tuff-N-Nuff Rockshield comes in convenient sizes and can easily be installed by two or three people.

Sometimes, due to construction site conditions, you will need to apply pipeline corrosion prevention in the field. Chase Corporation’s Tapecoat / Royston provides just such protection in the form of hot and cold applied anti-corrosion tapes – TC20, H35, T-Tape, and Greenline. They have applications that can be used on both above and below ground pipelines, and provide the materials and flexibility needed to work in a variety of ambient temperatures, to protect metal pipelines, pipeline joints, and fittings.

When a pipeline is damaged or needs protection during installation, it’s vital that the work can be done as quickly and easily. NRI’s wraps – Syntho-Glass, Syntho-Glass UV, and Syntho-Glass XT – are unique pre-impregnated composites that can be used to reinforce pipelines without welding. They have wraps for applications below ground, above ground, and even underwater. These composite wraps repair and reinforce both internal and external corrosion on pipelines. NRI also offers a Syntho-Sleeve and Scar-Guard line of products which are designed to protect field joint coatings. These products guard against abrasion stresses and scarring from directional drilling and boring, minimizing the need for spot repairs after a pull-back, while providing long-term protection.


Whether you’re hooking up new interconnects on the main pipeline or running natural gas from the pipeline to the newly constructed building, you need to measure and track the gas flowing for record keeping and billing.

In construction, as new interconnects are made on the gas pipelines, the need to accurately measure and track flows is great. These take points and the largest industrial gas customers require a precise and accurate gas meter specifically designed for higher volumes of gas flow. Sensus Turbo Meters – Mark II and Auto-Adjust II – are the gas meter for the application. The Sensus Turbo Meters combine wide rangeability, low pressure loss, uninterrupted gas flow, and near instantaneous response to rapid flow change. They provide proven accurate and reliable measurement, all with a compact size which readily accepts a multitude of meter-mounted readout devices.

After the gas supply is established and you’re bringing that natural gas to your communities, you need to be able to rely on the meter sets you choose to use to be accurate, secure, and easy to maintain.

For the industrial and commercial applications, Romet rotary meters – RM600 through RM3800 – offer the highest measurement accuracy with an integral electronic correction for both pressure and temperature. These rotary meters are a simple complete system with competitive meter pricing.

For the smaller residential and commercial loads, the Sensus residential diaphragm meters – R-275 and 415 – combine the latest design concepts and modern engineering materials. Lighter weight and easy to handle, they are more durable, require less maintenance, and offer greater life expectancy. They feature a modular design that reduces repair time and costs.

When your residential and industrial meters are in place, it’s crucial for you to be able to work on a customer’s meter safely, quickly, and with no interruption in service. And of course, your business demands this all be done with minimal expense. A.Y. McDonald provides bypass meter bars which allow for the meter work to be done without any impact to the customer, no matter the time of day and in any conditions.


Wherever pipelines – large or small – are laid, there is the potential for damage to the line from external impacts. Third party damage to pipelines can be prevented if proper marking is done making the pipelines “visible”. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) regulations state that underground pipelines should be permanently marked with above ground markers in a “line-of-sight” fashion. These pipeline markers are used to help prevent accidental damage to underground pipelines by directing digging and heavy equipment traffic away from pipeline beds.

It is important to remember that the markers show the general location of pipelines but may not show the specific location. It’s imperative that workers know who to call before they dig. Pipeline markers show contact information right on site, making that contact easy, with the least delay.

To meet all these important criteria, Rhino Marking and Protection Systems offers a wide variety of pipeline markers. Rugged materials such as fiberglass, plastic, and steel ensure on-site durability, able to withstand impacts from vehicles and other equipment. These materials also offer bright, permanent colors and customizable content, so your information is specific and readable for the long run. And Rhino Markers come in multiple configurations – drivable posts, triangular markers, signs, and more – to give you the best options for visibility and site conditions.

One of Rhino’s most popular markers are the TriView Marker Posts. The highly visible triangular design ensures that your warning message can be seen from any direction. The marker is so durable and flexible that it can withstand repeated vehicle impacts up to 55 MPH and still snap back to its original upright position.


You Need the Best Products and Equipment from Pipeline to Meter

As you take advantage of the new opportunities that the stronger new construction market brings, you need to make sure you’re working with the most qualified and flexible team of vendors for your supplies. It’s time-consuming to develop trusted relationships with suppliers, time you can put to better use in the field and working with your customers.

Let GROEBNER’s established network of dependable, specialized vendors provide the materials and equipment you need to connect into main supply pipelines and bring natural gas to the homes and commercial/industrial buildings in your expanding service territory. GROEBNER’s expert sales team will make sure you’re connected to the right supplier to fulfill your specific needs. Contact us today so we can get started, making your new construction season a complete success.


Statistical References
Home market growth: www.kiplinger.com and www.forbes.com
Commercial market growth: www.constructionconnect.com