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I'm thinking of upgrading my cheap apartment stove to one with more heat. The current stove's hottest burner is around 8000BTU; I'm looking at one which has one 15K BTU and two 9000BTU burners. I'm located in California, USA.

My question is: if I have an apartment gas line which was installed for the old, low-heat stove, am I likely to need a larger pipe going into the kitchen for a hotter stove? Or does a standard apartment stove natural gas line already supply more gas pressure than I can use? And if the answer is "it depends", what diameter am I looking for?

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Interesting question, but a little off-topic. You might have better luck in a forum that deals with appliances or construction. But your best bet is probably to ask the manufacturer of the stove. My own guess: it won't make much difference. I've never heard anybody even mention this problem, so it's got to be pretty hard to constrict the gas flow enough to matter. –  Mike Baranczak Dec 13 '11 at 6:51
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@Mike Baranczak kitchen equipment is explicitely mentioned as on-topic in the faq, the question is OK here. –  rumtscho Dec 13 '11 at 17:56

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've got a 6 burner cooktop with a 16k, 3 12k BTU burners, and two smaller burners. My standard household gas line can supply at least 5 of the 6 concurrently without problem (haven't had occasion to use all 6 at once yet). The gas line feeding it is the same size as the rest of the gas lines in my house. Also, according to the installation instructions, the input gas line must be the same diameter or larger than inlet line of the appliance.

Inferring from that, I'd say it is going to be dependent on the inlet size of the stove you select. I don't believe line pressure will be a problem.

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It might help future readers if you could mention the diameter of your gas lines--someone could thus have a reference before actually buying a new burner –  Eric Hu Dec 15 '11 at 3:00

I believe that the size of the piping does matter. In Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck Cookbook he tales an interesting tale from the early days of the restaurant. I found the story online (2nd paragraph):
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2001/nov/17/weekend.hestonblumenthal

Excerpt from the article:

Traditionally, we have always been told to plunge green vegetables into a large quantity of boiling, heavily salted water, so that the quantity of cold beans added was not enough to bring the water off the boil. The old Fat Duck kitchen was fuelled with gas from a domestic pipe. This meant that we could not, in fact, bring a particularly large quantity of water to the boil. Because of this, we had to cook our green beans in batches of about eight at a time. Any more than this, and the water would come off the boil, leaving the beans more or less to stew and develop a murky brown colour.

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Fortunately, I'm not getting a commercial-grade stove though. –  FuzzyChef Dec 14 '11 at 5:11

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