Gas line requirements

Old 08-25-02, 03:46 PM
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Gas line requirements

Here's the question.Why is the gas company allowed to use plastic pipe to run(underground) gas up to our properties.Then we are required to use plastic coated metal pipe or dope and wrap the black iron pipe ourselves,in order to use it underground.
If the plastic pipe is safe enough to run underground to our houses then why aren't we allowed to use the same material.If anyone knows of the codes that pertain to this I would appreciate
the information.Heres another question.Why are we required to ground to the gas line if the new gas line has been treated with a plastic coating.Doesn't this just nulify the grounding purpose since the ground wire won't make proper contact with the pipe,since it is coated.I would especially appreciate a reply from anyone familiar with Arizona codes.
Old 08-25-02, 05:09 PM
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Hello: A Brewer

Two Excellent Questions.

To answer your first question, the utility companies have code requirements that they must follow also. Most codes in many areas of the country require pipes to be buried 24 - 36 or more inches below grade level.

By doing so, it only helps to insure the pipe will not be struck by hand digging tools. Hand tools such as shovels, hoes, picks, etc. Rapped or unrapped steel pipe is less likely to be damaged by such hand digging tools. Less likely but not totally.

This is not the case with plastic pipe. Plastic piping damages much more easily. Therefore, burying it to code helps to insure it will not be struck by most hand digging tools. However, such is not the case in all instances, but far less likely at 24-36 inches below grade level.

Do to the easily damaged factor of so called 'Plastic' pipe, most areas of the country it is not code to have this piping material above ground. The vertical rise pipe section must be steel or iron to comply with codes and prevent damages which cause leaks.

I personally do not know of anywhere in this country where it is required to ground electric connections of any type to gas lines. Grounding to Water pipes yes, gas no.

Plastic pipe or plastic coated gas pipe does not conduct electrical current. This helps to prevent pipe corrosion, rust, etc. Another reason why grounding electrical connections to gas pipes is not code or wanted by the gas companies.

The gas meter should be insulated from electric transfer in either direction. From the street flow and out of the house flow. Tiny amounts of current causes rapid pipe corrosion etc.

Plastic coating nullifies the grounding effect. Check your areas codes and check with the local natural gas company before grounding any gas piping on or off your property.

Regards. Tom_B. Forum Host & Moderator.
TCB4U2B2B Company Enterprises. Energy Conservation Consultants & Gas Appliance Diagnostics Technicians.
Old 08-26-02, 04:41 PM
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You have to look at the National Fire Codes for part of the answer. Gas in an non-metal pipe a big no-no within any structure. Other gas related stuff also in NFC, not all gas work falls under plumbing code.

NFC also has a problem with any grounding of electrical on gas lines.

Look at section 3.14 of the National Fuel Code which addresses NFPA 70 (NFC) and kinda explains it.

Hey, I hope I helped to get you started where you need to look. Any more questions, ask away in this thread and someone will give you a holler.

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