Advice on propane line

Old 07-15-12, 05:38 AM
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Advice on propane line

Hi everyone!
I'm new here. I have a question about propane line.
I live in Michigan and use propane for heat and my water heater.
I was recently excavating under my second story deck to install a retaining wall and brick paver patio when I discovered my 5/8" copper propane service line.

Why it was buried under the deck is beyond me. The deck is original to the build date on the house which is 1981. Also it was buried a mere 2-3 inches under the ground. I have only lived here for one year now so I'm finding out new things every weekend. I hit the gas line with my pick axe and creased it pretty good. Service tech came out and repaired it but in doing so he cut his splice too short and ended up with a stack of unions about 8 inches long to make it work. He said the 5/8 copper line I have is almost unheard of.
Just up the hill from those unions is another union from some apparent damage before my time. At the regulator on the house the line is 1/2 so I know there is another union/reducer somewhere between my accident and the house. That makes a total of three.
Long story short I need to relocate the line. Tech said it would be $2 a foot.
I need 150 feet. Plus they charge a service call of $50. So were looking at $350. I did talk them into paying for the first $50 because I told them I could quit their service and the new company would bury a new line and pay the first 50. So I'm down to $250.
He said they will use plastic with a tracer wire.
My question is I build fire trucks for a living and we use nylon air lines for all of the air applications on the truck. Our pressure protection valves reduce the pressure to 90 psi before it hits the air lines so I know the lines are rated for at least 90psi. They are made of nylon with a cloth braid built into the core and have a rubberized coating on the inside. I can get any size from 1/4" to 5/8 ID. Could I use this tubing and dig my own trench?
The tech said that the line only holds about 4-8 psi. The nylon tubing is very strong and I have access to tons of wire I could use for a tracer.
I'm not just being a cheapo but I have one kid in college and another headed that way very soon so every penny I can save allows me to keep working on my house a little bit at a time.
I do not know the nature of propane and how it reacts to certain materials and I have searched the internet high and low and just get generalizations on it. The tubing is made by Parker and is called Parflex if you wanted to look it up.
Also the tech said he would run 1/2 so that's what I would use.
N SERIES - Parker

Sorry for the long post but thanks in advance for any help!
Old 07-15-12, 06:06 AM
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NO, you can not use that line for Propane as it is not rated for Propane. IMO, you need to let a professional run your line. Remember you are talking about a pressurized explosive gas. It's not worth trying save a little money and risk your and your family's life.
Old 07-15-12, 04:20 PM
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I agree with hvac. Whatever material the line is made of MUST be approved by a NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory) for use with propane or Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG). Doing otherwise will not meet codes and would likely void any insurance coverage on your house if anything happened.

Also, standard pressure from a bulk tank with regulator is usually a bit more than you were told, 8 to 10 psi.

You might be able to get a break if you dug the trench to the specifications of the propane supplier.
Old 08-04-12, 03:13 AM
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propane gas line

I can't imagine burying copper, anyway, house over in Salem, I ran 55' black pipe 3/4" under house, propane company came out did pressure test and tested each joint, had gas stove and two no vent heaters..
This new house in Greenwich, was thinking about replacing furnace to propane instead and trying the new Eternal water heater......but, hurt my back for now, that project is on hold, as is project for moving hot tub..
Greenwich house has gas stove, and one no vent, so size for black pipe would probably be somewhere in the 1" to 11/4" or 1 1/2" range I'm guessing..
Stove not sure of btus
vent free is 32',000 btus
new furnace 100,000 btus
Eternal I think is 199,000 I checked and it is 199,000

Last edited by homeownergreg; 08-04-12 at 03:29 AM.
Old 08-04-12, 03:23 AM
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I also agree with these other folks about using caution when working with gas lines. Last year in our area we had another home explosion due to tenant or renter fusing with tank and piping. The explosion was so huge that the whole house was completely stroon around all over for at least 2 acres, and five or six people died. Just thought I would bring that to your attention...
Old 08-09-12, 06:37 PM
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I'm going to agree with the others. If you can save some money by diggig the trench, fine, but leave the gas line to the pros.
BTW, around here, the only kind of gas line which can be underground is plastic or plastic covered copper with no splices in the copper allowed.

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