Should I install a gas line myself?

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  #1  
Old 09-16-06, 04:57 PM
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Should I install a gas line myself?

Hi all,

I'm trying to weigh whether or not to work on a gas line myself. I currently have a gas hot water heater and ventless logs in the basement of my home. I have a drop ceiling in the basement as well. I had two estimates on running a line about 15 feet and drilling through the floor above. Each estimate was in the $400 ball park.

I've worked on installing quite a few things before including dishwasher water lines, ice maker water lines, sinks, and hot water heaters. Where I have some concern is the whole taboo about gas. I've looked at what is currently in place which is 3/4" copper. It looks like the connection to my hot water heater is compression. Is this right? Should I consider doing a job like this myself? I've got plenty of time and can sweat copper ok. Will the fitting to the gas range be compression?

I know that there will be the whole hullabaloo about getting it inspected and having a permit, but let's get real here. We're in the 21st century, why should I pay someone to tell me what I can or can't do to my house? If I do it safe and I do it correctly, no harm no foul. I obviously intend to put in cut off valves where appropriate and to test all lines for leaks prior to usage. So I'd rather avoid lectures on "licensed and insured" stuff, and stick with the fundamentals. Fundamentally how different is this than installing a basic ice maker line or anything else. My line currently has a sticker on it saying 2psi gas, so we're not talking high pressure or anything.

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 09-16-06, 08:09 PM
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Hello white350 and Welcome to the Do-It-Yourself Web Site.

Based upon what you posted, you are not thoroughly convinced you should do this job, in my opinion. Granted, you have installed lots of other appliances,have some experiences installing waterlines etc.

But the main aspect to consider, is your own safety once the job is completed. I sense some doubts which should be considered prior to attempting the project.

Plus any unforeseen difficulties which may arise during or after the installation is completed. Which is what a well trained, highly qualified pipe installation plumber can determine, prior to taking the job and dealing with any difficulties during the installation.

The codes must be meet and the installation inspected to insure safety and meeting all currently existing codes. Any errors may cause fires and or any explosion, in the present or any time after installation. May home owner insurances do not cover damage costs for self installed gas or electric services.

Check with the local office of building and safety.Plus the insurance carrier before starting this type of project. It would be in your own best interests to do so.

The plumbing and piping professionals in this forum topic are those whom know best. Return here for additional information, should they reply. I moved you topic into this topic. Gas appliances topic does not deal with piping questions.

Use the reply button to add additional information or questions. Using the reply button keeps or moves the topic back up to the top of the list automatically and keeps all communications on this subject in one thread.

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  #3  
Old 09-16-06, 08:19 PM
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The short answer is no...

But then you don't want the lectures on why and after all gas explosions today, in the 21st century, aren't nearly as large as they were 100 hundred years ago.

Okay, now I have your attention. Gas work isn't brain surgury, but it does have a tremendous down side. There are reasons; real, valid reasons why plumbers and gas fitters pay tons of money for insurance. You have to answer the very first question that only you can answer. Will my home owners insurance cover any damage from my working on gas lines even if it occurs 5 years from now? You have to ask your agent about this question.

As far as permits, you have to check with your local building department about who can legally do this work. Does this type of work get done without permits? All the time. Is it done safely, sometimes.

From reading your post, you do have a basic understanding of pipe and fittings. Gas is different from water, in plumbing. Hooking up water lines and then hooking more, and then more, will only result in low water pressure when multiple items are in use at one time. This is fine in water.

This is very bad in gas. Gas lines are sized for the appliances attached to the line. A stove may be just 40K Btu for the average, run of the mill, stove. A commercial unit can be many times larger. Your existing gas line may or may not be large enough to tie into.

Copper pipe is never "sweated" with gas. It is brazed, or mechanical connections, if local code allows.

In my area, for example, copper pipe is not allowed with natural gas. It is allowed with LP, but then, no basement appliances allowed with LP. Apparently it is allowed for copper in your area if you have natural gas. You need to check what codes you must follow.

Probably didn't want to read this but instead have a "go gettum' and do that gas work post". Go ahead and do the work if you want. You can probably find people who will walk you though the job on other forums. All I can really offer you is a "good luck with your project and I do hope it works out okay"....
 
  #4  
Old 09-17-06, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by white350
Hi all,

Fundamentally how different is this than installing a basic ice maker line or anything else.
Thanks!
The fundamental difference is that you and your family's life may be at stake. I take a lot “slack” on this board because my philosophy is you can do anything yourself. After all, if you don't do it, then some other human being will do it. The difference is the "other human" will be trained and probably experienced. My approach on a project is to thoroughly investigate and learn as much as I can about the subject. Talk to people, read books, ask advice on this forum, etc. Learn the consequences of making a mistake! Where your personal safety is involved, if you have any doubt whatsoever that you can do it correctly, then don’t do it. On the same token, if you hire someone to do it for you, make sure that individual is thoroughly qualified.
 
  #5  
Old 09-20-06, 04:57 PM
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Being it's the 21st century I would want someone telling me the proper way to do something in my house as insurance companies won't think twice of either dropping you or denying a claim (I've seen both happen when it comes to gas).

Regardless.....

What type of "gas" are we dealing with, propane (bottled) or natural (city)? Each product has different procedures as far as material, sizing and pressures.

Either way, sweeted copper pipe is a no no. Copper tubing is ok (under certain circumstances) for propane but not good for natural. Brazed was mentioned, I've never heard of it for either. It's not a nationally recognized method of joining pipe (NFPA 54/58) but could be locally. Compression fittings are no good for gas (too prone to leaking). Flare fittings are good under certain circumstances.

The best way to go (in my opinion) is rigid iron pipe (black for propane, galvanized for natural) with pipe dope. White teflon tape is not approved for gas, yellow teflon is. My personal preferance is pipe dope.

You stated you current pipes are marked 2 psi. While it's not "high" pressure, it's not operating pressue for either propane or natural gas and will need to be regulated down to the appropriate pressure for the given gas.

I would rather pay $400 and know it's done right as opposed to doing it myself and hoping for the best (and paying more for damages).

Good luck.
 
  #6  
Old 02-15-08, 08:14 PM
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cmon

Apply for a permit and get your work inspected. Get a pressure tester. This is really not rocket science. The pipe costs $40 for everything. The gauge is $15. This isnt hard. Do it with blackpipe. No, Im not a contractor. Yes, I get all my work permit-ed and inspected. Half the contractors out there dont get permits - thats the real scary thought...
 
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Old 02-16-08, 01:45 AM
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Um, did you not notice that this thread is a year and a half old?
 
  #8  
Old 08-15-11, 08:30 AM
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I used black cast iron pipes for my gas stove and dryer...one of the easiest of all DIY.
If, however, one works in fear and is overly safety conscious, then, leave the task for the pros. This job was easy for me, I have the experiences, and the knowledge.
Be in doubt about everything...so do secure all knowledge possible...and escape from ignorance and fear.
 
  #9  
Old 08-15-11, 11:57 AM
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earthworm this is not a site for jokes! This is the second time since yesterday people have been talking on very old threads. Are you working with a partner?

The people who come to this forum are actually in need of and are seeking help. You may thinks it's funny, but I believe you don't have a lot of company.
 
  #10  
Old 11-21-11, 09:26 PM
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zoesdad & furd: Don't forget that just because the OP no longer needs help doesn't mean people should stop commenting on the topic. Even years later someone may do a Google search that brings them here. The OP's project may have been long forgotten, but the new guy looking for answers years later will still benefit from seemingly late replies.


Just sayin'
 
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