Buried PVC gas line

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  #1  
Old 11-03-08, 02:52 PM
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Buried PVC gas line

I am relocating a natural gas water heater and need to extend the buried gas pipe outside my house.

The existing gas line is buried about 18" deep along an outside wall. I dug up the the existing line where the old riser enters the house and found that it appears to be 1 1/4" white PVC schedule 40 pipe. It has a PVC "T" with a 3/4" threaded black iron pipe riser, wrapped with green tape that goes up then ells into the house where the old WH was.

I want to remove the riser and tee then extend the buried line around the house to another wall (about a 30' run) to a new riser that will enter the house at the new WH location.

So my question is: Could this buried line be PVC? Is that code? I live in New Mexico. And if so, can I just extend it to the new location and then transistion to iron pipe for the riser and entry to the house? If it is not PVC, then what might it be? I did not dig enough of it up to see any markings. PVC would be much cheaper and easier than iron pipe.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-03-08, 08:47 PM
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It should not be PVC. It should be (and probably is) wrapped black iron pipe. Black pipe that's wrapped in plastic, usually yellow. The joints should be primed & taped.

Be careful when messing with gas.
 
  #3  
Old 11-04-08, 03:39 AM
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I agree, highly unlikely it is PVC. And gas companies are very fussy about people fooling with their gas lines, as a many local codes. And how will you shut off the gas??
 
  #4  
Old 11-04-08, 12:37 PM
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The pipe is definitely some type of plastic or PVC. Not black iron pipe..... I know the difference.

I will shut off the gas to the whole house right at the valve on my gas meter just I like I did a while back when I installed a new gas clothes dryer and had to replace the valve at the dryer hookup.

I hope someone who really knows something about this will reply here and not a bunch of people just speculating.
 
  #5  
Old 11-04-08, 01:54 PM
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I am pretty sure that it is NOT pvc pipe. It may be some form of plastic and I am pretty sure it is plastic welded, so I would not touch it until calling your gas company and asking if it is ok for you to move, or touch that line. If it is LP gas as I suspect, the gas company should move the line for you at no cost. They may ask you to dig the trench 18" as per code for them.
If it is natural gas, you are not allowed to touch the line before the gas meter. The gas company owns it.


If you are not licensed or trained in gas piping, installation, or repair, you are taking matters into your own hands and will be fully liable for any actions created by your lack of knowledge.

Just pointing out the truth
 
  #6  
Old 11-05-08, 08:26 AM
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I guess I did not make it clear. The line is on the house side of the meter so it does not belong to gas company. I am on NATURAL GAS NOT LPG OR PROPANE. Sorry for shouting but nobody seems to be reading my explanations.

I dug up more of the existing line and it is marked Sch. 40 PVC. Not plastic coated iron pipe or anything else. This is an old house built in 1948 so who knows who installed it. Maybe a previous home owner. I have owned the house for 17 years so it was before that.

I was hoping this site had someone who could actually give me some good info but apparently all anyone wants to do is question my ability to recognize what it have.
 
  #7  
Old 11-05-08, 08:44 AM
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Take it Easy Air,
I think the problem is that no-one could actually believe that anyone would use PVC for gas line, it's just that crazy. No-one is saying you did it, but you should see what some folks have wanted advice on how to do some things on here.

OK, heres the other thing. It's part of the rules of the site to not give advice on things that are illegal or dangerous. Regular PVC for gas lines is both!

Now, if you want to know how to change the gas lines to meet code and be safe, then I'm sure there will be some answers, if you still want them. Be advised, it is strongly recommended for safety reasons, that gas piping be done by qualified people. Doesn't mean you can't save a lot by doing your own trenching and such. Also doesn't mean that you CAN'T do it. There are products out there that might actually be cheaper to have a Pro install, what with the cost of steel pipe and all.

Just trying to clarify.
 
  #8  
Old 11-06-08, 11:11 PM
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Using PVC for underground gas piping is against every code, and would only be installed by someone with no clue. It's hazardous.

What sort of info would you like? It's the wrong material for that application. It should be replaced - all of it.
 
  #9  
Old 11-07-08, 12:19 AM
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AirRageous,
Please do not get offended from our members doing exactly as they should, and that is KEEPING YOU SAFE!!!
Just because someone has installed something improperly earlier, does not make it right for you to continue the same practice. If you touch it, it will become your responsibility to bring it up to code and as I mentioned earlier, you will be liable if anything were to go wrong. And I would forget about calling your insurance company for any help at that point.

It is gas, and if you don't know what you are doing, don't touch it.

In my state it is now illegal to install, move, or work on any gas lines without a license.

p.s. being rude will get you banned from this site.
 
  #10  
Old 11-18-08, 09:38 AM
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They make yellow pvc for gas. I'm getting ready to run my own line from my tank to the house and an outside fireplace. I am going to go to the local plumbing supply place to pick their brains. When you're done you need to put a gauge on it and pressurize your line to verify there are no leaks.
 
  #11  
Old 12-31-08, 05:30 PM
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White Schedule 40 PVC pipe has never been approved for use in natural gas piping. At one time there was a yellow PVC pipe that was approved. If installed properly, no portion of the yellow PVC pipe could be above ground. There were pre-bent steel elbows with a bonded transition that could be solvent welded to the yellow PVC pipe to extend above grade.

This is no longer an approved material. It is my expierance that this material becomes very brittle with age. If you have white PVC in your gas system, do yourself a favor, bite the bullet and get rid of it.

I qualified installer can use PE (Polyethelene) pipe, butt or socket fusion fittings, and transition fittings. If you want to attrtempt the replacement yourself I sugguest Scotch-Coat or Fletcher Coat steel pipe, or another similar material. Both of these materials are black steel pipe with a very tough factory coating (similar to a hard plastic). THis pipe is used with threadd malleable iron fittings. Each fitting, after the line has been tested, must be primed with an pipeline primer and wrapped with PVC pipe wrap tape.
 
  #12  
Old 01-02-09, 12:51 AM
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Underground Natural Gas Piping

I used to be a Gas Fitter for the local natural gas utility, so I've run quite a few miles of underground piping.

The short answer is that it's not a DIY job. That PVC was found underground illustrates the pitfalls of doing this kind of work, which must be done correctly to avoid substantial risks.

PVC is too brittle for use, and underground gas leaks in the vicinity of buildings, basements and crawl spaces are a prime way to blow buildings off their foundations when something goes wrong.

Howard56's post contains some useful guidance on installing polyethylene pipe, which is the kind of plastic pipe I was used to installing.

Steel Wrapped pipe is good, but needs cathodic protection with suitable anodes, not something a DIYer or a lot of people in the trade are likely to do right.

The short answer is I'd keep gas piping above ground to simplify installtion and maintenance if possible. Otherwise I'd look for a qualified service agency to do the work, which excludes most of the outfits out there. You need an outfit that does such work as a matter of routine.

Another possibility is that your gas utility might recommend a contractor or even do the work ---- the utility I worked for would install and maintain gas lines on what was nominally the customer's side of the meter for pool boilers and other applications where the utility stood to make enough bucks.
 
  #13  
Old 05-05-10, 05:51 PM
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PVC gas pipe

i live in central texas. i recently purchased a home. over the course of the remodel the yard line became exposed and my plumber was concerned because it looked like it was pvc. because it was on the other side of the meter he told me to call the gas company. i began a discussion with the gas company about replacing the line but after many phone calls and six weeks later they finally sent out a field supervisor who told me that back in the 70s (when my house was built) pvc was sometimes used for gas lines, that it was grandfathered, and that I didn't need to do anything. for what its worth.
 
  #14  
Old 05-05-10, 07:49 PM
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At some point way back when some bldg. depts. MAY have allowed the use of PVC for gas. But jrojr, "the '70's" was about 40 years ago. Things change. The point is, it's not allowed any more, and for good reasons. There are any number of things that were allowed in the 60's and 70's that aren't allowed any more. (I remember DDT, PCB's, leaded paint, ...)

AirRageous, whoever installed the pipe made a mistake. Follow the advise that several responders have given you -- you have several options about which one you choose. If it IS legal for a homeowner to do his own gas piping in the jurisdiction in which you live, then you could do that. Just follw the applicable codes and be safe with the installation. If it's NOT legal for the homeowner to install it in your jurisdiction, then don't do it! The only ones who can tell you whether it's legal or not is your local building dept. or gas company.
 
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