Running Pipe to Outdoor Fire Pit

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Old 05-30-19, 07:52 AM
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Running Pipe to Outdoor Fire Pit

I've had 2 contractors give me estimates on running a gas line (approx 20 ft in the hous and then 20 ft ouside the house under a deck).

The first dissuaded the use of black pipe because it needs to be painted and the pipe will not be accessible once the deck is built. He offered copper or flexible tubing but his prices were very high.

A second contractor wants to use black steel pipe, and said he would make a T off the main 1" pipe, that would get down to 1/2". This price was much better. I mentioned use of flexible pipe and they said they don't use yellow flex pipe outdoors.

I called my town and they said black steel is most commonly used and approved in our municipality with no ground contact. My question is, once painted -- how often would the pipe need to be repainted? How long can black steel last without repainting? Is there a better low maintenance option for under a deck, no ground contact.
 
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Old 05-30-19, 11:04 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

I'm not a plumber but I do all my gas plumbing in black iron.
I'm not a fan of the yellow gas line and don't use it in my house.

Depending on the consumption of the firepit....... 40' of 1/2" pipe may be too small.
My chart says that is good for approx 52kBTU's. May need a 3/4" to 1/2" line.

Black iron would last many years outside with no painting. After painting it well after installation.... it will last a very long time. Use a good paint like Rustoleum.
 
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Old 05-30-19, 11:52 AM
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I have used CSST without problem. That's the flexible, corrugated stainless steel pipe with a yellow plastic sheath. It does not require painting but I have only seen it's use outdoors in short sections to connect to the appliance.

If you go with a black pipe make sure it does not touch your pressure treated deck. The modern copper based treatments are corrosive to steel.
 
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Old 05-30-19, 01:40 PM
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Yes, you are right. He did mention going to 3/4, then to 1/2 closer to the fire pit.

Are there any comments on the durability of black steel outdoors once painted? I want to determine if this should be an option where I won't be able to access and repaint.
 
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Old 06-03-19, 07:26 AM
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Can any other experts comment? If Black Steel is painted and not touching the ground or the decking itself, can I paint it once and forget about it for 25 years? If so, would it benefit to add a few extra coats?

The ground under the deck does collect water, but I'm not sure if direct contact would be needed for it to start rusting or just a wet environment overall could wear on it.
 
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Old 06-03-19, 09:48 AM
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That's why I like CSST. It's stainless steel encased in plastic. It can withstand the wet conditions underneath the deck without problem. But, as you'd expect stainless steel is more expensive than plain old black steel.
 
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Old 06-03-19, 10:24 AM
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Black steel pipe will last a very long time with a good coat of paint. If it's hidden under the deck and doesn't need to be too pretty, wipe it down with a rag soaked in mineral spirits to remove the surface oils. Then use a dishwashing glove and a rag full of quality metal paint like rustoleum or farm implement paint to get good coverage on all sides of the pipe. Well over 25 years would be reasonable life expectancy, probably more like 50-100.

Galvanized steel pipe will last that long without paint, but it is not allowed for gas in some areas; check in to that with your contractor or local inspection office.
 
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Old 06-07-19, 10:49 AM
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I wouldn't hesitate using black steel pipe outdoors, especially if approved by your local building department. Look at the piping around your gas meter, when was the last time you painted it?
 
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