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Old 02-22-2009, 10:39 PM   #1
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Can black pipe be used to run UG gas service?


I would like to hook up to natural gas grid at my home in upper michigan. It has to be ran approx 300 ft from main line to the house. Since copper is so expensive, would like to use black pipe....will they allow it?

Also, would like to install the line myself (I have heavy equip to do the job) gas company (or at least the one women I spoke to) says only THEY can install it - for $4500!!!

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Old 02-23-2009, 04:50 AM   #2
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Can black pipe be used to run UG gas service?


copper may cost more but it will save you time and trouble. no joints to worry with . you can go from start to finish or think about csst.

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Old 02-23-2009, 05:55 AM   #3
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Can black pipe be used to run UG gas service?


Gas lines are done with black pipe. If your local code requires them to do the work you have no choice.
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Old 02-23-2009, 06:23 AM   #4
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Can black pipe be used to run UG gas service?


but of course, black pipe is the industry standard has been for many years. but to be sized properly you will need to know the total load expected to run thru the line and the load for each branch before you just start throwing pipe in willy nilly. use a good teflon dope on the joints and it will have to be pressure tested by the gas co in order to aquire a permit. also you must know all the codes that pertain to running it for your locality. you might find a sizing chart by googleing it now you know why its so expensive lots of planning,and if your plumber has a faulty joint and blows your house up theres recourse against them if you do than your s.o.l.
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:30 PM   #5
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Can black pipe be used to run UG gas service?


In my neck of the woods, it has to be carbon steel pipe, with factory applied coating, and all joints have to be covered with the manufacturer's joint kit. Pipe has to be bedded and covered in sand, with marking tape 24 inches above the line, buried in the earth. Line will also have to be inspected, pressure tested (witnessed by inspector). When you approach the town for a permit, ask them for the local rules.

Since it's buried pipe, in my area it would have to be a licensed plumber's job (can only get an exemption if it's above ground). Or you could talk to the town and see if they'll let you do it. But I suspect they're going to want a licensed plumber make the tap at the supply line, at the very least. You could save some money by working out a deal where you'll excavate, and let them run it. One of my neighbors in my old neighborhood dug the street up to tie in sewer for himself. Had a batch of asphalt ready for delivery the next day and everything. Problem was he didn't tell anyone, and got caught red handed blocking the street with his backhoe. He thought he could get it done in one day, but ran into shale about six feet down right at his curb line. Then it snowed. In the hole. Cops came because he wouldn't stop working. Finally the town inspector came and they did a permit on the fly right there, so the hole could be filled back up, which the town came out and performed (we're a small town). My neighbor threw a fit when they started backfilling with snow and dirt mixed together. He threw a wheel barrow into the hole to get the equipment operator to stop. Cops came out again. Inspector came out again. That spot still settles a little bit each year. Boy did he get in a massive amount of trouble. They let him keep the tap, but he got hauled into court and fined.

Also, in my area the utility will come out and make the tap for you no charge, and you're responsible for the run to the house. I know that from experience: my aunt and uncle converted to gas about 6 years ago, and they had a plumber set up for the run, and the utility was going to do the tap. Utility shows up and says, well who's digging the hole, because we're certainly not. They were going to leave and reschedule it in a month if a hole wasn't dug for them. My aunt - yes my aunt - spent the next 5 hours digging a hole at her curb down to the main. I got to her house at the end of the day after work to help her, and she was already finished. Tap took less than an hour.

Last edited by Aggie67; 02-23-2009 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:37 PM   #6
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Can black pipe be used to run UG gas service?


Black pipe isn't normally allowed underground unless properly protected from degradation as Aggie67 eluded to. In all my years as a codes official I have not seen black pipe allowed.

The best bet for a 300' underground run is plastic (with a tracer wire), which is not a DIY product unfortunately.

Not all gas companies permit copper, as some gas has excessive hydrogen sulfide, which is corrosive to copper. Copper for gas isn't a DIY project either in most cases.

If the gas company wants to do it, I'm assuming it is their line...The pipe on the service side of the meter is theirs, even though you have to pay to put it in. If they want to get paid to do it themselves then I can't imagine that they'd allow it to be a DIY job.
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:56 AM   #7
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Can black pipe be used to run UG gas service?


i missed the part of it being underground pls disreguard
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:09 AM   #8
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Can black pipe be used to run UG gas service?


In Ohio and PA it's either black pipe w/anode bags or plastic w/tracer.
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:28 PM   #9
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Can black pipe be used to run UG gas service?


What the heck is the anode bags? What type of plastic is used?

My complaint isn't just that they say the homeowner is not allowed to do it, it's the fact that they say ONLY they and/or the subcontractor of their chose are permitted to do the work which sounds like, hell, it is a monopoly since it takes away my right to choose who I want to do (on bids) Liability can not be an excuse since it would have to pass the same inspection standards and/or the contractor would have to have the same certifications/qualifications to do it AND it would eliminate their liability since they didnt install it if anything happened.....so the only other excuse left is, how else would they be able to rob me of $4500 (by the way, that proposed amount was from 2 years ago)

Thanks for all your help... appreciate everyones input
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:07 PM   #10
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Can black pipe be used to run UG gas service?


The utility company has every right to dictate the installation practices associated with installing a line on their system, as well as who installs it...On their side of the meter. Whether or not it is on your property, the gasline on the line side isn't your property even though you fund its purchase and installation. It sucks but it is fair in my opinion.
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:37 PM   #11
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Can black pipe be used to run UG gas service?


Sorry....but the utility companies do not and cannot dictate the installation practices associated with installing a line on their system....they are dictated by national, state and local codes and ordinances and governed by the Public Utilities Commission or similar government bureau given that authority. And just because the gas co claims only they can do the work, until I actually see the law giving them that authority I'm not going to just take their word for it. Again, this is not about how the work is done, it's about who does the work and who has the right to make that decision. The gas co in my neck of the woods subcontracts the work to several contractors....what's the difference if I hire one of those same qualified contractors or they do?....the difference is about $2000 of my money in their pocket. AKA robbery...that's fair?!

I installed the the waterline, sewer and underground electrical (qualified electrician of MY choice did the crucial work) on this same property MYSELF 2 years ago without any problem or anyone dictating to me who had to do it....they were installed to code and inspected before hookup.

Didnt mean to go off like that, but I've been fighting city hall and other entities on matters like these for years and get so fed up with their B S. It's only when people except dictatorship that we have to live under it.
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Old 02-25-2009, 08:11 AM   #12
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Can black pipe be used to run UG gas service?


You and I fundamentally disagree, and that is ok.

I do agree that it is BS that you can't hire one of their contractors to do the work. Is there a utilities board you can appeal to? Or a state corporation commission that oversees the utility company's practices?

Like it or not, that system is theirs, not yours, and your statement that they cannot dictate the installation practices on their systems is blatantly false. The fact that you have to pay for it has no bearing, other than the fact that it sucks. It is widely understood in the trades that utility companies (gas, water, electric) tend to make their own rules regarding installation of systems on their side of the meter. Those rules are usually code-based, although many/most utility companies make amendments to suit themselves. Fact is they're not obligated to provide service to your home, and even if you have a line installed they're not obligated to hook you up. That's the unfortunate side-effect of dealing with a monopoly. The costs associated with dealing with a monopoly are usually higher simply because the capitalist system permits it.

As for your city hall comment...Conforming to adopted codes and being required to do so has nothing to do with dictatorship. It has to do with democracy. Your elected officials set the codes and ordinances.

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