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Old 07-15-2008, 08:32 PM   #1
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


I have a cast iron gas line running below the joists in my basement and would like to have the run be in the joists to allow for a higher ceiling in one spot. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing the plumbing myself but I need to know for framing plans. I don't think the installer could slide an iron pipe up there so a flexible copper line might be the way to go.

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Old 07-15-2008, 09:33 PM   #2
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


There is a reason why Black Iron is used, and Copper is not for NG. There is no way to reroute near the Main Duct work, or through the Laundry room? Pictures & drawings really help, and if you can, try not to post Close ups.

I am lucky that the Black Iron for my stove is ran along the Main Support Beam in the Basement, then runs towards the Furnace between the joists.

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Old 07-15-2008, 11:13 PM   #3
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


Copper has been used for decades for natural gas. It can be used for gas, provided that the gas doesn't have more than .3 grains of hydrogen sulfate per 100 cubic feet. Threaded and flared connections are the norm. Your local gas utility can provide H2S information, and your local jurisdiction will let you know if they allow copper.

Better idea...

Corrugated stainless steel tubing, or CSST is the way to handle this situation. It is PVC jacketed stainless, and is very flexible. It is not available to DIYers. It is used in a large percentage of new construction, and is a great product. It is sold under the brand names Wardflex, GasTite, and TracPipe. Nearly any licensed plumber can put it in. A great option for this type of situation.
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:50 AM   #4
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


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Better idea...

Corrugated stainless steel tubing, or CSST is the way to handle this situation. It is PVC jacketed stainless, and is very flexible. It is not available to DIYers. It is used in a large percentage of new construction, and is a great product. It is sold under the brand names Wardflex, GasTite, and TracPipe. Nearly any licensed plumber can put it in. A great option for this type of situation.

Thats what i was thinking. New school. There using that alot these days. To the original poster. If you haven't seen what were talking about it looks like a good size hoze. But its really tuff stuff.
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:30 AM   #5
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


Thanks. It's good to know that it can be done and I can continue with framing. I forgot to mention that it is the main line coming into the house. Does that make a difference? It looks like a 1" pipe.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:58 AM   #6
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


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....CSST...not available to DIYers.
That's not entirely correct. You can go to one of the 3 large supply stores, at least in Iowa, and purchase the tube fittings, protection and mounting plates needed. To be come "certified" is a JOKE. Right along side the fittings there's a $5 booklet that talks about safety, testing, sizing by the company. Read the book, sign the card in the back and you're "certified."

That said, I read the book, sized the supply accordingly. Installed and pressure checked per the instructions in our new house and have not had a bit of trouble. It is a sweet product to install and use. Come to think of it I didn't sign the card... OOOPPPS!
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:04 AM   #7
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


Nope. CSST will work fine serving an entire house. It is sized based on total demand of gas in btu/h's and total length of the longest run of pipe from the meter. Your plumber will size the pipe for the house and the code official should check his sizing to make sure it is good.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:10 AM   #8
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


Rippy, I'm WardFlex certified (took a course) but since I'm not a licensed plumber I can't even buy it. Here, the manufacturers are incredibly strict about who buys, and I haven't seen it for sale anywhere but supply houses.

What brand of CSST did you buy?

I'd advocate using a plumber. The main reason is due to grounding, but leaky connections are always a possibility, and protection of CSST is critical. A couple of the brands require specific grounding to reduce hazards in lightning strikes.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:09 AM   #9
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


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...What brand of CSST did you buy?

I'd advocate using a plumber. The main reason is due to grounding, but leaky connections are always a possibility, and protection of CSST is critical. A couple of the brands require specific grounding to reduce hazards in lightning strikes.
I can't tell you the brand name now...it's been nearly a year ago. The issues you bring up are addressed in the manual. Fortunately in our locale, rural construction must be inspected. My inspector gave me the thumbs up on our install...and he was picky with regards to safety plates, supports, bend radius'...and I'm thankful for that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating the OP not use a plumber. My reply was directed to your comment about the availability of CSST to the DIY'er. And, while we can debate all day whether it should or shouldn't be, the fact is it is. If a person wants a certain item CSST in this case, I believe it's each person's responsibility to determine their skill set to determine whether they can use the product correctly and install as per the MFG explicit instructions or hire the Professional if they are unsure.
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:09 PM   #10
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


Are you sure it's cast iron pipe and not black pipe? I'd be curious to see what it looks like.
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:18 PM   #11
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


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I'd advocate using a plumber. The main reason is due to grounding, but leaky connections are always a possibility, and protection of CSST is critical. A couple of the brands require specific grounding to reduce hazards in lightning strikes.
KC has a very important point here. The CSST is great stuff but it is thinner walled than black iron pipe and there have been instances where a lightning strike of the home has caused an arc that burned through the thin wall. So anyone wanting to do CSST themselves should pay special attention to following the grounding requirements for CSST.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:32 PM   #12
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


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Are you sure it's cast iron pipe and not black pipe? I'd be curious to see what it looks like.
Ron
It's black pipe. I didn't mean cast iron. Here's a picture. Thanks everyone for your help. I wouldn't install a main gas line by myself. I'm in the trades (running a different kind of conduit) but I'll leave the explosive stuff to the pros.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:48 PM   #13
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


That's regular old black iron pipe. Hey, the fittings are cast!

By the way, that's an illegal running thread "coupling" behind that street 90 on top. They're thread protectors that come on thread and couple pipe, and a lot of plumbers mistakenly use them as couplers. The correct fitting should have tapered threads, which that one does not. I'd recommend having your plumber replace that coupler for sure.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:21 AM   #14
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Rippy, I'm WardFlex certified (took a course) but since I'm not a licensed plumber I can't even buy it. Here, the manufacturers are incredibly strict about who buys, and I haven't seen it for sale anywhere but supply houses.

What brand of CSST did you buy?

I'd advocate using a plumber. The main reason is due to grounding, but leaky connections are always a possibility, and protection of CSST is critical. A couple of the brands require specific grounding to reduce hazards in lightning strikes.

Hey KC, I read this thread earlier so when I was in Menards today, I walked by the black pipe section and sure enough....there were CSST pipes. Any size, any length you wanted. I know absolutely nothing about the stuff but it was available.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:05 AM   #15
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?


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By the way, that's an illegal running thread "coupling" behind that street 90 on top.
Really doesn't surprise me considering all the other surprises I've been finding from the previous DIY HO. Very poor work. Notice the wire splice in the 2nd photo? Yeah, that was above the ceiling and there were buried splice boxes all over the place. The beams are painted because of mouse odor. They were pee soaked in many many places. I used Kilz and the smell has been reduced to zero. That was the impetus of this entire project really.

Anyway here are a couple more pictures of the pipe and joists. I want to leave that beam exposed and not sheetrock around it and the pipe runs right next to it. If this works I'll strip the paint off and have a nice look, I hope.
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Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?-pipe1.jpg   Can cast-iron natural gas line be changed to copper?-pipe2.jpg  

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