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Old 09-14-2008, 08:11 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by SD515 View Post
My 2 cents:

Excellent job KC. Good to know someone knows to use the IFGC and the running thread couplers not being legal.

One thing I would mention about unions...at each appliance there needs to be an approved shut-off valve before the union...so the union is between the SO vlv and the appliance.
I have shut off valves installed before all the appliances, but no unions. So are you saying, even on the dryer, I would have a valve, then a union, then the last of the 1/2 inch pipe and the flex hose to the dryer? Is there anywhere else I would need unions installed?

Jamie

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Old 09-14-2008, 08:14 AM   #17
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Just a thought from when I was doing gas work. You may want to verify that the meter can handle your peak demand.
I had to have the gas company come out and upsize the meter from 275 to 425 to satisfy my peak demand when I switched to NG heat.
Thanks for the Tip. I will double check this. I wonder if it even says right on the meter. I can easily call them also, I need to find the right dept to talk to because when I called them (power / gas are the same company) about power, they could not tell me anything about my power meter or service.

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Old 09-14-2008, 08:20 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Just for clarity's sake, here's a picture of a running thread "coupling." These things are illegal and unsafe 100% of the time. The elbow in the picture is fine.

HI

Your picture did not show up at all for some reason.

When I have a longer run, say from inside the house to where the water heater T is, (that is 4 or 5 - 10 foot pieces of pipe) do I need to use unions to connect every piece of that pipe?


I went and looked at the pipes again. I was mistaken, There is one union, it is on the furnace. I looked at the connections on the furnace pipe as well, and it was all done with pipe dope and not tef tape. My dad had installed the drop to the furnace, so he did use pipe dope on it.

I am not really sure where got the idea that it was ok to use tef tape on gas pipes since my dad is obviously using pipe dope on his gas connections. I'll make sure to use pipe dope from now on.

Jamie

Last edited by jamiedolan; 09-14-2008 at 09:59 AM. Reason: updated information
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:26 AM   #19
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Jamie

I've used pipe dope by different manufacturers (currently I have Harvey's in my arsenal..but have used Rectorseal before). They all seem to work well. Just be sure it's rated for use with gas. Use a good amount...don't get crazy with it, but don't skimp either. Always use 2 wrenches to tighten the fittings good & snug. Tapered threads are 'self sealing' but there is also a need for the paste to fill ANY void. The amount of acceptable leaks in any gas piping system is zero. They do make a teflon tape rated for gas, but I never use it. To me, paste is the only way to go on gas lines.

Another tip... do not use paste or tape on flared fittings (this will apply to unions and your flex gas lines). A typical fitting for a flex line has a flare on one end, and a 'straight' on the other. The straight gets paste, the flare doesn't. A typical union has 3 parts...a female, which has a tapered side for regular pipe to screw into (this connection does get paste) and the other end of the female has a 'socket' for the flared male part to sit into. The 'big nut' that holds the male flare to the female socket does not get paste or tape. The male, has the flared part (no paste there) and a tapered side for regular pipe and gets paste there...just like the female. I've fixed connections before where someone has put paste on the flare itself...doesn't seal that way.

You do need a union at the water heater also, if it's all 'hard pipe'. You don't need a union at the stove, dryer and BBQ if you have flex pipe after the SO valve. The flex pipe is considered the union, or point of disconnection. Don't quote me word-wise, but basically, gas-fired appliances need a shut off valve within 3 feet of the appl, and a means outside of the appl for disconnecting the piping system between the SO vlv & the appl.
(may be slightly different in your area...but I'm sure your codes are pretty close).

Last edited by SD515; 09-14-2008 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:33 AM   #20
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When I have a longer run, say from inside the house to where the water heater T is, (that is 4 or 5 - 10 foot pieces of pipe) do I need to use unions to connect every piece of that pipe?
No. Couplers hook sections of pipe together.
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:33 AM   #21
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Agreed, you don't need unions where you're using flexible whip gas connectors.

Just for clarity, understand that unions facilitate the removal or installation of an appliance from hard pipe systems. Without the union, you'd have to physically unscrew the water heater, fireplace, or furnace itself (that would be tough) or cut the pipe to remove it.

Like SD515 accurately said, be sure you dope the threads of the union where the pipes connect to it, but don't dope the middle part of the union that screws together. Using dope at that part will guarantee a leak.

Also remember that unions and valves cannot be installed in concealed inaccessible spaces such as inside walls.
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Old 09-14-2008, 12:31 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by SD515 View Post
if you have flex pipe after the SO valve. The flex pipe is considered the union, or point of disconnection. Don't quote me word-wise, but basically, gas-fired appliances need a shut off valve within 3 feet of the appl, and a means outside of the appl for disconnecting the piping system between the SO vlv & the appl.
(may be slightly different in your area...but I'm sure your codes are pretty close).

On the dryer, I have the shut off valve at about 6' off the ground, then I have several feet below it of pipe before it connects to the flex hose.

So even in that case, should I have a union there because the flex hose is not directly attached to the SO?

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Old 09-14-2008, 12:37 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Just for clarity, understand that unions facilitate the removal or installation of an appliance from hard pipe systems. Without the union, you'd have to physically unscrew the water heater, fireplace, or furnace itself (that would be tough) or cut the pipe to remove it.

RE: Couplers, this would be a correct use of a coupler, because it is a black iron couple just jointing 2 sections of pipe (as opposed to the illegal coupler on the right side of the outside meter), correct?:


I also never got a good photo of the T where the line is coming in the house before to show you:




While I was back there in the crawl space where this comes in, I sniffed right up at that elbow and I could smell a little tiny bit of the mercaptan smell there also.

Why would I smell that, I mean the obvious answer is that there is some tiny leak, but why would that be happening, did the installer do something wrong?

Jamie
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Old 09-14-2008, 12:53 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by jamiedolan View Post
On the dryer, I have the shut off valve at about 6' off the ground, then I have several feet below it of pipe before it connects to the flex hose.

So even in that case, should I have a union there because the flex hose is not directly attached to the SO?

Jamie
No. The flex line would take the place of the union. The flex does not have to screw directly into the SO vlv. Your vlv being at 6 ft off the floor probably will suffice as it would be within 3 ft of the appliance or very close. Inspestors call there...but I won't tell 'em
Be sure that the pipe is secured to the wall.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:17 PM   #25
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RE: Couplers, this would be a correct use of a coupler, because it is a black iron couple just jointing 2 sections of pipe (as opposed to the illegal coupler on the right side of the outside meter), correct?: This photo is of what appears to be a running thread coupler (the exterior is the same diameter it's entire length)..and no, this is not what you want. A visual check of a correct coupler....it has 'hubs' at the open ends that are larger in diameter than the middle. (they are about 1/8-3/16 inch-ish wide...like the elbows and tee have in your next photo below). You'll know when you see one.


I also never got a good photo of the T where the line is coming in the house before to show you:

Did you have questions about this section??




While I was back there in the crawl space where this comes in, I sniffed right up at that elbow and I could smell a little tiny bit of the mercaptan smell there also.

Why would I smell that, I mean the obvious answer is that there is some tiny leak, but why would that be happening, did the installer do something wrong?

You know you just answered your own question... Again, The amount of acceptable leaks in any gas piping system is zero.
Jamie

As far as the installer doing something wrong??? Sometimes it's hard to get the elbows tight and facing the direction and on the exact plane they need to be. I've seen joints caked up with dope and the fitting be 'hand-loose'...I guess the installer didn't think he could get the fitting to make one more revolution. Sometimes it's a trick. Nothing up my sleeve...PRESTO
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:47 PM   #26
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When I added to my gas line, I found two elbows that were just hand tightened, no tools required to remove.
That was a "pro" that did that job. What I do is hand tighten and then at 1-2 more revolutions with a wrench, it usually ends up being 1.25-1.75 more twists. It's easier if this at the end of a long run, then you can just let the entire length take up the additional turns needed to end facing the right direction.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:05 PM   #27
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As far as the installer doing something wrong??? Sometimes it's hard to get the elbows tight and facing the direction and on the exact plane they need to be. I've seen joints caked up with dope and the fitting be 'hand-loose'...I guess the installer didn't think he could get the fitting to make one more revolution. Sometimes it's a trick. Nothing up my sleeve...PRESTO
Thanks SD515. Now I understand what everyone means by couplers. My pipes have a number of problems then.. I suspect it is going to require a replacement of everything to get the proper fittings on and to get rid of all the leaks.

The photo of the incoming T was in reference to the conversation with thekctermite where we were discussing replacing that T with a new T that is 1-1/4 inch going out to the meter.

Is there somewhere I can look at the sizing charts for gas pipe / usage? I just wanted to make sure I understood correctly that it would be ok (assuming it is ok with the city) to just run one 1-1/4 pipe instead of 2 1 inch pipes? That is what I understood thekctermite to say. I just wanted to make sure I understood him correctly in what he wrote. It doesn't seem like 1-1/4 inch of pipe would be equal to 2 1 inch pipes.

Thank you to thekctermite also for all of your help with this project and for educating me on the subject.

Jamie
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:20 PM   #28
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I'm not aware of an online resource that will walk you through sizing gaslines. Short of buying a code book and learning the methods used to size pipes, you're out of luck. I assure you that you can use one 1-1/4" pipe to serve your entire load. If you have more questions, feel free to post them and I can walk you through it.

Agreed, the picture of the "coupler" is an improper fitting. You can use couplers but they need to be cast iron and will look just like the elbows and tees in the gas system, only straight. If you're re-plumbing, I'd suggest removing the illegal fittings while you're in there working on it.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:42 PM   #29
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You're welcome...and you're a good student.

I don't have a copy of the international fuel gas code book...had access to it where I used to work. Since then I haven't done any sizing so haven't had a need to look at the charts. If you want to buy a copy I'm sure you can find it online, maybe at a local book store. I usually get my electrical code book from Schuler's Book store...like a Barnes & Noble. If you want to look at it...contact your local jurisdiction. They may let you stop in and look it over, or suggest where to be able to buy one. Sounds like KC has one...and he's been a great help on your project...ask if he would mind answering more of your sizing questions. He get's a handshake from me on his knowledge.

Again, I don't have the chart...but I don't think 1-1/4" capacity is the same as 2-1" pipes. But it doesn't necessarily have to be. As long as the 1-1/4" can supply the required BTUs/hr the appliances are demanding...everything's fine. Example....say on a given length of run, the 1-1/4 can carry 120% of the BTUs required for a given appliance...maybe 2-1" pipes can carry 150%. They both can carry the required amount, whereas maybe only one 1" pipe will carry 75% of required. Just an example...but you get the idea.
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:28 PM   #30
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Is there somewhere I can look at the sizing charts for gas pipe / usage? I just wanted to make sure I understood correctly that it would be ok (assuming it is ok with the city) to just run one 1-1/4 pipe instead of 2 1 inch pipes? That is what I understood thekctermite to say. I just wanted to make sure I understood him correctly in what he wrote. It doesn't seem like 1-1/4 inch of pipe would be equal to 2 1 inch pipes.
Jamie
There is this for pipe size but it doesn't take into consideration friction loses due to elbows and Ts.
http://www.propane-generators.com/natural-gas-chart.htm
I found the friction loses online once upon a time but I have since lost the link. I think I posted it on diychatroom someplace though.

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