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Old 12-10-2008, 12:58 PM   #1
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natural gas lines in cooper?


i just bought an older house in NC. that has natural gas for stove, water heater and furnace. The feed line starts out as black iron then tees off to different areas. Off each tee they have run soft cooper. 15+ft to furnace, 10+ ft to stove and 3 ft to water heater. Shouldn’t this be in black iron, then a short flex line for final connection? My understanding is a number of years ago the home was converted from propane to natural gas. p.s. there is no shut off valves except for before the meter. Thank you Larry!!!!

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Old 12-10-2008, 01:07 PM   #2
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natural gas lines in cooper?


I agree with you. The only time I have seen copper allowed for natural gas was after leaving the home and supplying a gas grill. I always wondered why Propane was allowed inside homes using copper. Only reason I could think of was that propane is supplied to the home from a tank on the property and will only reach a certain pressure, while natural gas is a higher pressure and a regulator on the meter could fail and allow high pressure into the house lines.

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Old 12-10-2008, 01:24 PM   #3
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natural gas lines in cooper?


i had a furnace man shrug his shoulders and say that's how they used to do the conversions. should i be concerned?
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:24 PM   #4
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natural gas lines in cooper?


I'd replace it with black pipe. Where the feed line comes in, if it's easily accessable, I'd put a stop valve in each line.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:25 PM   #5
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natural gas lines in cooper?


Isn't type K approved for natural gas use?
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:08 PM   #6
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natural gas lines in cooper?


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Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
Isn't type K approved for natural gas use?
Yes it is and you can even bury it.

I have no problem with copper gas lines but it sounds like you need to have some valves put in. Every line needs a trap and a valve. The trap can be anywhere but the valve needs to be near the appliance.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:17 PM   #7
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natural gas lines in cooper?


i am thankfull for responses. at the very least, i am going to install shut off valves. still soul searching the whole idea of cooper. even if type k is legal, shouldn't there be a flex line for the final connection?
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:24 PM   #8
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natural gas lines in cooper?


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i am thankfull for responses. at the very least, i am going to install shut off valves. still soul searching the whole idea of cooper. even if type k is legal, shouldn't there be a flex line for the final connection?
That was not required in older instillations. In new it is due to earthquake requirements.

I put them is because it is a whole lot easier to have a flexible connection at the end of the line.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:27 PM   #9
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what about final connection to appliances, shouldn't they have a flexi
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:31 PM   #10
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natural gas lines in cooper?


once again i am thankfull your everyone's great help larry
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:38 PM   #11
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natural gas lines in cooper?


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Originally Posted by l.e.lewis View Post
what about final connection to appliances, shouldn't they have a flexi
Yes they should.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:53 PM   #12
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natural gas lines in cooper?


now i can sleep better tonight. but need to know more about traps? and will be going to purchase valves & flex lines. also what is the best joint sealer on my new connections? i have in the past tested for leaks with liquid soap is this ok?
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:28 PM   #13
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natural gas lines in cooper?


Flex lines for gas are usually flare fittings. Since they have a machined face, no joint compound is necessary. I like Rector Seal #5 for gas threaded connections. Soap and water mix for leak testing is fine. If you leave the copper, you will be mixing and matching for installing "traps". These are called drip or dirt legs and are a piece of pipe at the bottom of a tee. Picture a gas line going into the center outlet of a tee. The gas supply for the appliance would go into the top of the tee and the drip leg (which is there to catch any debris in the gas) is a short piece of pipe, capped off, installed into the bottom outlet of the tee. They are used to prevent clogging of the gas orfices.
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:08 PM   #14
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natural gas lines in cooper?


Copper fittings either have to be brazed (in excess of 1000*F) or flared for use in gas. Can't use soldered or compression connections EVER.

Copper is prohibited if the gas contains more than .3 grains of hydrogen sulfide per 100cf of gas. Most gas companies have that under control.

Connections to copper gas pipe has to be made with listed fittings made of copper or brass.

Copper used to be common with gas installations. Nothing wrong with it unless the gas company is selling corrosive gas. If it was mine I'd think about replacing it, but wouldn't lose sleep over it.
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:51 PM   #15
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Copper fittings either have to be brazed (in excess of 1000*F) or flared for use in gas. Can't use soldered or compression connections EVER.
This brings up another issue.

If you plan on doing this yourself I would advise flushing the line with an air hose from the meter. Nothing like having a nice flashover when brazing a gas pipe.

NG requires over 1000F and between 5-15% to ignite. Brazing will get these temperatures and when gas left in the line expands and moves out of the pipe there will be an area where it will reach the 5-15% concentration.

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