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Old 08-27-2010, 03:05 PM   #1
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Poly Gasline to replace Black Pipe?


Hello Everyone!

I'm trying to decide the best way to do things. Sorry for the long story line but I think it will help explain things.

I live in a house that was built in the early 60's bought it as a foreclosure so the history of the place is unclear. I'm assuming that the propane set-up is original - the date on the tank tag is '66. The run from the tank to the house is Black Pipe (which is surface rusted). We were having troubles going through propane very fast about 100 gallons every 2.5 months. With only two water heaters on it that seems like a lot to me so I called the propane company out to do a line test. They did show it was leaking but I had forgot that our furnace was also connected to the propane line (I didn't mention it because we don't use it) but it was only turned off at the appliance not the supply line valve, not sure if that has anything to do with it or not. The main cause for concern from the propane guy was that the main run from propane tank to the house is exposed on the surface of the ground. The portion of ground where the line is ran is very rarely used - we live on the side of a cliff so there is no backyard and the back portion of the house is elevated about 5.5 feet.

My plan is to rerun just the main supply with the poly gasline and still use the black pipe under the house to the water heaters. I know that the poly will need to be buried 18 inches so I was going to kill two birds with one stone. Our driveway slopes down into the garage so I want to install a plastic casing to send rain water to a drain. The plan is to cut the concrete in the driveway, dig a little deeper and drop in the poly line, refill with sand then place the plastic trough and drain grate on top of all that. There is one retaining wall I will have to bore through or dig under for the gasline to make it under the house.

My questions are:

1. Can Someone please elaborate on the type of fittings that I need to connect the poly gasline to black pipe? Also any tips/tricks that one might need to know before getting started? I don't know the proper nomenclature to use to come up with good results from google.

2. Should I just go the easy way - find the leaks if there are any and fix them (could have been the furnace I mentioned earlier not being shut off properly), then have them line test again and bring in fill dirt to make it 18 inches.

3. Does my approach seem too out of line to anyone - or does anyone have any other suggestions?


Things will be done the safe way.... I understand the dangers of propane and will have proper line tests performed by the professionals before anything is done. I do not live in the city so as far as I know I am allowed to do the install of everything but I will have someone (competent) go behind and double check me. I quickly drew up a sketch of the way things are laid out for people that have to see things, like myself.

I am open to any ideas, comments and suggestions that anyone may have. I'm a very cautious person; double check even triple checking things so please save the flaming for someone that really needs it !

Thanks to all.

GabeD

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Old 08-28-2010, 05:15 PM   #2
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Poly Gasline to replace Black Pipe?


Nobody? Someone? Anyone?

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Old 08-28-2010, 06:24 PM   #3
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Poly Gasline to replace Black Pipe?


Gabe,

First of all, may I commend you for an intelligent post and your focus on safety. Give others a few days, some of us don't get around to the site regularly.

I have run a couple of lines but I am not a plumber/gas technician so I can only give you opinion or food for thought. I don't see any problem with your plan. Presuming that you asked them, I am surprised that your gas company did not tell you what fittings are available and at least recommended by area codes. The fittings I have used are similar to a barb garden hose repair fitting but also had a collar that screwed onto the outside if I remember correctly. These were recommended by the gas service.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:43 PM   #4
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Poly Gasline to replace Black Pipe?


Downunder,

Thanks for the kind words. I think I may have rambled a too much - scared too many people away.

So in your experience, it's not some NASA secret that requires a $K worth of new tools to deal with?

As fas as my gas company... well... They seem to act like it is a NASA secret and didn't care to elaborate much (possibility a liability thing?), not to mention they want to do the work to make a buck.

I'll have to call a different supply house here locally and see what they can tell me. The first one, which happens to be a National Chain, said that they only carry the polyline and not the fittings then recommended I go online.

Thanks again amigo.
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:56 AM   #5
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Poly Gasline to replace Black Pipe?


No supply house is going to sell pipe and fittings to an unlicensed homeowner.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:22 AM   #6
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Big Orange and Big Blue sell stuff to unlicensed homeowners all the time.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:40 AM   #7
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No supply house is going to sell pipe and fittings to an unlicensed homeowner.
All of the wholesale plumbing supply houses in my neck of the woods sell to the general public.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:39 AM   #8
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Poly Gasline to replace Black Pipe?


Here is one source that I found with a quick google search. These are the type fittings I am talking about.

https://keithspecialty.com/gas.line.htm

While I'm thinking about it, I forgot to mention to put in some tracing wire. That's simply a wire that can be detected with a metal detector since it will be hard to find exactly where the plastic line is if you or anyone else needs to know in the future.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:41 AM   #9
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Poly Gasline to replace Black Pipe?


I will assume you are using the yellow polyethylene gas pipe?

When we run polyethylene gas pipe we buy manufactured ends that adapt from the poly to black iron pipe. I don't know of any way to make something like this from fittings that would pass code or be safe as the metal is bonded to the poly. We have to order these adapters from the pipe manufacturer.

The joints of the poly pipe are accomplished using a hand-held heating element that wraps around the joints and fuses the poly material at high temperature. I don't know if you would be able to rent one of these tools as they are a specialty item and require some training to use correctly.

Also, code in my area dictates that any buried gas line, poly or otherwise, be buried with a yellow insulated copper tracer wire and that the pipe be buried a minimum of 18".
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:47 PM   #10
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Poly Gasline to replace Black Pipe?


The last line I ran was from our shop to the greenhouse. I work in a landscaping division. All the work was counsulted through the gas company and we followed their recommendations. We are not a "homeowner" per se but we had no trouble getting what we needed.

Here is basically what we did:
A. Installed a Tee downstream from the meter.
B. Connected the poly pipe to the iron pipe with the appropriate adapters.
C. Ran the line from the back corner of the shop, behind the shop, across the yard to the greenhouse.
D. Connected the same as the other end, i.e. poly pipe to black pipe in the greenhouse.
E. Tested for leaks with soapy water.
F. Had the gas company come by and recheck everything then covered it up.

None of us are licensed plumbers, etc. but we followed the gas company's guidelines and had them double check it all. Maybe we just had better folks to work with. No problem in five years or so.

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