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Old 06-10-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


As a new member, I have noticed that there is a re-occurring argument about whether or not it is "ok" for non-certified guys to work on gas line, be it sched 40, flex, copper, whatever line it may be..... Whether or not you are capable of the work is not the issue really, it's illegal pretty well everywhere and super dangerous, but that's beside my point.

Many of the applications seem to be in the area of adding to the existing lines, which lead me to the point that many diy'ers probably don't consider. It's a BIG safety issue that I don't see being addressed in the argument.

Most new construction is razor-thin profit margin, and one of the ways that costs are controlled is by saving on gas line material. One of the most common ways to save on lines is to size the lines into and throughout your house to the AS BUILT gas aplliances, that is to say there is often zero room for other appliances to be added later without upgrading your line/gas valves.

I just wanted to point out that adding appliances or extending gas lines significantly is playing with fire in that you cause serious pressure loss/variation that may cause firing problems in your existing appliances.
You may have a gas layout designed for x amount of flow at pressure y, and if you demand flow at x plus, you ARE going to get pressure at y minus, and that is extremely dangerous. Underfiring and underfed appliances aren't always rectified by gas valves on the line or the appliance, so if you do your own piping, which in my opinion you shouldn't ever, you should have a good knowledge of your flow capacity of your existing lines and not exceed it. Low gas pressurre anywhere in your system is a lot more dangerous that many diy'ers would think.

Just wanted to point that out, slow day at work, maybe helping someone avoid a disaster.

Thanks

Roly

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Old 06-10-2013, 06:03 PM   #2
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


Another good point made.

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Old 06-11-2013, 01:59 AM   #3
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


Excellent post.

This is why whenever I put gas lines in for a customer I almost always "upsell" them to a larger size than they need at the time. I explain to them that down the road, if they want anymore gas appliances it is best to spend a few dollars more for the capacity to handle future additions than it is to rip everything out and start fresh. Almost all of them agree that it is worth the small difference in price.

I am not a fan of people doing their own gas work. Most professionals have put in at least a few hundred hours of schooling and seminars along with trade shows etc. in order to keep the changing regulations fresh in our minds. We also get trained on the latest equipment and stay current on codes and recalled equipment. My apologies to all the DIYers out there, but sure, you may do just fine with your installation... but is the risk worth it if you didn't? I guess it comes down to money for most people and I can certainly understand that, but there are areas where I refuse to skimp, like my car, or getting electrical work done, or building additions... to me I am paying for someone to keep me safe. There are some things I just do not understand enough in order to be certain that it is done 100% correctly. That is when I call a professional.

Gas by its very nature is not forgiving if something is done wrong. Normally you read about those things in the paper.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:14 AM   #4
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


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Gas by its very nature is not forgiving if something is done wrong. Normally you read about those things in the paper.
I agree you can read stories in the paper about natural gas explosions. But I cannot recall a news story about a homeowner who accidentally caused an explosion by extending or re-arranging their gas piping..

Last edited by hammerlane; 06-11-2013 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:05 AM   #5
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


Where I live, it is legal for homeowners to work on their gas lines. When we built our house four years ago, I did all the plumbing myself, but wanted nothing to do with the gas. I paid the company that provides my propane to install the piping for that. Well worth what we paid, just for the peace of mind.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:08 AM   #6
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


OK, admittedly good information. Now let me ask you one.

Since governmental agencies are down to the point where you need a permit to wipe your keester, why dont they insist on builders using safe materials, and installing gas lines that are large enough to allow for expansion? And why in this gods earth would they allow something as dangerous as blind boring of gas lines, which can end up with gas lines running through sewer lines?

This is a very good example of how people elected to Federal, State, and County positions could give a crap less about their electorate, and care more about the contributors to their coffers.

Follow the money.

It is a very good reason why campaign contributions should be illegal, but they never will be because the crooked Baskets that are in power would never vote against themselves.

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Old 06-11-2013, 09:14 AM   #7
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


seriously, most any project undertaken with no research can be deadly. should we just refuse to DIY anything due to any danger with working with said materials? should one not pick up a chain saw, nail gun, hammer or the like just because it may cause injury? I feel with proper research and training, DIY'ers should be able to accomplish most any task they would like to. heck, if working with explosive materials is so delicate as to be left to the pros, we should all have a professional pumping our gas. ( NJ, I'm looking and pointing at you )
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:26 AM   #8
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


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Originally Posted by bbo View Post
seriously, most any project undertaken with no research can be deadly. should we just refuse to DIY anything due to any danger with working with said materials?
Nope. But as a DIY site that attracts far too many of the clueless and downright dangerous... there is a range of responses or answers that can and should apply. Defaulting to the safety weenie position end of things the more general and uninformed the question is... is probably wise.

Those inclined to dig deeper will eventually find everything they need to do it right or blow themselves up and there ain't nothin' anyone facing a screen can do about that.

There is a tendency to push the "rah rah... everyone started out knowing nothing... you can do it" a bit too much.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:29 AM   #9
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


Someone with a license gets upset when a DIYer does their own gas lines because the license holder feels as though they should be the only ones to do that type of work because the license holder does not want to feel that they wasted their time and money obtaining the license. As said before it is not rocket science to thread gas pipe. Now my car needs gas that I have to pump myself and I'm texting while driving. The dangerous life I live.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:30 AM   #10
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


Quote:
Originally Posted by bbo View Post
seriously, most any project undertaken with no research can be deadly. should we just refuse to DIY anything due to any danger with working with said materials? should one not pick up a chain saw, nail gun, hammer or the like just because it may cause injury? I feel with proper research and training, DIY'ers should be able to accomplish most any task they would like to. heck, if working with explosive materials is so delicate as to be left to the pros, we should all have a professional pumping our gas. ( NJ, I'm looking and pointing at you )
While I agree with you, in principal. There is a vast difference between the potential dangers of using even a chainsaw versus doing your own pipe fitting for gas. Not to be crass, but If I screw up with a chainsaw, maybe I lose a leg or a hand. Maybe a tree falls on someone. Beyond the immediate danger of it, making a simple mistake could fill your house with gas, and potentially kill your entire family, and some neighbors.
I don't think it's that slippery of a slope. I believe in DIY, but I also believe that they are always building better idiots (myself being one of them) and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that work like that be done by professionals.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:32 AM   #11
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


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Those inclined to dig deeper will eventually find everything they need to do it right or blow themselves up and there ain't nothin' anyone facing a screen can do about that.
Blow themselves up? When and where? Dont forget your homeowner's insurance may cancel you. I googled for homeowners explosion natural gas and also could not find such an example.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:39 AM   #12
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


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making a simple mistake could fill your house with gas and potentially kill your entire family, and some neighbors.
When and where did this happen?
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:41 AM   #13
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


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When and where did this happen?
Here's a whole page dedicated to them.
http://www.naturalgaswatch.org

Honestly, even if the exact situation that I've mentioned hasn't happened, or been documented, it's simply not worth the risk.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:50 AM   #14
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


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Originally Posted by AJPLeBlanc View Post
Here's a whole page dedicated to them.
http://www.naturalgaswatch.org

Honestly, even if the exact situation that I've mentioned hasn't happened, or been documented, it's simply not worth the risk.
I did check that site out while doing my google search. Was not aware of the number of contractor caused explosions around the country on a montlhy basis.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:54 AM   #15
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Re: DIY'ers plumbing their own gas lines


Quote:
Originally Posted by bbo View Post
seriously, most any project undertaken with no research can be deadly. should we just refuse to DIY anything due to any danger with working with said materials? should one not pick up a chain saw, nail gun, hammer or the like just because it may cause injury? I feel with proper research and training, DIY'ers should be able to accomplish most any task they would like to. heck, if working with explosive materials is so delicate as to be left to the pros, we should all have a professional pumping our gas. ( NJ, I'm looking and pointing at you )
This is an excellent post. The fear mongers that think having more governmental regulations will protect their income will soon end up hitting a brick wall when they go to do something on their homes for which they do not have a "Certification" or a "License"

Bureaucracies love certifications and licenses that have to be renewed every year, and permits that offer windfall profits. It is an income stream for them, and once they get it, they will never give it up. Remember Woodrow (The Commie) Wilson's Income tax that was supposed to end after WWI?

I have been continuously stating on these forums that there will come a time when we will have given up all of our personal freedoms in the guise of governmental "Protection" that is the result of litigation by unscrupulous lawyers looking for the big payday on the backs of ignoramuses that file frivolous lawsuits.

Lets get down to brass tacks:

How many debilitating injuries happen every year in this country as a result of natural gas accidents, as opposed to accidents involving chain saws?

A chain saw is one of the most dangerous tools anyone can use, yet you can buy them in any big box store, and you don't even need a training course to know how to use one.

I say this over and over: Survival of the fittest is mental as well as physical.

If you are stupid enough to work on gas lines without educating yourself, and you blow yourself up, so be it.

If you are stupid enough to go out and use a chainsaw without educating yourself and you cut your leg off so be it.

If you are stupid enough to electrocute yourself, because you did not educate yourself regarding electricity, so be it.

If we continue to regulate based on everything that lawyers want to litigate, we will lose ALL of our rights and freedoms in this country.

Want an unrelated example? The other day I wanted to take my grandson fishing. Here is what I needed:

1. A resident fishing license, Salt and Fresh water
2. A resident trout stamp.
3. A daily fishing permit for the lake we went to.
4. A DNR stamp for my boat.
5. A daily permit for the boat for the lake we went to
6. Registration for my trailer.
7. A yearly permit for my trailer to launch my boat for each county I want to launch it in.

When my dad and I used to go fishing off sandy hook, we needed a registration for our trailer. That was it.

This may not directly have anything to do with the installation of gas lines, but if you think deep enough, it definitely does, so keep pushing guys, pretty soon you will need a license to buy a hammer, and you will need to register it every year.

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Last edited by jagans; 06-11-2013 at 10:01 AM.
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