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Old 08-29-2013, 03:10 PM   #1
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Underground gas run


I am getting ready to run a gas line for an outdoor natural gas fire pit.
The inspector said I am allowed to do the work on my area as the homeowner and I can either run black pipe and coat anything touching dirt or run polyethelene.
I understand that polyethelene is better suited for burial, so that would be my preference.
I am an engineer and understand how to calculate required pipe size. I also have done a fair amount of gas work using black iron pipe.

How does one make polyethylene connections?
Researching this is difficult as it's not normally a DIY project.
While making a reply please keep in mind this is a DIY site.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:28 PM   #2
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Underground gas run


In order to purchase/install any poly for gas you have to be a certified installer mandated by the maufacturer. the only way you will be able to do it is if you run black pipe to code for an underground application..
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:06 PM   #3
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Underground gas run


Maybe some vendors won't sell. It won't be super easy for me to get, and maybe impossible locally, but it is not illegal to sell to someone without a license.
People say the same thing about csst which is available at Lowes.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
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Underground gas run


That may very well be but will the inspector want proof of certification? I would doubleccheck first.. As far as the connections it depends on the manfacturer they all differ..
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:20 PM   #5
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Underground gas run


I would always run Poly for underground gas lines. The process to bury metal piping and the potential for failures is why it's not used much anymore. The tubing and risers/connectors have to be by the same manufacturer to maintain it's rating and reliability. The tubing needs to have a tracer wire buried with it so it can be located by electronic means. In most instances there also has to be a warning tape buried slightly above it to give forewarning to anyone digging in the future.

With that said, and acknowledging your comment to remember this is a DIY site:

* I would remind everyone that gas, natural or LP, has the potential to be very dangerous. This potential increases or decreases in direct relationship to the skill level of those working on or modifying the supply system.

* Natural gas and LP gas has an odorant (stink) added to it that alerts you to a leak. When a gas leak develops below ground/dirt this odorant can be filtered out. This can lead to a dangerous escape of gas that you might not be aware of. Other things to keep in mind with underground leaks is that the gas doesn't escape like bubbles in water. A gas leak can migrate underground and come to the surface away from the leak itself. Gas leaking underground can also find its way through foundation walls through cracks, into out buildings through the floor..... the list goes on and on.

* Keep in mind that your gas supplier (either type of gas) can potentially have issues with someone other than a trained and insured person making modifications to a gas system that they are supplying to.

* With an underground gas line run the most expensive part of the installation is "usually" the digging of the trench. This process also exposes the contractor, or anyone else for that matter, to the most immediate danger of the installation process due to potentially hitting other utilities, buried wires, pipes etc..

Consider doing all the manual labor yourself and calling in a qualified and insured contractor to actually install the piping. They can then verify there are no gas leaks anywhere in the system before things are buried. By the time you pay retail for the fittings and a fixed length of tubing (unless you can find a supplier that will cut it to length, expect to pay a premium per foot for this) you could have a good amount invested.

This was all said because this is a DIY site and not just the original poster will be reading it.

Last edited by old_squid; 08-29-2013 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:27 PM   #6
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Underground gas run


I'm not opposed to installing black iron underground. It has been done for years
You can purchase factory coated pipe, assemble as normal BI pipe. Then wrap exposed pipe and fittings with 20 mil tape. Of course, verify exact procedure with your AHJ

If you opt for poly- be sure to add the tracer wire with the pipe
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:12 AM   #7
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Underground gas run


For such a short run (about 5' underground), I might use correctly protected black pipe which is allowed by my inspector.
I have heard to seal it with tape or tar, or both.
Can someone point me to specific products that I would use for this?
From people's descriptions it seemed like roofing tar and electrical tape. Is that standard?
Yes, I will ask the inspector, but would like to go in with some knowledge.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:49 AM   #8
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Underground gas run


Google 20 mil tape made by 3M

Tell your inspector you plan to use it and want to know his approved method of field application

Sent from my iPhone using DIY Forum. Watch out for spell check
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:20 PM   #9
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Underground gas run


Seamed pipe isn't as common as it once was but no telling what the foreign market is sending to the box stores now. Insist on seamless pipe and I prefer sch 80 from a pipe supplier USA made if possible.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:16 PM   #10
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Underground gas run


Been a few years since I did gas work and plumbing inspectors in Ohio do not inspect them. Is there any reason he couldn't use 2 perfection meter risers with plastic gas pipe in the middle? Just make sure you keep it 18 inches down in the middle.

http://www-elster-perfection-com.dyn...es_%284%29.pdf
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:21 PM   #11
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Underground gas run


I work for a union mechanical contractor and more times than not the engineers specify X-TRU-Coated pipe with regular 150# black malleable iron fittings with X-TRU-Coated tape applied over them. This is probably over kill, but is what is required in commercial underground gas piping. Have you considered using Type K soft copper for this piping?
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:41 PM   #12
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Underground gas run


The inspector wouldn't allow copper. Primed and taped black iron or polyethylene.
It seems silly (and expensive) to buy a 50' roll of polyethylene and two risers for a 5' run.
I'm going to use black iron pipe. Thanks for all the help.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:09 PM   #13
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Underground gas run


Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelcherr View Post
The inspector wouldn't allow copper. Primed and taped black iron or polyethylene.
It seems silly (and expensive) to buy a 50' roll of polyethylene and two risers for a 5' run.
I'm going to use black iron pipe. Thanks for all the help.
Dig the trench yourself.

Get someone to put the plastic pipe in with risers.

Cover trench.

Hook up and leak test.

Black iron done wrong underground is dangerous. It doesn't take much to have a serious problem.

The fact that you are an engineer doesn't mean a thing. Do the job with the right materials, and for maximum safety. Also, check with your gas company. They may not want you putting in underground lines yourself without inspecting the installation first... with the trench open.

I can tell you this, if you have propane and I saw that you had installed underground piping yourself with black iron or even plastic, I would shut down that tank so fast it would make your head spin, until I could verify that the installation was done to code... and that does not mean taking your word for it. I will go to great lengths to keep my customers safe, doesn't matter if they get upset with me or not, I sleep a lot better at night.
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:11 PM   #14
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Underground gas run


Any pipe buried underground back when we used steel was plastic coated by the manufacturer and the only point that was coated and taped and re coated was where the threads were. That was always the point of rust through. I would call a local plumbing shop and see if they would sell you a small chunk of plastic gas line. Call your usual plumber.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:29 AM   #15
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Underground gas run


Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelcherr View Post
The inspector wouldn't allow copper.
I guess this is a reason posters should list their location but, I'm wondering why as to the above?
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