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Old 05-17-2015, 06:07 PM   #1
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How To Disassemble this Gas Line?


Hi,

I need to remove this old pool heater (pictured), I can't seem to disconnect the gas. I have three pipe wrenches of various sizes, but I need some direction (no pun intended) on how to disconnect the gas line.

I have tried turning the various pipes to their limit, but can't seem to disconnect any of the junctions. Do I just need to keep turning further with my biggest wrench? I feel like I might break something (not that it matters, this old heater is going to the metal recycler).

I'm replacing this heater with the exact same model. I plan to hire a plumber to do the gas hookup. I assume that is a wise choice? Will he want to replace the old pipes due to the surface rust? What should I expect?

Thanks!






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Old 05-17-2015, 06:16 PM   #2
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To be honest- I would let your plumber disassemble it. There should be a union between the valve and the heater to help with dismantling- you don't seem to have that. Your union is at the wrong side of the valve.
So the gas main will need to be turned off, not just the heater.
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Old 05-17-2015, 07:16 PM   #3
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Not where or how much you want to dismantle but you have to start at the end of the line or at one of the two unions. Once you have a union open then you can unscrew the pipes.
The unions are the fittings blew the elbow on the pipe coming out of the ground and between the T and elbow going into the unit.

Here is what a dismantled union looks like to help you understand how it comes apart.


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Old 05-17-2015, 07:41 PM   #4
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There isn't anything wrong with rusty pipes except possibly appearance. If you want them a different color paint them after treating with a phosphoric acid product.

The pipe just below ground surface would be the one to be concerned about condition and it may be just fine too.

To break unions free that weren't greased during assembly, hold about a 3 lb. hammer against one hex flat and smack the opposite flat with another hammer. Do this on 3 flats if possible and the crusty old fellow will usually break free with 14" household pipe wrenches. Cheater pipe required on some.
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Old 05-17-2015, 07:42 PM   #5
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I think Eplumb is right, let the plumber handle it, you kinda of demonstrated your not qualified by not knowing how to disassemble it.
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:31 AM   #6
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Correct, I don't have much experience with gas lines. I thought perhaps the female/female union fitting was to provide enough "play" to disassemble. I generally learn by doing, and I was hoping that I could disassemble to remove the old heater without the assistance of a plumber, and then bring in the new heater, and then hire the plumber once, instead of twice.

That makes sense about the union, it is on the wrong side of the shutoff. It may have taken a bit more material, but it certainly would have made it easier.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:22 AM   #7
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Normally that union should have been on the other side of the shut off to allow for removal and replacement.
I would suggest when the new on gets installed it be done that way.

It would make sense to me to swap the locations of the union and the shut off.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:51 AM   #8
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Being the install wasn't the best with the union being on the wrong side of the valve and all the close nipples ( that should be illegal in my opinion ) I would strongly consider cutting the pipe after the valve and changing to flexible from the valve to the unit.
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Old 05-18-2015, 12:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
Being the install wasn't the best with the union being on the wrong side of the valve and all the close nipples ( that should be illegal in my opinion ) I would strongly consider cutting the pipe after the valve and changing to flexible from the valve to the unit.
That seems like it would be really easy. I can turn the gas off at the meter, open the union to vent the pipe, cut, then attach a proper flex line.

Am I using a standard hacksaw for this? Any precautions outside of venting the pipe (how long to allow to vent?)

Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2015, 12:52 PM   #10
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The plug valve is already closed. I would use a hack saw and cut the nipple that goes into the unit. Cut it close to the ell, it's thinner there, then you can get a pipe wrench on the ell to screw the close nipple out of the plug valve and hope it turns in the right location, in the valve and not in the ell.

If you don't feel comfortable making the re-connection and get a qualified plumber to make the hook up he will know how to take it from there.
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Old 05-18-2015, 01:00 PM   #11
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Stop! Be smart about it. Shut off the main. Take apart at the union. Take off the union and cap it! Let your plumber decide how best to re-run.

Why take a chance cutting a GAS line with a saw! Valves DO leak on occasion.
We have had 3 houses leveled within 5 years from gas explosions, in this neighborhood., Not much left of them!
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