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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I can smell a little natural gas even when the valve is turned off.

The gas also lights a bit for a few seconds if we bring a lighter to it.

Do I need to replace it? Or can it be repaired? Is there a fire danger outdoors?

The outer ring of the valve seems to be stuck in the stucco. See the pics below.

Inside the fireplace pipe is a bit rusted but still strong.

I hope I don't have to break the fire pit to repair the gas valve.

Please help and thanks in advance.


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Imo, yes, it would need to be replaced along with the rusted out pipe..

Is there a union closer to the pit?? You may be able to disconnect the pipe and pound it out without busting anything. Then you can replace that piece of pipe and valve at the same time. Just a suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Imo, yes, it would need to be replaced along with the rusted out pipe..

Is there a union closer to the pit?? You may be able to disconnect the pipe and pound it out without busting anything. Then you can replace that piece of pipe and valve at the same time. Just a suggestion.
The leak is very minimal.

Is there a danger of fire? It is outdoors at least 30 ft away from any structure.

There does not seem to be a tee close by. The valve is on the wall of the firepit from where it goes in the ground and travels under the concrete. I can probably access it under the ground about 10 to 15 ft away. It seems it may even require partial breaking of the fire pit wall.

One hope is if I can get the valve cover out and tighten the nut there. Some say that may fix the leak.

What tool would I need to tighten that nut?


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I would say a couple pipe wrenches. But you would have to slide the valve out so you could work on it. Anyway that pit can be loosened and tapped out so the valve is exposed?

Another issue is the threads on the pipe where the valve screws on to may be deteriorated/rusted out. idk.. Won't know until you expose it.
 

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You would have to remove all the lava rocks (maybe more) and see if you can move/slide just the burner out enough to expose the valve.
 

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Get a deep well socket and tighten the packing nut on the valve. The outer chrome plate unscrews, so you can do this.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I would say a couple pipe wrenches. But you would have to slide the valve out so you could work on it. Anyway that pit can be loosened and tapped out so the valve is exposed?

Another issue is the threads on the pipe where the valve screws on to may be deteriorated/rusted out. idk.. Won't know until you expose it.
First of all, Thank you.

Here is a photo I got of the valve. The pipe I showed in the photo earlier was between the floor plate and the coupler and I don't think any gas flows through that. So that mean that the gas is leaking at the coupler end and must be tightened there.

Do you think I would need to remove or move the coupler in order to tighten the valve? I see the pipe connecting the floor plate and the coupler is cemented in place in the fire pit wall.



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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Get a deep well socket and tighten the packing nut on the valve. The outer chrome plate unscrews, so you can do this.
The outter chrome plate unfortunately in stuck in the stucco. But I will see if I can get access to the valve itself by removing lava rocks.

One question though. I am assuming that this small amount of leak is not dangerous outdoors. Am I correct?

I will of course shut off the main gas line before doing any work.

EDIT:. I WAS MISTAKEN.

My fireplace does not use the extension as shown here. It seems it uses a Dante Valve just behind the face plate and then a pipe carries the gas to the gas ring.


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Discussion Starter #9
You would have to remove all the lava rocks (maybe more) and see if you can move/slide just the burner out enough to expose the valve.
Thank you. I will try that.

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One question though. I am assuming that this small amount of leak is not dangerous outdoors. Am I correct?Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
That's a personal opinion or a statement and some people, I'm sure, will agree with that.

Imo, a gas leak is a gas leak, whether inside the home or outside the home and should be fixed.
 

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In regards to the installation diagram, If the pipe is cemented/stucco in place it would have to be able to turn to make the repair anyway, then refinished with cement or stucco. So somehow you are going to have to figure out how to do that.

Imo, to make the repair, the pipe, valve and coupling should be taken apart and resealed with pipe dope, then tightened, and tested for leaks, then refinished with stucco/cement.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If a gas leak pockets things go boom!
I did not understand what you meant by it.

Where would the gas leak pocket?

The leak which is hard to smell consistent could be in the Dante gas valve under the firepit.

Please explain. The main gas valve also feeds cooking, water heating, and home heating. So I don't want to turn it off and Wait for the plumber to come in.

But I will do that if you think there is a fire hazard in a small gas leak in an outdoor fire pit.


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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
In regards to the installation diagram, If the pipe is cemented/stucco in place it would have to be able to turn to make the repair anyway, then refinished with cement or stucco. So somehow you are going to have to figure out how to do that.

Imo, to make the repair, the pipe, valve and coupling should be taken apart and resealed with pipe dope, then tightened, and tested for leaks, then refinished with stucco/cement.
I see what you are saying and it may be a few days work.

So I was thinking that may be I should install a shut off valve in the line that goes to the fire pit.

Should I try to buy all the necessary tools to do that myself? The plumber says it will take a few hundred dollars.

What do you guys think?

If I do, it will be on the green pipe shown in the photo. I will shut off the main gas valve, unscrew the mating joint at the top of the photo, cut the gas pipe and re-thread it and then install a shut off valve there. Not sure how I would test it before turning the main gas valve on. But maybe I will just connect it and then test for any leaks. Would that work?

I will have to buy something to cut the pipe and a tool to re-thread it.


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Discussion Starter #16
Call a plumber hopefully they can fix it without tearing it all up.
I will if I have to.

But I am retired and have plenty of time on my hands. While working I was a mechanical engineer.

So I am wondering if with the help of kind people here and some help from internet and technical support people at Dante Valve, I may be able to fix it myself.

If i can not or if the tools needed costs a lot, I may have to call a plumber. Plumbers here are charging $100+ per hour, it seems.

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Ok. So I did some more digging.

By all my estimates the gas leak is very small. Less than what is needed for a pilot. And it is venting to the air. See the video after 30 sec mark.

Watch “Firepit” on Vimeo:

It seems that the Dante Valve is just behind the face plate visible in the photo below. So if it can not be tightened and must be replaced, the fire pit wall may have to be broken.

But for removing the faceplate only, we may just have to break the stucco and remove the faceplate. Does anyone know what tool do I need to tighten the Dante Valve? What is there to tighten?







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Discussion Starter #18
Ok. So I did some more digging.

By all my estimates the gas leak is very small. Less than what is needed for a pilot. And it is venting to the air. See the video after 30 sec mark.

Watch “Firepit” on Vimeo:

It seems that the Dante Valve is just behind the face plate visible in the photo below. So if it can not be tightened and must be replaced, the fire pit wall may have to be broken.

But for removing the faceplate only, we may just have to break the stucco and remove the faceplate. Does anyone know what tool do I need to tighten the Dante Valve? What is there to tighten?







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So I got estimates from two plumbers. Each one said that it may take 3 to 4 hours to fix the leak. They charge $175 to $200 an hour for gas plumbing work and come for a minimum of 2 hours. Incidentally, they spent 30 min. to give the estimate.

So the estimate was $525 to more than $700.

I called Dante and talked with technical support. The person was very nice and explained that I can try a few things like tightening the nut or changing the valve internals without changing the valve body. The valve costs only about $10. He sent me a mechanical drawing of the valve itself.

It took me about 30.min to remove the faceplate and using the sparkplug socket, tightened the nut holding the valve internals to the valve body. The nut is 16mm.

So, no leak now.

Problem solved.

$525 saved.

BIG Thank you to everyone for giving your help. I could not have done it without your encouragement and support.

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That's what I'm talking about. Nice. Great job southernca.

Glad you got it all fixed up. This post may help others in the same situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That's what I'm talking about. Nice. Great job southernca.

Glad you got it all fixed up. This post may help others in the same situation.
I want to place better-looking rocks on the firepit. Here are the options. Let me know what is not advisable

1. Riverbed round pebbles: can they take flame and heat?
2. Small crushed rocks the type shown below. Can they be on top of the fire ring? Would they clog the holes?
3. Crushed glass: How to get the best price on them? Online order or local shops or where? Do they have to be some special kind? Or any crushed glass will do. If I can get this at a reasonable cost, this will be preferred.
4. Currently the outer ring does not light up properly. Only about 30% light up. So I think I am wasting gas by releasing it unlit. How can I fix that? Or should I just block those holes? Would covering everything with small crushed glass will solve that? Or do I need to change the ring?

Thanks in advance.


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