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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, some pictures:









My house is 3 years old. It appears that the pipe used for the natural gas line from the meter into the house was not coated or treated in any way, and it has rusted quite a bit on the surface. This is visible from the street (meter is on the side of the house, in front of my side fence) and I'd like to get it cleaned up not only because rusting gas pipes make me a bit nervous (I know it'll take forever to rust completely through, but out of an abundance of caution, etc...) and I feel like it's ugly. I'd like to paint it to either match the meter or my house (which is also grey, just lighter than the meter color).

A few questions:

1) Is it safe to use something like Krud Kutter Gel (or similar) that claims to dissolve the rust on these pipes? Do I need to be concerned about ingress of solvents like this through the fittings? It looks like they were plumbed with both pipe dope and teflon tape.

2) Is there a better method besides a solvent-based approach to remove the rust? Something mechanical like a wire brush?

3) Does it matter what color I paint the pipes? I've read elsewhere that there are codes for colors of gas pipes. Where would I look to find my local codes? Is this something done at the state, county, or city level? I'm in the NW of the USA.

4) Any other tips anyone can provide for getting this looking better?


Thanks!
 

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Naildriver
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retired painter
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I couldn't count the ones that I've hand sanded, applied a coat of a rust inhibitive primer followed by an exterior oil base enamel. I've probably painted them grey more than any other color but like Larry, I don't know of any color required by code.


It's my understanding that galvanized pipes aren't compatible with gas as the galvanized can flake.
 

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flipping slumlord
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My house is 3 years old. It appears that the pipe used for the natural gas line from the meter into the house was ...
...was installed by an idiot.
As to the job: Naval Jelly, wire brush, lacquer thinner... then Rustoleum. Black.

4) Any other tips anyone can provide for getting this looking better?
Sure. Do the job over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the feedback, everyone! It sounds like it does not really matter how I deal with the rust, as long as it is dealt with before I paint. I never even really thought about why they plumbed in so many joints - I'm guessing it was a lazy plumber who ran out of the right length of pipe.
 

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Thanks for all the feedback, everyone! It sounds like it does not really matter how I deal with the rust, as long as it is dealt with before I paint. I never even really thought about why they plumbed in so many joints - I'm guessing it was a lazy plumber who ran out of the right length of pipe.

exately. Lazy, or they just used whatever they had left on the truck and didn't want to make a trip to get more pipe. Its really no biggy, It's just a cosmetic issue. no one is going to be looking at it anyway. once you paint it, it will look better. Don't worry about it. Just my opinion.
 

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I never even really thought about why they plumbed in so many joints - I'm guessing it was a lazy plumber who ran out of the right length of pipe.

Those coupling and short nipple fittings were left overs that were charged to jobs many years ago but never used and he found a place to charge for those again and get them out of his stock pile.:vs_laugh:
 

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Gas stub-out was probably installed before gas service. Electrician stubbed out a conduit directly below gas stub-out. Underground electric probably runs towards the left. Gas utility arrives and cannot place meter where the plumber intended.


Blame the electrician.
 

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That whole thing should be redone in new pipe WITHOUT the Teflon tape. White Teflon tape isn't allowed on gas lines. It's supposed to be pipe dope or yellow tape.

If you had a couple of small pipe wrenches and maybe a helper to hold on to the pipe on the other side of that wall (if the pipe is accessible there), this would be an easy DIY job to redo it.

Home Depot can thread the pipe that you need (for free, I think). That small length of pipe and a couple of fittings and some dope wouldn't cost that much. Just try to get as accurate of a measurement as you can for the length of pipe that you would need, and ask them to make it for you. Even if your measurement is slightly off you would probably still be OK since most gas meters like that are able to wiggle from side to side a bit if they need to.

Then get a small bottle of "leak detector solution" or make your own with some water and dish soap to check your work afterwords.

Then you should be OK to paint the pipe any color you want, but it would probably be a good idea to double check on that with your local code people if you're worried about it.

Unpainted galvanized pipe and fittings is allowed where I am (in Minnesota) and would actually be my choice. It's quite common where I am and will last pretty much forever out in the elements. I do understand that it's not allowed in many parts of the country, so check on that before you decide to go that route.
 

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I like De-Rusto, but I could not find a listing for it. Here's one from the orange store that would fit your need. Once it is removed and dried, you can paint the pipe. I'd try a gray similar to the mete for aesthetics. I have never heard of a "code" requirement for pipe painting colors. Evapo-Rust 32 oz. Safe Rust Remover-ER004 - The Home Depot
I watched few videos about Evapo-Rust. Looks like a great product, but it seems the idea is to let rusty parts soak in a bucket of it for a few hours. That's obviously not possible for gas pipes. Do you know if there is a gel version?
 
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