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Which is best and easiest for an experienced engineer/do-it-yourselfer to use? My town allows either coated black pipe or PEX, but says that their inspectors haven't seen coated black pipe used in a long time. It is available at Lowe's, but the tape required for taping fittings is not. Overall, it appears that the coated black pipe is less expensive, primarily due to the cost of the PEX gas fittings and risers (of which I'll need 4 risers). A 1" riser, for example is $70, and a 1" tee is $30. PEX for gas is only available at wholesalers, sold under brands such as Gastite.

Which product would you recommend that I use? Coated black pipe or PEX?
 

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PEX for gas is only available at wholesalers, sold under brands such as Gastite.
Gastite's PE tubing for gas burial is the way to go in my opinion. You will need a plumber to do it for you though...It isn't a DIYer system and like you said, responsible wholesalers do not retail it unless the buyer has received the certification to install it.

Just to be clear, PE tubing shouldn't be confused with Gastite's CSST tubing, which is not for a direct burial application.
 

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Perhaps the rules have changed over the years but it used to be that steel pipe for gas, underground, needed to be welded. We used X-trucoat pipe and wrapped the welds with their brand of tape at joints. Anode bags were often required due to acidic soil conditions. Never seen a threaded joint in underground gas lines.
 
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