How to Install a Gas Pipe
When you find a leak or need to install or plumb a pipe, you may want to take care of your gas fittings yourself. After all, home renovation and repairs can be costly, and if you can do it yourself, why wouldn’t you?
Still, the reality is that many safety regulations and practices are in place for installing gas pipes to ensure that your job is safe and up to code.
For this reason, we don’t recommend an unlicensed handyman take on large gas plumbing jobs. A handyperson with enough experience can fix the problem for small jobs around the house, but this should only be a temporary fix.
Read on to find out everything you need to know to install a gas pipe safely. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions that can help you understand the scope of your job.
Installing a Gas Pipe Step-by-Step
If you choose to plumb or repair the gas lines yourself, there are a few things you must do to remain safe. The steps below outline the basic process, but you can never be too safe when it comes to the gas in your home.
Installing a pipe requires know-how of the process, construction, and cost of your current gas usage.
Choose and Size Your Pipe
Begin by ensuring that your gas-fitting materials are approved. Many materials are suitable for gas plumbing, and two standard options are certified corrugated stainless steel and black iron.
Once you have your material in mind, choose the correct size for your pipe. The sizing requires understanding the gas needs, the number of gas appliances in your home, and the minimum BTUs they require per hour. Once you have that number, convert your BTUs to cubic feet per hour.
Suppose you are plumbing in several appliances at once, using this information. In that case, you should have an idea of the framework you need to create a tree-like pipe system that can deliver the appropriate amount of gas to any appliance necessary.
However, when choosing to plumb multiple appliances, contacting a professional for help and advice is critical. You don’t want to connect a line to the wrong machine.
Turn Off the Gas
Always make 100% sure you have turned your gas off before continuing your job!
Fitting a gas pipe can be dangerous, and failing to turn off the line can lead to dangerous leaks. When conducting DIY projects yourself, following safety procedures is vital to protect yourself, your home, and your family.
You will likely find the shut-off valve around the side of your house. Shut it off with a quarter turn, but remember to triple-check your meter to ensure the gas is no longer running.
Cutting Your Pipe
In the past, plumbers would cut and prepare their own lengths of pipe and custom fit each pipe with specialized tools. But nowadays, you can buy most piping pre-cut to specific measurements.
For tricky corners and hard-to-reach areas, consider using CSST tubing. If you decide to cut a gas pipe yourself, make sure to ream it to size the hole correctly. Reaming ensures the pipe retains the full diameter inside.
Fit the Pipe
To ensure you have bought the correct materials, lay out your piping. Check you have all the correct pipes and valves to fit your appliances and safely connect them tightly so that they are airtight.
It’s important to remember, for big jobs, that each appliance requires a shut-off valve. This safety mechanism ensures that if your machine has issues or needs replacing, you can safely turn off one line without affecting the others in the network.
Test the System
Begin by ensuring the airtightness of your system with an air pressure test. Insert and pump the test gauge at 1½ times your usual working pressure. Where the air pressure test doesn’t indicate the correct pressure or a reduction, you may have discovered a leak in your gas pipe.
Check for leaks by applying a soapy solution over your pipe where it connects to the fittings. Any sign of bubbles indicates a leak, and you will need to adjust your piping to eliminate any leaks.
Warning: Under no circumstances should you use an open flame when searching for leaks!
Try It Out!
Now that you have tested and fitted your pipes, you are ready to check if your appliances are working correctly and the job is successful.
Turn on your appliance, ensuring that you have switched off the shut-off valve. If the gas is flowing correctly, your job is airtight. If not, you may need to double-check for leaks or contact a gas fitter for a professional inspection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gas pipe fitting isn’t too hard if you know what you’re doing, but it can be a challenge for the untrained DIY handyperson, no matter how skilled you’ve become. We’ve put together the answers to your most common questions so that you can get all the info you need to determine your next big project.
Who Can Install a Gas Line?
Only a trained professional should install a gas line. Such a professional would typically be a master plumber or HVAC technician.
The reason is not just because the job requires technical skill and know-how. Generally, this is a safety issue that needs careful handling.
Gas leaks can be dangerous, costly, and bad for the environment. There are also many codes and standards to know before the line is safe to use. In most states, installing a gas line requires permits and inspections from the city.
For this reason, we do not recommend that an unqualified professional attempt to install their own gas line.
How Much Does It Cost To Put In a Gas Line?
On average, installing a gas line costs around $400, but prices can vary depending on your job. Some jobs involve long lines, special materials, or safety considerations that could up the cost. You can get an idea by putting together a rough budget yourself.
A master plumber can work for as little as $50 an hour and as high as $150. New lines will cost around $20 per linear foot, including labor.
What Kind of Pipe Is Used for Gas Lines?
Most gas pipes are certified corrugated stainless steel, black steel, copper, or brass. CSST tubing is another good option as it is more flexible and weighs less, making it perfect for getting around tight corners.
Just make sure that your material is certified and meets the expectations of all your local jurisdiction’s codes. The last thing you want is to risk fines or lose value on your house.
Can You Run a Gas Line Through a Vent?
No, a gas pipe should never run through a vent.
It may seem convenient to get your gas line through to another floor, but doing so is dangerous and a potential hazard. There may be codes preventing you from installing gas lines too close to the floor.
Can You Put Gas Pipe in Concrete?
The short answer is that an amateur handyperson should not attempt this.
A professional may be able to if it meets certain specifications. A trained professional will be able to ensure that the pipe is factory yellow, protected against corrosion, and has no joints or fittings underground.
Following these steps can lead you to a short-term fix to your gas leak issue when you’re all out of options. However, you will need to contact a professional and assess your options before taking on any long-term jobs requiring expert know-how.
At All Dry USA, we bring our ten years of experience to your next home restoration job. We can direct you to the right resources so that you can complete these challenging projects safely and effectively.
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