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Old 02-12-2009, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Denver
1,393 posts, read 3,716,640 times
Reputation: 749
Default DIY - Natural Gas pipe?

My home already has a natural gas furnace and hot water heater. The line that comes from the meter is only 1/2".

I want to add a gas stove and at some point I want to do a NG tankless water heater. I believe those need a minimum of 3/4" line from the meter.

So, I figure while I was doing the stove I could run new pipe from the meter.

It really doesn't seem that hard since you are basically screwing together iron pipe and leak checking as you go. Of course I haven't done any real research on this or read my local codes for this type of work.

Has anybody DIY their own NG piping?

If you just want to post to tell me I am going to blow up my house or I should leave this to the professionals....just don't post...or you could pm me your concerns Thanks!

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,350 posts, read 10,057,078 times
Reputation: 2187
There is a special tape used at the joints. It's yellow. Do not use the white teflon tape used in water pipes. It's not that difficult to do. I'm not sure I would even change the 1/2"
to 3/4. The gas is not under high pressure and most houses have the 1/2". I'd put the stove in and connect the line to the exsisting gas pipe. I'm sure you would have enough pressure. If your going to change the pipe, just turn off the gas at the meter and go for it. Be sure to use very soapy water to check for leaks. Believe it or not I had a friend who used to check gas lines with a lighter. I damn near died when I saw that one.
Use the yellow tape at the joints and check the joints with very soapy water. Even if you miss a leak, you'll smell it anyway.
It's not hard to do, so go for it.
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,310 posts, read 21,032,096 times
Reputation: 6648
If you are handy, cautious, committed to zero shortcuts, have done your homework and have a spirit of double overkill, there really isn't any reason you can't diy. As I'm sure you know, this will involve a lot of special materials and extra expenses. You need to satisfy yourself that you have adequately researched the project and know exactly what you will need and how you are going to do it. Do not proceed based on the opinions rendered on an internet forum.

Be aware that you could be handing your insurance company a big, fat excuse not to cover a future claim.

If it were my house, I would want to conduct a bleed-off test in addition to the soapy water.

My father and I hooked up a NG generator after Hurricane Ike. It isn't rocket science, but it is important to be extremely cautious and to overkill your precautions.
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:50 AM
 
Location: Knoxville
3,293 posts, read 10,411,264 times
Reputation: 3237
Gas pipe really must be "sized" properly so the appliances are not starved for fuel. There is actually a formula for sizing gas pipes, and while it is not all that difficult, it is VERY IMPORTANT.

You have to determine to btu rating of each appliance, and basically you get the right amount of gas to the furthest appliance and work your way back (in sizing, not in installation).
A gas stove will have a pretty high rating, and a tankless water heater will too. If you try to run everything off a 1/2" pipe, you will probably not get good performance from them, should they all be used at the same time.

It is not a "pressure" issue, since the pressure remains the same no matter what the pipe size is. It is a volume thing. A 1/2" pipe carries about half the volume of 3/4" pipe.

Just like you would not plumb an entire house with 1/2" pipe, you really shouldn't run 1/2" gas pipe to a lot of appliances that may have a high btu demand.

Without doing to calculations, a rough guess would be to run 3/4" from the meter for a main run and branch out with 1/2" to the appliances.

The pipe installation is pretty basic, and the advice given is right on target. You need to make sure that you use teflon tape or pipe dope that is rated for natural gas installation., and check the fittings with soapy water.

Have fun.
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:46 AM
 
167 posts, read 1,016,997 times
Reputation: 159
I also want to convert my electric cooktop to gas. The appliance company and 3 contractors said me that it is possible put an additional natural gas pipe but I have to hire a HVAC guy and take permit from city. I also need to hire an electrician to install a new 110 volt power outlet for the gas stove for the lighter. The existing electric stove needs 220//240 volt electric outlet. That is the only legal way to do it. Please do some research on this because I didn't get chance to call any of licensed guys because we are in the process of finding a good kitchen cabinet company which can provide me the cabinets at reasonable price.
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:06 AM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,700 posts, read 11,095,033 times
Reputation: 1886
Yep! You also need to check your city codes and permit requirements. They may have something to say about this.
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
19,388 posts, read 30,242,542 times
Reputation: 16318
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barking Spider View Post
Gas pipe really must be "sized" properly so the appliances are not starved for fuel. There is actually a formula for sizing gas pipes, and while it is not all that difficult, it is VERY IMPORTANT.

You have to determine to btu rating of each appliance, and basically you get the right amount of gas to the furthest appliance and work your way back (in sizing, not in installation).
A gas stove will have a pretty high rating, and a tankless water heater will too. If you try to run everything off a 1/2" pipe, you will probably not get good performance from them, should they all be used at the same time.

It is not a "pressure" issue, since the pressure remains the same no matter what the pipe size is. It is a volume thing. A 1/2" pipe carries about half the volume of 3/4" pipe.

Just like you would not plumb an entire house with 1/2" pipe, you really shouldn't run 1/2" gas pipe to a lot of appliances that may have a high btu demand.

Without doing to calculations, a rough guess would be to run 3/4" from the meter for a main run and branch out with 1/2" to the appliances.

The pipe installation is pretty basic, and the advice given is right on target. You need to make sure that you use teflon tape or pipe dope that is rated for natural gas installation., and check the fittings with soapy water.

Have fun.
Good advice here.
You have to size for the volume. "Column length calculation" comes to mind. You can get a little anal with it...
A good plumber with gas line experience can calc your needs and size the lines properly.

To minimize calculations, most new homes where I am are plumbed with a manifold which has a separate 1/2 yellow flex line for each appliance.

I tend to think that another good answer may follow the question, "If you need to ask..."
Gas line renovation is NOT what I would suggest as a starting point for DIY plumbing.
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,310 posts, read 21,032,096 times
Reputation: 6648
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poltracker View Post
Yep! You also need to check your city codes and permit requirements. They may have something to say about this.
City of Houston Code Enforcement would probably defecate ceramic blocks...
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:13 AM
Status: "Still holding on to flip flop weather!" (set 17 hours ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley
4,133 posts, read 7,959,547 times
Reputation: 3292
We just installed one of those "portrait" propane stoves in our soon-to-be-finished bedroom.

DIY - Natural Gas pipe?-stove1.jpg

(awaiting final framing, the copper slate and Talavera tile front and mantle I'm going to do and the wood book shelves on the side the spouse is going to do)


We ran all the propane line and fittings, but, by Oregon State Fire Marshall's order, only a licensed plumber can make the final connection. So we ran everything, had one connection sitting about 1/4" from final destination, and all the plumber had to do was make that final connection (and charge us $50 - he also did a "pre-inspection" for us to make sure the building inspector would be happy with everything). The inspector was happy, the state is presumably happy, and, hopefully, my insurance company will be happy that it's all signed-off on.

The point being: it's quite possible the state/county/city has some requirements about who can hook up what, and you're just going to have to check with the county. The insurance angle is something to consider as well - if all the installation is not per code (whatever code is), I'm sure any insurance company would look at that as a potential out in paying damages, related to the gas line or not.

Last edited by PNW-type-gal; 02-13-2009 at 09:37 AM..
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:00 AM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,700 posts, read 11,095,033 times
Reputation: 1886
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
city of houston code enforcement would probably defecate ceramic blocks...

:d
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