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Any tips for black pipe propane line install?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by jeffesonm, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    I moved into my first house a little over a year ago and have been slowly making changes to various things, including of course a wood stove. Two stoves actually. Anyhow next up is running a propane line so I can hookup the gas cooktop that I bought off craigslist a few months back. I've never run gas line before so of course I've been reading all I can out there on the Interwebs. I understand the risks but am getting this inspected and will do an overnight pressure test to be sure there are no leaks. I'll be borrowing a pipe threader from my grandfather and might be able to get him to help supervise too, as he has some experience running gas lines.

    There is no gas at the house now so a new tank will be placed just outside and the line will run mostly through the unfinished, open basement. It will start with about 30' of 1" to a T with a cap for future expansion (water heater, dryer, etc). From there it will be another 30' or so of 3/4" and up through the floor to underneath the cooktop. I'll cap it there and the propane company will do the final connection to the appliance. The cooktop came with the LP kit and the conversion looks pretty straightforward.

    I'm confident I can do a safe, leak free install, but I do worry I'll get tripped up on minor code things like the pipe must be x inches away from this or that. Any tips or advice?

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  2. Swampy

    Swampy Member

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    One thing to consider is someday you may want to finish your basement off...and you don't want to have to move and relocate your line again. Try to think ahead a bit and leave yourself options for future appliances like another gas stove in the basement, water heater, bbq connection outside, etc. T's are cheap and just plug em but you'll have options later. Congrats on your new house!

    Call your county inspector and most likely they'll be more than happy to walk you through the requirements...remember they work for you and your tax dollars! Also if you can avoid leasing a tank than all the better. Leased tanks can only be filled by whatever company is leasing you their tank and they can charge what they want...if you own the tank you can call around for a fill and often save like .50 cents per gallon. I found a 500 gallon tank on craigslist for $125 and it came about 1/4 full of propane...I figure I made money buying it! Just some ideas- good luck!
  3. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    I've put in a few for my self. Hardware stores sell short lengths of threaded pipe (nipples) so there's usually no need for a threader. You can put a mild bend in a 10 footer across your knee to get where you want to go. Use thread compound not tape for joints. Don't forget a drop leg beneath the gas shut off.
  4. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    Why black pipe instead of copper? I used copper tubing with flare fittings for all my gas lines and found it much easier to work with.

    Thread tape is OK as long as it's gas rated (yellow) tape. A drop leg is necessary for NG, but may or may not be required for propane (depends on your local code, mine doesn't).

    (A mod might wish to move this thread to the "gas" section.)
  5. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    The pipe will be exposed in the unfinished basement and there's always all sorts of projects going on down there, so I'd feel more comfortable with the durability of rigid iron pipe.

    I looked into buying a tank vs leasing a bit... I considered buying two 100 lb tanks, but don't really want to load them in the truck and drive to get them filled. I'd also have to buy a regulator and make sure it has the right connections. I did find one 420#/100gal tank for sale, but it was still half full and connected to the house, and I really have no way to legally and safely move it. The propane company only charges $35/year to rent one so I'll just do that for now and then maybe switch later on if I can sort out a used one.

    Some things I've added to my list....
    • Where line runs through foundation block, sleeve using PVC; cement PVC to block and seal between PVC and pipe
    • Support pipe every 6' or so
    • Install sediment trap beneath final T up to appliance
    • Install manual shutoff valve in cabinet, just before connection to appliance

    I did not realize there was a Gas forum so yes, if a mod could move this there, that would be great....
  6. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    Well I am making good progress here... got a hole through the foundation and sleeved with PVC. I've measured out all the pipes and I think I can get away with not having to cut/thread anything, which is nice. I also dragged home two 20' sections so that saves me some connections. I will cut the final hole up into the kitchen and then connect everything hand tight to be sure it all fits before going back to apply pipe dope and wrench them together.

    One question... where I run the pipe up through the floor, can I just go straight up into the bottom of the cabinet, near the back of course? Or do I need fish this up through the wall and cut out a piece of the back of the cabinet?
  7. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Run a stiff wire through the long sections and blow them out with air. Sometimes bugs will plug them up, etc.
  8. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Yes you can come up the floor through the rear of cabinet. some areas might require a a block off cage up though the cabinet to prevent things being banged in to it. Also if buying pre threaded lengths of pipe chase the threads with the proper die. They are not always in the best of shape. one of our local hardware stores is very lax about their pipe threading. So bad I could not even start a coupling on it.
  9. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    Ok thanks... I brought it up through the cabinet and I think I've managed to connect this all together using precut/threaded lengths. I'm getting all the pipe/fittings from the local supply house and it all seems to go together smoothly. Today I will start attaching them for real... looking forward to ditching this electric range!
  10. altmartion

    altmartion Feeling the Heat

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    one tip. instead of couplings use tees. as fanman said, why not use copper tubing? csst is a breeze too. drip legs are important , and code, but there is a correct way to build them. most inspectors won't say anything, as long as they are in place but they are supposed to be built a certain way. what the heck are you hooking to that requires 1" black iron? also check code on your appliance shut offs. my local codes requires the shut off directly behind the appliance. I prefer them In the basement. who wants to wrestle with a burning stove so you can shut the gas off? that's why I like them in the basement. you should support the pipe every 3-4 feet. but your code my be different.
  11. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    I considered copper but wanted the durability of black iron in my unfinished basement. I realize 1" is overkill but wanted to oversize for future expansion, and the price difference for the one 21' section was minimal. Propane company said not to bother with a drip leg for a 40K BTU cooktop so hopefully the inspector agrees. Pipe is supported every 4', and within 1' of each connection... a team of guys could do pull ups on this thing. I just got my pressure gauge from Amazon so going to get it all hooked up and hopefully it holds.
  12. altmartion

    altmartion Feeling the Heat

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    a drip leg needs to be installed no matter what. and if you are cutting and threading I highly recommend one at every appliance. go back and check them in a month and you will see why, look into csst. it is tough and fast and easy to run. they hardest thing is grounding it.
  13. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    The problem with CSST is that many places are not allowed to sell it unless you are trained & certified to run their specific brand...
  14. cottonwoodsteve

    cottonwoodsteve Member

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    Maybe too late, but here are my tips.
    Keep wrench a few inches away from end of pipe. The jaws of the pipe wrench flex the pipe into an oval. This can cause a problem with Teflon tape type sealant. It won't flow back when wrench pressure is released.
    Look in a book of tables or something to figure out total appliance flow. Make sure the pipe is sized for the maximum total flow. If not, the water heater may go out every time the forced air heater comes on.
    Propane is heavy. If you have a leak you may be standing in a pool of gas and not smell it.
    As you build or change pipe, cap with foil or plug all open pipes that that have had propane in them. A slight gas smell will attract flies and they die and clog the pipe. I had 2 feet of flies clog a pipe that was left open for a year.
  15. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Make sure you use the right dope/tape that's rated for gas. That can be a heartbreaker.

    That's a good tip!
  16. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I believe the drip leg is supposed to be after the valve for the appliance. That way you can shut off the valve and empty the drip leg without shutting down the main line.

    Good for you for running 1" iron line everywhere as a header and branching off with the sizes needed for each appliance. Some day you may get NG and it will be at a different pressure so you larger size is great plus NG guys don't seem to like copper.

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