1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

copper line/fitting installing and checking?

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by pybyr, Sep 15, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,301
    Loc:
    Adamant, VT 05640
    I'm a dyed in the wool DIY-er, and have never been afraid to deal with electricity (worked with some pretty high voltages) plumbing (replumbed my whole house, though not in a day), wood/fire (helped design and build my own chimney with round tile flues for better draft than the usual rectangular tiles) oil (service my own Beckett oil burner with a Bacharach kit)...

    but...

    long story short, the idea of working with gas lines has always made me back away, out of concern that I'll do something not quite exactly right, and there'll be a little leak that'll show up later, and then- kaboom

    but it obviously is not rocket science...

    there may come a day, not sure when, if my existing stand-alone oil hot water heater springs a leak, that I may want to consider a propane tank or tankless DHW heater as a back-up for my wood gasifier/ storage

    I've worked with copper flare fittings and tubing before, and "get" the concepts of the materials and methods -- what should I begin to read up on and be aware of, to be able to safely someday re-do the existing copper line from my propane tanks to my cook range to "tap in" for a propane DNW heater?

    thanks

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,268
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Having the right tools - good ones - surely helps!

    Keep in mind that gas in the home is under VERY LITTLE pressure, which does make it somewhat easier as compared to compressed air, boilers, etc.

    Depending on the layout, you might choose to use black or galv pipe (threaded), which you can get at a plumbing supply. Many will even cut and thread it. Then you can use a flex connector right at the appliance.
  3. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,301
    Loc:
    Adamant, VT 05640
    Thanks Craig-

    right now, there is copper from my outdoor tank to my cooking range, so I may keep it that way, or, maybe someday re-do

    your reminder about the relative PSI compared to anything else I have worked with (with success) is a helpful way to look at it

    like so many other things that have affirmed and emboldened my DIY-ing, when I look at the workmanship, and I use that term loosely, of what is there (just like the cobbled up plumbing and wiring that I ripped out and re-did) I think I could do as well or better- just want to be sure I don't blow myself up, as a leak of propane carries a lot more consequences than a drip of water
  4. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    948
    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921
    Most of what I see recently is that special plastic corrugated gas hose with the special fittings mounted on them. They look pretty nice and plenty strong. The line I have to my dryer is simple 3/8 copper tube with flare fittings. Double or refrigeration flares seal better and aren't hard to make though mine are just singles. I used the same $7 Harbor Freight tool set that I bought in 1984 . I never could see much difference between a Rigid flare set and one that speaks Chinese. The Rigid was nicer for sure but I can't say it made any better flare than the cheapo. The secret is in making the flare the right length. Too long and it splits, too short and it doesn't work either. Making flares is like sweating pipe. Just practice a bit on a scrap piece and you be fine. When you hook it up just be sure to test for leaks using a soapy dish rag. If leaking it will blow up nice bubbles like a leaky inner tube. Many plumbing supplies sell gas items so you can just go in with a diagram and they can set you up with what you need.
    When I did my dryer I terminated it using a length of flexible gas pipe. The new stuff I see everywhere looks like it serves the same flexibility and strain relief. As for hot water heaters I have been looking at something similar to you all year. About all I did find was tankless heaters in general are way over rated, costly and problematic. They don't tolerate hard water and don't heat water from cold regions well at all unless you buy the big $$$ units or run them in series. They seem to make a lot of inexpensive units but they aren't powerful enough to heat water that is coming out of the ground at 50 F. To make it better our wonderful government got into the water heater business and "made them safer". They mandated gas tank units have a particular setup and a screen around the intake. All they did was make a proven method highy unreliable and expensive, pretty much doubling the price while making them very prone to expensive breakdown and constant cleaning. Since no one cleans them they get cruddy and it ruins the burner some how . It seems that of the 3 companies that make gas tank heaters only one of them now days isn't junk. I got all this off of a Professional Plumbers web site and it was a long bitter discussion about how poor gas hot water heaters had become. It got real technical but made a believer out of me for sure and these guys seemed to all know exactly what they were talking about. I ended up just leaving my oil boiler for water heating and am going to move the tank upstairs into the closet where its warm and place a preheating tank ahead of it if possible. Not a lot of happy gas hot water heater news at all, so much for new and improved. Unfortunately I can't cite the websites and threads as I found them at work and couldn't save them or send them to myself after.
  5. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,099
    Loc:
    Burbs of B'more, MD, Hon!
    The textbook answer would be to pull a permit, hire a plumber or fitter, get an inspection, yadda yadda. The reality is that it is relatively simple to hook up a gas line. It's also easy to do it wrong; therefore a healthy concience kicks in and makes you think twice. This is a good thing.

    First off, make sure the regulator at the tank is big enough for the added load. A tankless heater can draw over 100mBTU at peak demand and this requires a big regulator to keep up. Ditto the sizing on the line into the house. If you are only set up for a range, this line could be undersized. If all that looks good, then cut, flare and connect away! The good news is that the fittings are overrated for the pressure, so that any leaks show up as very small bubbles. Make sure you soap everything down when you are done to check for leaks and wash the soap off to prevent corrosion when you are done.

    Chris
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page