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Old 02-02-2010, 06:52 PM   #1
54FordPanel
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Default How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

Hello, All. I am looking around in my basement at my black pipe natural gas lines. I need to bring a new leg into my kitchen addition for the gas stove, and another leg for a gas dryer that I want to convert to.
Trouble is, they put the lines from the outside of the house, thru the basement, and all the way to the furnace and the HW heater, without a union. It's all pipe screwed together. From the HW heater and the furnace, it's running out to the garage for my garage furnace.
If I had a union, I could take sections out and put in all back together with some new tees. But, no.....I would have to unscrew a ton of pipe. And I don't have a master inside the house shut off valve, which I would like to have.
It's a nice big 1" pipe where I would like to tap into it, and then goes down to a 3/4" about 15" from the HW heater/furnace, and then a 1/2" feeding the HW/furnace. If I tapped into the lines down by the HW/furnace, I would be feeding 4 appliances off a 1/2" line. No good. So I would much rather tap into the 1" pipe to feed the 2 new appliances.

So, at the risk of sounding like a moron with a death wish, my question is:
Do professionals ever just purge the line (really, REALLY well), and cut the pipe in half so they easily unscrew sections, and can tap into it? Or is cutting a gas pipe, no matter how well you try to purge it, a no-no?

Last edited by 54FordPanel; 02-02-2010 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
kornjulio
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

It might be moronic and I've never done it; but why not shut off the gas when the HW heater is running & let it "burn out"... then cut the pipe?
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

That's what I was going to do. It seems to me like it would be ok. I just don't know if it's safe. Small residual gas left in lines?
Only thing worse than killing yourself in a dumb manner, is killing yourself in a dumb matter and the whole world reads about how dumb you were!

"Area man cuts into gas pipe, blown to smithereens"
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

recent news story
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

When had heater added in sunroom few years ago. Had same problem. Had guy come in turn off gas and he waited then cut line with sawza. I thought he was freaking cray. Said does it all time. Added union good to go.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

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Originally Posted by 54FordPanel View Post
It seems to me like it would be ok.
Wow, watch that video and see if you still feel that way.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

There is more to the story.

Check out any Cleveland news station for the latest (WKYC, WEWS, FOX8)
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

Actually, a lot of professionals will cut, and weld the lines fully charged. The gas to air ratio is so high, that it will not catch fire, or explode. It sounds crazy, but it works. They do have some type of meter to make sure the ratio is correct.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

Theirs just has be correct way of doing it. I stood and watch the guy do it. Just as stupid as him.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

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Actually, a lot of professionals will cut, and weld the lines fully charged. The gas to air ratio is so high, that it will not catch fire, or explode. It sounds crazy, but it works. They do have some type of meter to make sure the ratio is correct.
Yea, well, that does sound crazy. I'm sorry, but I don't know if I believe somebody could weld on a in service gas line.

Quote:
When had heater added in sunroom few years ago. Had same problem. Had guy come in turn off gas and he waited then cut line with sawza. I thought he was freaking cray. Said does it all time. Added union good to go.
This is what I was hoping to hear.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

I found this on another web site. The guy recommends drilling a little hole in the pipe, blowing it out, and then cutting it.

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I have done this before.
Turn off the gas and drill a small hole in the pipe where you want the pipe to be tapped into. I used compressed air to blow into the hole to disapate any remaining gas. Then use a pipe cutter or sawz all to cut the pipe. Thread the two ends and put a "t" in the existing pipe.
I would run stright steel pipe to the point at the dryer where yoyu would add the flex pipe.
Sounds reasonable.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

Ok Yall are killing me here .

1. Turn the gas off at the meter outside .

2. Open the line at the furnace or water heater .

3. Pick where you want to cut the pipe .

4. Cut the pipe .


There that wasnt that hard was it . There is not enough gas in the lines in your house to BLOW up the neighborhood as long as you shut the service off at the meter you can cut on the pipes all day long . I honestly dont ever remember causing a ( spark ) cutting black iron with a sawzall and yes we do it every single day .


Rick
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

Thank you!
Thanks everybody.
Over and out.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

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Yea, well, that does sound crazy. I'm sorry, but I don't know if I believe somebody could weld on a in service gas line.

Happens all the time, standard operating procedure, a friend of mine does it for a living, is an independant contractor welding distribution lines.
He says when welding a high pressure gas line you know you've got good penetration when you start seeing flames in your arc
I've watched them do it on standard residential lines also, they've got a "tap valve" they weld to the side of the main, once it's welded there is a drill inserted into the valve which drills through the side of the main. When the drill goes through and is retracted you have a full pressure gas escaping until you screw the stem into the valve. Very close to the same thing they do when tapping water mains.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

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Originally Posted by rickairmedic View Post
Ok Yall are killing me here .

1. Turn the gas off at the meter outside .

2. Open the line at the furnace or water heater .

3. Pick where you want to cut the pipe .

4. Cut the pipe .
Rick
I'm with you. Sawzall shouldn't be a problem at all.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:37 PM   #16
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

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Originally Posted by 54FordPanel View Post
Trouble is, they put the lines from the outside of the house, thru the basement, and all the way to the furnace and the HW heater, without a union. It's all pipe screwed together.

Step #1: Find the guy that plumbed it in the first place and kick him square in the nuts.

Step #2: Return to work.

I can't believe people plumb stuff with no regard to the possibility of future changes.
I had a funace and gas line installed last fall, made sure there was a couple capped T's and a couple unions in the line when they installed it. I now have easy access in case i decide to install a gas water heater, a gas grill, and/or run an outdoor line somewhere.

Gas plumber said "Gee, that's not a bad idea."

No shit Sherlock.........
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:39 PM   #17
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

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Originally Posted by tdkkart View Post
Happens all the time, standard operating procedure, a friend of mine does it for a living, is an independant contractor welding distribution lines.
He says when welding a high pressure gas line you know you've got good penetration when you start seeing flames in your arc
I've watched them do it on standard residential lines also, they've got a "tap valve" they weld to the side of the main, once it's welded there is a drill inserted into the valve which drills through the side of the main. When the drill goes through and is retracted you have a full pressure gas escaping until you screw the stem into the valve. Very close to the same thing they do when tapping water mains.
Wow. I wouldn't think that would be possible, seeing as how my furnace is lit with a glowing plug.
But I believe you, and stand corrected.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:45 PM   #18
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

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Step #1: Find the guy that plumbed it in the first place and kick him square in the nuts.

Step #2: Return to work.

I can't believe people plumb stuff with no regard to the possibility of future changes.
I had a funace and gas line installed last fall, made sure there was a couple capped T's and a couple unions in the line when they installed it. I now have easy access in case i decide to install a gas water heater, a gas grill, and/or run an outdoor line somewhere.

Gas plumber said "Gee, that's not a bad idea."

No shit Sherlock.........
LOL. The guy who plumbed the gas pipe would be way down the list of people who have worked on this house in the past, and who I would like to speak to. He'd be about 10th in line........

But that was another reason why I wanted to Tee off of the 1" pipe and not the 3/4" or definitely not the 1/2". Future growth.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

I vote with turn gas off and cut the line with sawszall continue by removing pipes threading the ends after removing the correct amount for the new unions and tee's. As far as blowing anything up refer to to "rich to burn" and too "lean to burn". All gasses have upper and lower explosive limits.
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Last edited by D.J.; 04-12-2011 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:21 PM   #20
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Default Re: How to tap off Nat Gas line, when there are no unions?

That what happen to me when built my house. Did not plan ahead. Now cost me have someone come back and redo all my gas lines. Run T's off 1'' line. Just plan stupid off me.
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