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black pipe or soft copper?

Yes, I'd put drip legs in there.


  • tm
    tm Member Posts: 125
    am I wasting my time??

    Please note that I am not a diy'er. I worked as a plumber for many years and have experience with black iron pipe and copper flare fittings. When we moved into our new house we wanted to get rid of the electric stove. Propane service company said soft copper was fine and within the code of my town. I ran soft copper from the tank location to the new stove. I have about 40' of copper in the basement. Now we are getting rid of the electric dryer and bought a propane dryer. Here is my concern - I am a bit nervous about the copper in retrospect. I feel now, that I should have used black iron but felt the copper was "easier at the time". Propane scares me with it's nature of combustion being more dangerous than natural gas. So, I am thinking of starting from scratch and running all black pipe, with 48" coated stainless flex connectors to each appliance. Am I wasting my time? I feel that I will be safer and "be doing the job right". Any thoughts on thiswill be much appreciated.
    PS - is teflon paste still the recommended material for joints with propane?
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997

    Although I have run more than a few system's with copper and have never had an issue, your personal comfort is all that will matter. For the price of 40 feet of black iron I would be hauling out the threader and having at it. I would also recommend sizing the pipe large enough now to handle any other possible item's down the road (gas log, water heater).

    Make sure when you are all done that you perform a complete pressure test of the new line. It will be necessary to pressure test the system at 1.5 time's the operating pressure. I generally pressure test black iron at 5 pounds just to be on the safe side....Make sure to have your system's disconnected while performing this test, just in case. You do not want to damage your gas valve's if a shut off fails...
  • Glenn Sossin_2
    Glenn Sossin_2 Member Posts: 592
    gas piping

    What about a flexible gas piping such as Trac-Pipe. Although its more expensive, it's much easier/faster than steel pipe. Its flexible like copper tube but very sturdy, hard to damage or kink. Best part is, it can be a direct home run from point A to B. Less joints means less potential for leaks.

    Good luck

  • tm
    tm Member Posts: 125

    Thanks for that reply - it will probably boil down to just that. Of course I had the original line tested and there were no leaks - I just worry about the vulnerabilities of the soft copper. Then my other 1/2 kicks in and tells me I am worrying too much.

    I would now run 3/4 black to the 1st appliance ( about 10' alongside the back of the garage, on the outside, and another 5' to the tee in the cellar)and 1/2" black from there to the stove some 25' away.
  • tm
    tm Member Posts: 125

    never used it - so I don't know anything about it but it sounds interesting. How to fit tees along a line?
  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321

    trak pipe? Take a sheet rock screw... push it into the csst with your fingers and count how many turns it takes to go in and pierce the csst we have seen by finger pressure alone as few as six turns before it burrows its way thru...imagine with retrofits and all the stuff hidden in a wall... Mark my words in our lifetimes your going to see this stuff banned!
  • Ed_26
    Ed_26 Member Posts: 284
    pipe sizing

    There are proper procedures to follow when sizing gas piping... codes are available & MUST be followed. Testing is paramount for safety. If you are not comfortable with DIY, please hire a pro for this work.
  • Glenn Sossin_2
    Glenn Sossin_2 Member Posts: 592

    Thats why they make stud guards
  • correct me if I'm wrong....

    I thought propane applinaces or heating units are NOT allowed in basement or the lowest level of living spaces due to propane heavlier than air and can pooled...
  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 1,026
    Which material to use?

    Let's see:
    Cannot use copper is there is more than 0.3 grains of hydrogen sulphide per 100 cubic ft. Cannot rely on gas company to tell me the truth or be consistent in what they supply. Don't want to run the risk of Black Flakes clogging a valve causing an explosion... Cannot bury flare fittings in concealed spaces. Copper needs to be coated now.

    Black iron is very labor intensive. Cannot bury most fittings. Needs lots of support. While straight pipe flows alot, those fittings cause a lot of pressure drop.

    CSST is the only listed fuel gas piping system for indoors. Listed fittings can be buried anywhere in the house including walls and floors. If installed per the listing, it has excellent performance against nail strikes and punctures. Use striker plates near floors and ceilings but leave slack in the lines so a nail strike will simply push it aside. Comes with foot markings on the casing like a built in tape rule. Really easy to work with and fast. When in doubt, go with the next size up.
  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
    round here

    you can put propane appliances in the basement or the crawl space just about anywhere you like. J.Lockard
  • tm
    tm Member Posts: 125
    to clarify

    To clarify, The appliances are not in the basement - they are both on the 1st floor ground level. I would be running the pipe in the basement and teeing/90ing up to each appliance.

    Whats that about a black flake clogging a valve??

    I am leaning towards black iron at this point............
    What is a good paint to use on exposed portions of the black pipe along a house?
  • tm
    tm Member Posts: 125
    vertical drop

    Another question - I was used to installing a tee with a vertical drop when I piped to water tanks and furnaces with natural gas. Do you do the same with propane? I could use a tee (with a drop nipple)instead of a 90 as I go up throught the floor to each aplliance.
  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 1,026
    sediment traps

    Not up for debate-- both gas codes require them on all gas utilization equipment except illuminating appliances (street lamps). No horizontal "icicles" where debris can hop over the trap. Must be vertically oriented with the gas having to make a 90 degree turn to horizontal. Does not preclude you from bringing the gas up from below so you could put the sediment trap in the basement within 6 feet of the appliance with the gas coming in from the side then going up to the appliance. Your AHJ might want to see the shutoff upstream of the trap so it can be serviced without shutting down the entire house but only the IFGC allows shutoffs remote from the appliance and then only if they meet 3 criteria: serve only that appliance, labeled, and is "readily accessible" according to the code definition.

    While you won't get copper sulphide with black iron, you can get crude with any fuel gas piping system. I'm partial to properly installed CSST though most pros balk at it because it isn't traditional. However, it is the only listed fuel gas piping system.
  • And who is

    making sure every stud has a guard ?

    We had the Trac-Pipe class at the shop a few years ago . I was physically able to dent the pipe one handed using my thumb . I believe Scott Milne told us soldering flux accidentally dripped onto the pipe and ate into it .

    I'm sure Trac-Pipe is a wonderful product if installed to specs . But how often are specs followed to a T ? How often do you think some knucklehead is burying the pipe behind sheetrock and within easy reach of drywall screws ? I know it happens to us with water pipes and electric wires . A non-issue using black pipe .
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997

    Could you do me a favor please Bob, could you list where in NFPA 54 I would find a code that require's the sediment trap be installed on a dryer or cook stove?

    Not trying to start an argument, just trying to figure out what code you are going by..

    If you go to NFPA 5.5.7 it state's that sediment trap's shall not be required on range's, clothe's dryer's and decorative appliances unless specified per the manufacturer. As far as my knowledge goes, I have only seen one "recommend" not require it.
    Do I agree that it is a good idea to install anyway, yes. But required by code. No

    As far as csst, I have installed it in a number of occasion's (to many to count actually). I also install striker plates where required and do all I can to protect my system's.
  • bob young
    bob young Member Posts: 2,177

  • Glenn Sossin_2
    Glenn Sossin_2 Member Posts: 592
    Trac Pipe vs Black Pipe

    I am not suggesting that Trac pipe, or any of the other brands are so durable that they can't be damaged. If we followed that logic in pluming a home, there would be limited applications for castiron, pvc, and pex. Virtually any product mis-installed can be a a potential problem.

    We have been selling TracPipe I belive for 7 years now with no issues. There is no argument that black pipe is a much sturdier / durable product. But as with anything else, you look at labor & material costs, application, and functionality. Personally, properly installed, I would not hesitate to have it installed in my home. In fact, I would prefer it. I would rather not have a joints in places I can't readily get to.
  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 1,026
    I stand corrected

    I was thinking primarily about boilers and furnaces since this site is about hydronic heating. The IFGC section 408.4 and NFPA 54 section 8.5.7 are almost exactly verbatim. They both list illuminating appliances, ranges, dryers, and outdoor grilles as exempt. NFPA also exempts gas logs and fireplaces. Otherwise, both codes state a sediment trap SHALL be installed downstream of the equipment shutoff valve as close to the inlet of the equipment as practical. Shall means required. The only mention about mfrs. is the opening line, "Where a sediment trap is not incorporated as part of the gas utilization equipment,"...

    My point was and is, when installing heaters, both codes do require sediment traps. They are not optional. If it doesn't come with one, you must provide it.
  • tm
    tm Member Posts: 125

    anyone use good ol rustoleum?
  • tm
    tm Member Posts: 125

    thanks all - I guess it seems a sed trap is not required but makes sence to use one. When there is no harm in doing something my gut tells me to do it.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    completely agree

    Tom I couldn't agree more. There is nothing wrong with adding a sediment trap, it is just an added protection for the gas valve.

    I was just looking to clarify the code in case something had changed that I was not aware of. Like I said previously, I use copper, black iron and Csst for doing gas system's. Thank you Bob for your response, I just wanted to make sure I do thing's right also.

    Please make sure to notify your gas supplier and have a safety and complete pressure test done prior to putting the system online. Safety first...
This discussion has been closed.