Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Gas piping

347
347 Member Posts: 143
Hello All, I need a little help in finding out about allowable fitting location on gas piping. I looked in the NFPA54 book and could not find what I needed.
I have a job that has a union in the middle of a gas pipe in crawl space . I know you need a union near an appliance (after the service valve) to connect it. I remember reading that a union cannot be installed in the middle of a gas pipe accessible or not. I'm looking for the wording in the Fuel gas code but I'm not having any luck. Does anyone know what chapter or section I need to look for this information?
Thanks in advance.
«134

Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,630
    Could always use right/left fittings...
    Dollhaus
  • From the UPC:


    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,630
    or i guess you can't use left/right fittings. although you would have to dig through the definitions section to figure out if a crawl space qualifies as "concealed"
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,630
    I was going to look it up and type it in. that is much easier.*considers looking up the precise definition of "fair use"*
    heathead
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,517
    You can use unions anywhere you want.......except not in a concealed location.......(like in a wall)

    A crawl space is not a concealed location in my opinion
    PC7060Intplm.Big_Burnerjohn p_2
  • It's been my experience that unions are only allowed at the appliance. At least that's the code where I work.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    Mad Dog_2HomerJSmithBig_Burner
  • 347
    347 Member Posts: 143
    Alan, That's what i thought also. Ed, this crawl space is a close to a concealed location as I've been in.
    Thanks for the inout.
    CFH
  • BillyO
    BillyO Member Posts: 277
    what state?city?
  • 347
    347 Member Posts: 143
    Town of North hempstead,N Y
    Spoke an inspector today. He said he would not pass any union unless it's after a valve near an appliance. He could show me in any books though.
    Mad Dog_2
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,517
    I never herd of any restrictions on unions except in a concealed location.

    That being said they tend to be leakers so there use should be kept to a minimum IMHO.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,375
    I'm not follow some of the reasoning here. The code says not in a concealed location, and I get that.

    What's the reasoning that says it's okay at an appliance, but not elsewhere? If the concern is it leaking, what's the difference if it leaks at an appliance or in the middle of a run? Again, assuming it's not concealed. A leak is a leak anywhere on the line.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    mattmia2
  • Probably because everything was hard-piped in the old days. What else was there other than a union to disconnect an appliance?
    Unions in the middle of a run were not allowed because why? I imagine that a leaking union in a wall is the devil to get to. A few of those and you change the code to prohibit them.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    ethicalpaul
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,624
    347 said:

    Town of North hempstead,N Y
    Spoke an inspector today. He said he would not pass any union unless it's after a valve near an appliance. He could show me in any books though.

    I'm assuming you meant "couldn't".

    While I'd not put a union anywhere its not needed, the inspector is supposed to enforce the Code, not his favorite practices. That generally means he's got to be able to point it out in text somewhere; can't show it in the book isn't something I'd willingly let slide.

    ZmanCanuckerBrent H.CLamb
  • BillyO
    BillyO Member Posts: 277
    411.1.6 in NYC Fuel Gas Code references unions. installed on rigid appliance connections. Must be accessible and within 6 feet of shutoff. Interpret from there
    ratio
  • 347
    347 Member Posts: 143
    Ironman, I get where your coming from. A leak is a leak. But I was told many years ago by a LILCO (Gas company at the time) employee that a union was not aloud on the piping except near an appliance and after the service valve. The reasoning was that sometimes the vibration can back the lock nut off and could leak.

    Ratio, Yes, he couldn't show me.

    Billy O, Thank you for your effort. I found that section on my book also. The way I read the "411" section it refers to connecting appliances .

    I was hoping to find something about a union on the middle of the piping. The job had an generator and kitchen upgrade. The person just added a tee to the gas piping feeding the boiler, a valve then a union and ran about 30' of piping for the kitchen. Looks like the started at both ends and ended in the middle and put a union.
    Hope that make sense.
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 839
    edited July 2020
    BillyO said:

    411.1.6 in NYC Fuel Gas Code references unions. installed on rigid appliance connections. Must be accessible and within 6 feet of shutoff. Interpret from there

    That is a requirement.

    But forbidden locations are

    404.3 Piping in concealed locations. Portions of a piping system installed in concealed locations shall not have unions, tubing fittings, bushings, compression couplings, or swing joints made by combinations of fittings.

    One can assume that installation of unions allowed in not forbidden locations.

    I never argue with the inspector, and I personally agree with the inspectors on this subject.

    We are using left/right couplings for connections.
    mattmia2BillyO
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,060
    How about CSST connections to iron pipe fittings?
    They are 1/2 unions and the manifolds might be anyplace, but accessible, and not necessarily close to an appliance.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,630
    gennady said:

    BillyO said:

    411.1.6 in NYC Fuel Gas Code references unions. installed on rigid appliance connections. Must be accessible and within 6 feet of shutoff. Interpret from there

    That is a requirement.

    But forbidden locations are

    404.3 Piping in concealed locations. Portions of a piping system installed in concealed locations shall not have unions, tubing fittings, bushings, compression couplings, or swing joints made by combinations of fittings.

    One can assume that installation of unions allowed in not forbidden locations.

    I never argue with the inspector, and I personally agree with the inspectors on this subject.

    We are using left/right couplings for connections.
    I'm at work and don't have a copy handy, but the michigan residential code lists left/right fittings in the same category of forbidden fittings as unions.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,624
    I guess it's time to go to all-welded piping. :naughty:  :sunglasses:
    mattmia2
  • realliveplumber
    realliveplumber Member Posts: 354
    We cut in with unions in crawlspaces and basements all the time.

    Course you could megapress a slip coupling in a concealed location........just saying.
  • BillyO
    BillyO Member Posts: 277
    Gennady, thanks for pointing that out. wasn't in my hard copy . looks like an added bulletin. greatly appreciated
  • Oh, the beauty of a drip leg. So easy for a tie-in. They should be required every 10 feet.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    ratioJUGHNE
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,060
    I usually use a couple of tees rather than 90's and a 2" nipple and cap for future use. These are all exposed in the basement.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,517
    Think about what we are all saying.

    Let's say that you want to cut a tee into an existing main to feed a new piece of equipment. With threaded pipe you can't get the tee in there without a union. So there is no restriction on unions unless the are in a wall or other location you can't get to they have to be accessable. And left right coupling are hard to find.

    Are you going to take maybe 100s of feet of pipe apart just to install a new tee? I don't think so. I would like to see the code section that prohibits unions.

    Just because they call for unions at an appliance doesn't mean they can't be installed elsewhere.

    Are we going to prohibit flanges on gas piping too?
    ethicalpaul
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 839
    In NY now any work on gas requires gas qualification. Meter piping cannot even be done by master plumber, if he does not possess gas qualification. Utility do not allow plumber to drop the meter. $35k fine. To close valve before the meter utility must be called, and to open valve gas authorization from DOB required, only then utility turn gas on.
    Mad Dog_2Long Beach Ed
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,630
    edited July 2020
    These are the 2015 michigan residential codes. The 2003 code listed prohibited fittings, but the 2015 code lists permitted fittings:









  • CFH
    CFH Member Posts: 72
    edited April 2023
    The section that says unions need to be after the appliance shut of valve it talking about appliances. If someone interprets that as unions are prohibited they would be incorrect. Nowhere in the NYS fuel gas code does it say unions are prohibited. The section that talks about piping 403.10 piping joint shall be suitable for the pressure and temperature. If a union is good after a gas valve it is good before. There are unions on meter bars and gas risers. There is a section that states what fittings can be used in concealed locations and unions are not included in the list

    [NY] 104.2 Waivers, variances, and modifications. Noth-
    ing in this code shall be construed as permitting any building
    official or any authority having jurisdiction to waive, vary,
    modify, or otherwise alter any provision or requirement of
    this code or any other provision or requirement of the Uni-
    form Code. Provisions or requirements of the Uniform Code
    may be varied or modified only in accordance with proce-
    dures established by Part 1205 or by such other regulations
    as may hereafter be promulgated by the Secretary of State
    pursuant to Section 381(1)(f) of the Executive Law
    [NY] 104.3 Alternative materials, equipment, appliances,
    designs, and methods of construction. The provisions of
    this code are not intended to prevent the installation of any
    materials, equipment, or appliances not specifically pre-
    scribed by this code, or to prohibit any designs or methods of
    construction not specifically prescribed by this code, pro-
    vided that such alternative materials, equipment, appliances,
    designs, or methods of construction (1) are not specifically
    prohibited by any provision of this code, by any other provi-
    sion of the Uniform Code, or by the Energy Code and (2)
    shall have been approved, in writing, by the building official.
    Alternative materials, equipment, appliances, designs, or
    methods of construction may be approved only when the
    building official shall have determined, in writing, that such
    alternative is:
    1. Satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provi-
    sions and requirements of the Uniform Code, and
    2. Not less than the equivalent of that prescribed in the
    Uniform Code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire
    resistance, durability, and safety.
    Nothing in this section shall be construed as permitting any
    building official or any authority having jurisdiction to
    waive, vary, modify or otherwise alter any provision or
    requirement of this code or any other provision or require-
    ment of the Uniform Code. Provisions or requirements of the
    Uniform Code may be varied or modified only pursuant to
    procedures established in Part 1205 or by such other regula-
    tions as may hereafter be promulgated by the Secretary of
    State pursuant to Section 381(1)(f) of the Executive Law
  • CFH
    CFH Member Posts: 72
    Left Rights used to be prohibited in NYC
  • CFH
    CFH Member Posts: 72
    edited April 2023


    [NY] 104.2 Waivers, variances, and modifications. Noth-
    ing in this code shall be construed as permitting any building
    official or any authority having jurisdiction to waive, vary,
    modify, or otherwise alter any provision or requirement of
    this code or any other provision or requirement of the Uni-
    form Code. Provisions or requirements of the Uniform Code
    may be varied or modified only in accordance with proce-
    dures established by Part 1205 or by such other regulations
    as may hereafter be promulgated by the Secretary of State
    pursuant to Section 381(1)(f) of the Executive Law
    [NY] 104.3 Alternative materials, equipment, appliances,
    designs, and methods of construction. The provisions of
    this code are not intended to prevent the installation of any
    materials, equipment, or appliances not specifically pre-
    scribed by this code, or to prohibit any designs or methods of
    construction not specifically prescribed by this code, pro-
    vided that such alternative materials, equipment, appliances,
    designs, or methods of construction (1) are not specifically
    prohibited by any provision of this code, by any other provi-
    sion of the Uniform Code, or by the Energy Code and (2)
    shall have been approved, in writing, by the building official.
    Alternative materials, equipment, appliances, designs, or
    methods of construction may be approved only when the
    building official shall have determined, in writing, that such
    alternative is:
    1. Satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provi-
    sions and requirements of the Uniform Code, and
    2. Not less than the equivalent of that prescribed in the
    Uniform Code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire
    resistance, durability, and safety.
    Nothing in this section shall be construed as permitting any
    building official or any authority having jurisdiction to
    waive, vary, modify or otherwise alter any provision or
    requirement of this code or any other provision or require-
    ment of the Uniform Code. Provisions or requirements of the
    Uniform Code may be varied or modified only pursuant to
    procedures established in Part 1205 or by such other regula-
    tions as may hereafter be promulgated by the Secretary of
    State pursuant to Section 381(1)(f) of the Executive Law
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,517
    You can use a union anywhere except concealed.

    However, you should not use them without a good reason as they tend to be leakers.

    Common sense

    That being said if you are adding a tee to the middle of a run of pipe for a new appliance you have to use a union as there is no other way to install a tee unless you rip all the piping out and left-rights went out a long time ago and almost no one carries left hand dies in their truck.
    Mad Dog_2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,918
    edited April 2023
    You may feel good "showing up" the inspector, but trust me, your Victory will be Short-lived.  I work in The 5 Boros of NYC and Long Island 🏝..   No inspector wants to see a union ANYWHERE but downstream of a Gas cock AND at the appliance.  Their reasoning is sound: They don't want to make it so easy for a Homeowner, DIYer, or Jack Leg GC to attempt gas work. Left and Right couplings and nipples don't stand out like a big chunky ground joint union...they also  baffle the Heck out of anyone who has never put one together successfully ha ha. Gennady is 100% right.  With the news gas rules, the party is OVER with any gas repairs & installations.  The Licensed Master plumbers hands have been shackled.Once again, the pendulum swings too far one way..then they other....over the top in my opinion.  In the 1970s and 198os it was a free for all:  Plumbers would spilt up houses to make 2 family and even have a 3rd meter for the illegal basement apartment.  The gas utility loved it and would hang meters with a phone call.  Oil to gas conversion?? No problem...no permits...no gas pressure test,, Leave the oil tank in the lawn...no big deal.  Mid 1990s that started to change..  Now Licensed plumbers are being punished for all the Unlicensed guys,, GCs and Homeowners who did their own work and left leaks and in NYC a few years ago,, blew up buildings. Tightening up enforcement is great, punishing the Licensed plumber ONLY hurts the Public who will be left LONG periods without heat,, hot water and cooking gas...😠 Mad Dog 🐕 
    pecmsgSTEVEusaPADollhausLong Beach Ed
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,918
    Not down here in NY, ED.  Left & rights are readily available and we use them all the time.  Mad Dog
  • CFH
    CFH Member Posts: 72
    edited April 2023
    I stopped working in NYC. Tickets traffic, no parking, fines, not allowed to turn off gas meters. It is not worth it to me
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,842
    CFH said:
    NYC licensed plumbers are being punished because NYC want a cut of their profits. I gave up my license in the city. $4500 for permits for a washer and dryer. Left and rights were prohibited when I was installing 20 lite meter bars for con ed. Now they are good. Unions may be prohibited in NYC but not in the NYS fuel gas code.
    I disagree with that completely!
  • CFH
    CFH Member Posts: 72
    edited April 2023
    Here is what was in NFPA 54 2006 regarding unions in concealed places. 7.3.2(4)
  • CFH
    CFH Member Posts: 72
    Here is the same NFPA 54 2006 code 9.6.4.1(1) referencing appliance shut off valves. It is a separate section and has nothing to do with prohibiting the use of unions. I am not saying unions should be put all over the place but they are not prohibited. According to 7.3.2 NFPA 54 20906 left rights in concealed spaces are prohibited. Are gas riser unions prohibited, meter bar unions, swivel unions?
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
    Not that I do it anymore, but the local gas utility also has a say in what you can or can not do, according to their whim. Unions are only allowed immediately after a shutoff valve, and only outside. Unions on meter bars are acceptable because they are right after the main shutoff. The main thing about being after a valve is because if there is a leak, it can be shut down and repaired without shutting down the rest of the system.
    Rick
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,630
    So then do you just turn the whole boiler to screw it on to the gas piping?
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
    Sorry. Unions are also allowed at appliance locations. They just didn't want them in the main line piping. As with all "rules", that also is totally up the inspector. I guess the golden rule is to know the inspector so you know what they look for.
    Rick