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.

Repurposing black pipe from gas supply to steam?

SteamFTW Member Posts: 76
I just got my hands on a bunch of (free) 1" NPS black pipe that used to be part of the gas supply lines in a multi-unit building. Nice long sticks too! The pipe only came out because they moved all the meters from inside to outside, and where the lines enter the building now is much closer to where everything branches off to the individual units. So, it's known to be in good shape. If it didn't leak with gas pressure in it, then it should be perfectly sound for low-pressure steam.

BUT...has the pipe been compromised, specifically with respect to its usability in a steam system, even in limited cases? I can think of a few theoretical reasons NOT to use that pipe, but I suppose they might not just be theoretical. For example, I imagine that if the odorant which they add to natural gas got into the pipe material, that if the steam leaches it out, that would be REALLY unpleasant to smell coming out of radiator vents. And if the gas itself has permeated the pipe material to enough of a degree over time, and now we add steam, PRESTO: carbonic acid!

I'd like to use the pipe to replace some copper dry returns near the boiler, at least for a couple of months, until I have time to do a more extensive repipe. Thoughts?

Fast. Cheap. Good.
Pick any two.


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,840
    No reason not to use it if it is the correct size. Gas does nothing to deteriorate the pipe mot gas delivered now is "dry" and contains almost no moisture.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,008
    Do they have any more? ;)
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,109
    The odorant is often buried in the threads, if you unscrew all fittings and wire brush the pipe threads that smell will go away.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,250
    The added "odorant" is Mercapton....Mad Dog 🐕