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Seized gas pipe

njbilltnjbillt Member Posts: 30
Hi. I want to extend my black iron gas piping for a new water heater and gas grill. My pipe is 1-1/4 and has a plug at the end of the line that I simply cannot loosen. It's only a few years old, but the sealant the guy used is black, and has hardened. I thought the idea behind pipe sealant was it's supposed to be able to be worked with later. The stuff I'm using says it's non-hardening. Any ideas how I can get this plug out to continue my run would be appreciated.



  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,492

    Is the 1.25" sized right? Is the meter rated for the additional load?
  • njbilltnjbillt Member Posts: 30

    Yes to both. When the 1.25" was installed they knew about future plans. I'm extending with 1" and branching that to two, 1/2" lines, one for each appliance. I just need to know why it's seized and how to loosen it.
  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,492
    Not Seized

    It's gonna take some muscle, but use 2 good sized pipe wrenches. Position the wrenches so the ends are about a foot apart, so you're pushing and pulling close.Make sure there's no small kids around, for the language that sometimes helps.
  • njbilltnjbillt Member Posts: 30

    Have you seen this black pipe sealant before? Is this normal for pipe sealant to harden like that? The guy didn't use lock-tite as a bad joke did he?
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 3,513

    tough stuff. I never use is a hard set. Take a utility knife and scrape as much off as you can. Spray some wd40 or  penetrating oil on the end then wait an hour. 2 24" pipe wrenches are a must.
  • njbilltnjbillt Member Posts: 30
    permatex reply

    Thank you for this reply. Will I have a problem with a residue inside this tee preventing a good seal with the new pipe going in this tee? I don't really want to replace the tee because 1) it would be 3 connections to deal with now, and 2) the other side of the tee is the same sealant.
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 3,513
    edited January 2013
  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 1,571

    24" pipe wrenchs and about a 3' cheater pipe.
  • njbilltnjbillt Member Posts: 30

    The only thing I can grip on the plug, which is brass by the way, is the square thing. I'm not going to twist that off before the plug loosens am I? I'm going to get 4' pipes to extend my wrenches, and give me more leverage being off the ladder and firmly on the floor.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Gas Piping:

    By your questions, do you feel that you are qualified to do this job? A licensed gas fitter or plumber wouldn't be asking these questions. And I wonder who did the original install. A 1 1/4" brass plug is rather pricy as compared to a black plug. Though it is legal as an approved material and fitting.

    The number one gas pipe dope I see is Rectorseal #5. If you can't break it loose with two, 24" pipe wrenchs WITHOUT EXTENSIONS, something is wrong.

    Do you need gas permits where you are?

    There are plumbing and gas inspectors who say that there are some projects that a DIY'ers just shouldn't attempt. Venting gas water heaters are also in that category.
  • HenryHenry Member Posts: 968
    Brass plug

    Brass plugs are not permitted to be used on Natural gas piping but ok on the gas burner train. The black sealant is only used on gasoline and petrolieum piping. You need to use a flat pipe wrench on the plug so that you will not sheer the squares. Ad a few feet of 1 1/2 pipe to each wrench. It should work.
  • njbilltnjbillt Member Posts: 30
    Brass plug no good?

    This surprises me because that was done by a pro and was inspected.
  • njbilltnjbillt Member Posts: 30
    Brass plug not brass

    Sorry. I double checked that and a magnet sticks to the plug. it's iron.
  • Tom_133Tom_133 Member Posts: 689
    Im with him...

    Icesailor is right, you may want to call a qualified or at least a licensed and insured guy for this task. Do you own threading tools?
    Montpelier Vt
  • njbilltnjbillt Member Posts: 30
    don't worry

    I've never read a thread in a forum about gas piping without the poster being discouraged by professionals. I appreciate your concern, but I am absolutely confident I can do this. The first thing I'm adding after the plug is removed is a valve to isolate the old from the new. I have the fittings to pressure test the new section once it's complete. I asked the question about the sealant before I put any more leverage on the pipes because I never saw one harden like that. The reply telling me it was Permatex was the most useful answer. As for needing threading tools. I have access to them if I need them, but I have great latitude about where I can run the pipe, and I believe I have things laid out so I can use standard length pipes.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    I understand:

    I understand.

    You're smart, we're not.
  • njbilltnjbillt Member Posts: 30
    smart enough

    To all that offered constructive answers, I thank you. I was able to get the plug off using extensions on the pipe wrenches, and a valve is in it's place. I used Rector Seal and checked the fittings at the valve for leaks. My new work is about 2/3 done, and I terminated it with a plug so as not to rely solely on the closed valve. I'll continue my work next weekend.

    To icesailor: I never said people here weren't smart. If I thought that, I never would have come here for advice in the first place. When I asked my original question, I had only taken a cursory look at the job. I didn't have extensions for my wrenches, it wouldn't loosen, and I saw a hardened pipe sealant that I never saw before. How anyone could jump to the conclusion I wasn't capable of doing this because I asked a question is beyond me. But you are right. I am smart. Smart enough to ask questions. Smart enough to figure out who has the experience and knowledge to help, and smart enough to figure out who has a chip on their shoulder about DIYers getting free advice, and isn't going to contribute one iota to the thread. You sir, are that person. I asked this same question in 2 other forums and this is the only one where I was berated, and by the way, I got the same constructive answers: bigger wrenches, extensions, or both.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    2' Wrenches:

    It sounds like you were using 18" pipe wrenches. If you're going to be twisting pipes, buy a couple of aluminum 24" pipe wrenches. Always use two. Two of the same size. So you can put equal pressure/torque on the fitting.
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Member Posts: 4,372

    we encourage folks to come here with their questions. At no time do we ever want to offend anyone who has a legitimate question no matter who they are. It is that we are also concerned with the safety of those who post here and perhaps we could be a little less threatening with are comments and more constructive. For that we apologize and hope you will continue here to seek answers.
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,130
    please note one thing people

    Ice and I come from Mass. In this state you can not do DIY gas fitting legally. We have seen boat loads of accidents even by so called pro's. If a home own does their own gas piping and the home burns down they get a goose egg from their insurance. I am sure a person of average intelligence can do gas piping safely. I also have several PHD carrying customers who break their water filters off every other year.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Gas piping:

    It also includes "professional" HVAC tin-knockers who replace gas furnaces that have been "Red Tagged" because they are running over 1500 PPM of CO and have illegal sidewall vents. An unlicensed HVAC sheet metal contractor can not change the furnaces without a permit, gas pipe the two new furnaces of different manufacturer, and replace the illegal venting the way it was before the replacement. 6" above the ground, behind 4. decorative grass and 18" below opening windows. With no gas permits.

    A DIY'er would be lost on an ocean of waves.
  • njbilltnjbillt Member Posts: 30
    in New Jersey ...

    in New Jersey a home owner can self contract pretty much anything as long as he gets the permits and has it inspected. I had a friend and licensed contractor help me replace my oil furnaces 3 years ago with 95% 2 stage gas furnaces as a side job. I had hands on that whole project and it was permitted as a self contracted job. It required 3 permits: electrical, plumbing and fire. All 3 passed, and were actually complimented by the inspectors. Just to give you a feel for my background, when I replaced my furnaces, I downloaded a program and ran manual J on my house, and then spec'd my own equipment. As I suspected, my 2 - 100 BTU oil furnaces and 2 - 3 ton A/C units were WAY too big for my house. My new gas furnaces are (1st stage) 48,000 BTU / (2nd stage) 69,000 BTU. My heating costs are 1/2 what they were in 2005, and that's not adjusted for today's oil pricing. My cooling costs are about 75% of the old A/C and if I have any regret about my self engineered system it's that I didn't go 2 stage there too. Overall though, I am very satisfied with my job and the comfort level in my house is better than it ever was.

    I may not have a PHD, but I think having a mechanical aptitude, caring enough to do it right and being willing to buy the right tools is more important than intellect. I'm sure you see people use white pvc tape and hand tighten gas piping and test it with bubble gum to see if it blows bubbles to detect leaks. I appreciate your concern. Believe me, I'm not going to blow my house up. All I'm doing is extending my gas line for an outdoor grill, and while I'm at it, adding a tee in to replace my oil water heater with gas in the future. I even sized my piping with a program on engineering tool box, and understood it ;-) We're good.
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