When it’s time to do some home remodeling, a gas line installation may be in the near future. Here are some things to consider if you plan on doing any maintenance or installation work involving gas lines.
Gas is unlike any other utility. Electricity stays in your wires and outlets so long as nothing conductive gets too close. Water is harmless when it leaks; even though you may have to clean up a big mess, if you address a flooded home quickly and correctly, there will be no additional health concerns.
Gas is confined by pipes but can escape into the rooms and halls of your home. Once it becomes uncontained, it presents a severe danger to your home’s occupants. Temporary side effects of natural gas poisoning include:
- Memory loss.
When gas leaks into your home, it is still flammable. If a gas leak comes in contact with a spark, the result can be literally explosive. Gas leaks are as much a fire hazard as a health hazard. The dangers of improperly installing a gas line make proper installation a priority.
As an invisible hazard, it can be hard to detect. The most reliable way to determine the presence of escaped gas is through smell. Gas companies add a chemical to your gas supply that smells like rotten eggs. It is hard to miss, which is why this smell is an industry-standard among gas suppliers.
Installing Gas Appliances
Does the project you are starting even require a new gas line? Not all home projects do. For instance, if you are replacing one gas appliance – such as a fireplace or stove – there is no need to worry about installing a new gas line.
Appliances may be installed by a plumber, an installation team, or even a DIY homeowner. Although the best option to ensure a new gas appliance is installed correctly is to recruit a professional, not every project involving gas necessarily requires a professional’s help.
Installing New Gas Lines
Suppose you are converting an old electric appliance into a gas appliance or are installing a gas appliance in a different location. In that case, you will need a gas line installed that connects your appliance to the main gas line.
This level of installation requires licensed professionals. Many cities have laws and permits for installing gas lines, but even city laws are still subject to state laws. The state of Utah requires any gasoline alterations for adding or removing sections to be done by licensed individuals.
For permit requirements, it is best to check with your local city government to see what permits you need to install a new gas line.
How is a New Gas Line Installed?
Adding new gas piping to your home isn’t much more complicated than adding additional plumbing lines throughout your house. The most significant difference is the type of material the pipes will be transporting and the quality of work that needs to go into planning, adding, and inspecting your gas line.
There are a few steps you need to go through to successfully and safely install a new gas line:
- Shutting Off Your Gas
Working on a gas line requires much more caution than working on other appliances in your home. Before cutting into the gas line, you must ensure you’ve shut off your gas supply.
Most gas shut-offs are located on the gas meter outside your home. Turning them off can sometimes be difficult, especially if you have an old gas meter that has been exposed to the elements for years.
The shut-off valve looks like a small rectangular nob on a ball-valve connection. You can shut off your gas line by closing the valve using a wrench. Once the gas is off, you must wait and drain your home of any existing natural gas.
- Adding the Pipe
Once your pipes are free of natural gas, you are ready to install a new line.
Before you start tearing into your gas piping, you need to do some planning and prep work:
- “Where does my gas line need to lead?”
- “What kind of nozzle does my pipe need to connect to?”
- “What kind of appliance am I installing?”
When installing a new line of pipes, you need to know the size and nozzle required to connect to your appliance. Without planning and knowing which types of parts you need, you may need to redo. These would be added expenses you could have easily prevented.
- Testing the Seal
Testing a gas line is more complicated than testing a water line. You can check a water line by turning on your water and checking for leaks. Checking a gas line for leaks is more difficult because any gas leaks will be invisible.
To check your line for leaks, you will need a soapy solution you can apply to your pipe. A typical homemade solution uses a mixture of dish soap and warm water.
Pour soapy water over any new pipe connections and turn on your gas. If there is a leak, you can spot it where your solution bubbles. Depending on how you connected your pipes, you will need to tighten and secure the line so it no longer leaks.
If you cannot get your pipes to stop leaking, you will need to drain the gas from your natural gas piping system and start over with a new line.
Have Peace of Mind With Salisbury Plumbing
If not done correctly, working on a gas line installation can have dangerous consequences. It is important to be vigilant in every step of the installation process to protect you and your family from the hazards of natural gas leaks.
If you need a gas line installed, we are willing and able to help! Salisbury plumbing has certified professionals who can accurately install your gas lines, so you don’t have to worry about them leaking or not correctly connecting to your appliances.
Contact us today to see how we can help you achieve your goals!