The beginning of October way many homeowners living in the northern component of the nation will need to start shoot up their heating systems. Herbal gas is amongst the least expensive and most efficient ways come fuel a heating system or boiler. Along with its advantages come security concerns and also responsibilities for homeowners. As a residence inspector, that is your job to assist identify deficiencies that deserve to compromise the safety and security of occupants in residences using natural gas. Us will discuss some of the basics the inspecting gas piping.

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Supply, branch and also drop currently or risers

The piping inside the home is called the gas supply line or building line. Branch lines operation to separation, personal, instance appliances. The branch heat terminates in a drop line, which is a vertical pipe dropping under to the appliance native an overhead branch line. This drop heat is dubbed a riser if that carries gas up to an appliance indigenous a branch line below the appliance.


Sediment trap, dust pocket or drip leg

At the appliance connection point, there usually is a sediment catch or dust pocket, sometimes called a drip leg that includes a nipple and a cap. This pipe extension usually is at the very least 3 inches long and is intended come catch any water or foreign material that may be in the gas before the material gets into the appliance itself. This is just a heaviness system, v the solids and also liquids falling right into the pocket.


Pipe downstream that meter is homeowner’s

The piping downstream the the gas meter usually is the responsibility of the homeowner. The piping upstream of the gas meter and also the meter chin usually room the duty of the gas company.


Piping materials

Steel, copper, brass: The most common gas piping is black color steel. Galvanized steel, copper, brass or CSST (Corrugated Stainless stole Tubing) also can be provided in part areas, but some utilities specifically prohibit the usage of copper. In other areas, the usage of copper is widespread. Girlfriend should recognize what is agree in your area. Stole piping frequently is black v malleable iron or stole fittings. Galvanized stole is used in some areas as well.



Flex connectors: Flexible connectors are permitted to attach appliances to the gas piping. There has to be a shut-off valve in ~ the link to the strict piping. This valve has to be in the same room together the appliance.

Three- or six-foot long and also accessible: The versatile connectors can’t go with walls, floors or ceilings, nor can they be concealed. The versatile connector size usually is minimal to 3 feet except for gas ranges and also clothes dryers. Because that these appliances, 6 feet typically is allowed. Splicing or authorized connectors with nipples often is prohibited. In some jurisdictions, flexible connectors are permitted only for gas ranges, dryers, out barbecues and other semi-portable appliances. Versatile connectors may not be permitted on gas furnaces, water heaters, room heaters, etc. In locations prone to earthquake, functional connectors are more likely to be used on all appliances due to the fact that they administer some measure of protection against gas piping leakage or rupture during an earthquake. Examine your neighborhood gas code to identify what is or isn’t enabled in your area.

Thread seal tape


Not in ducts

Gas piping can’t be run v chimneys or duct systems.

Shut-off valve

Although there are some exceptions, many appliances should have a shut-off valve surrounding to them.


Bonding gas piping

Most authorities do not enable the use of gas piping together a grounding means for the electrical service. Bonding the gas piping come the electrical grounding device is a requirement, however, in plenty of jurisdictions. Often, this is excellent by attaching the gas piping come the supply water piping (assuming that is grounded) frequently near the water heater. To protect against an electrical potential buildup in ~ the gas piping that might lead come arcing, which can ignite gas, we want to keep the gas piping in ~ zero electrical potential by bonding it come the ground connection system.

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The following troubles are typical on gas piping:

LeaksInappropriate materialsInadequate supportRustingNo drip legMissing shut-off valveImproper connectionsPlastic pipe exposed above gradePiping in chimneys or duct systemsCopper pipe not effectively labeled

The implications of every one of these problems are feasible gas leaks and also explosions.

We have debated some of the basics that gas piping that residence inspectors should have a great understanding of in stimulate to identify potentially unsafe situations. We likewise have detailed ten conditions that are common when over there are troubles with gas piping. A comprehensive explanation ~ above the causes, methods for inspecting, and implications deserve to be discovered in the ASHI