When you want to connect an oven or dryer to your pipelines, all you have to do is screw them in well. Or so you think. Connecting to gas pipelines requires proper knowledge of the appropriate types of fittings to use. If you screw in the wrong one, you could end up with a dangerous leak. In most cases, only leaks resulting from a weather condition like hail or windstorm are shouldered by a homeowner’s insurance policy like the one offered by companies like Allstate home insurance.
If you’re planning to do this on your own, you might want to get everything ready before you do anything with the pipeline. Hardware stores and home improvement centers sell kits that contain stainless steel gas lines and fittings that you can use. Depending on your project, you may need to buy additional fittings. Also, it would be prudent to inquire with your local building department if you are allowed to DIY connections to your gas pipelines.
What You Need:
- Adjustable wrench
- Pipe wrench
- Flaring tool
- Appropriate fittings
- Pipe joint compound
Since there are many possible scenarios when connecting a gas pipe, we’ll discuss three of the most common:
Steel Gas Pipe Connection
If you live in an older house, you might be working on a threaded steel gas pipe. If you are going to replace your old appliance with a new one, you should also purchase a gas appliance connecting kit. It often has a flexible gas supply line that you can use to replace the steel gas pipe. This procedure is also useful if you are planning to build a gas fire pit.
It is important to install the fitting first before installing the flexible gas line directly to the steel pipe thread.
It would be best if you also started replacing your old gas valves with a modern ball valve. But, before you start replacing the old valve, switch off the main gas valve. Once you have that sorted out, you must use a sealant to coat all threaded pipe connections. If you have a ¾-inch female pipe thread, you can add a bushing, allowing it to fit the ½-in female gas pipe thread. Make sure that you do not kink the tubing.
Soft Copper Pipe Connection
With this type of pipe, you must flare the soft copper tubing ends before installing the flare fittings. The commonly used sizes are ⅝ inch, ½ inch, and ⅜ inch flare fittings. Make sure that you are matching it with the outside measurement of the soft copper that you want to connect to. To connect, you may start from coiled soft copper tubing. Then, make sure to heat the tubing so it will expand and accommodate the piping on the other end. Once you feel it has expanded enough, connect the fitting. If the fittings match the size, you can just screw it on. Should the screws not match, you can do a valve replacement. Don’t forget to apply sealant on all threaded gas pipe connections. Flare joints do not need additional sealing. You just have to make sure that you adequately fit it to seal.
Reusing Soft Copper Tubing
If your soft tubing does not have bends, it is okay to reuse. However, if it has any kinks, do not attempt to straighten it. You should replace it with a new one. You have to make sure that your tubings fit in size and to never forget to coat threaded fittings with a pipe thread compound. If it is not available, you may use Teflon tape, specifically made for gas pipes instead. Once ready, you can simply position the tubing to the flare before threading it in place on its nut. You can then securely fasten it with a wrench.
Make sure that you are always on the safe side. If there are any potential leaks, call a professional right away.