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Inspecting Gas Pipe Installation

I have been seeing more dangerous gas pipe installations in recent years. Some of this is due to CSST (Corrugated Stainless steel Tubing). We highlighted the proper installation of CSST in a previous newsletter. Improper gas pipe installation could pose a serious risk to our clients. I always recommend my clients use black steel or iron pipe for all gas service. I am not a fan of any flexible pipe (I know CSST is not considered flexible pipe). Flexible copper and aluminum can easily be bent and kinked. What are some of the things that home inspectors should be looking for when inspecting gas pipe:

  • Gas pipe or tubing should not be in or through HVAC ducts, exhaust ducts, laundry chases, chimney flues, and appliance vents / exhausts
  • Exposed black steel pipe should be painted and protected against physical damage
  • Exterior gas pipe should be installed at least 3 ½ “ above ground or over a roof
  • Gas piping should not be installed through foundation walls
  • Gas pipe should be installed at least 1 inch beyond a wall and 2 inches above the floor with enough clearance to accommodate a pipe wrench
    • All disconnected gas pipes should be capped and have a shut-off valve
    • Gas pipe installed in concrete floors or walls should be properly sleeved. Many plumbers recommend using PVC
    • Buried gas pipe must be encased in a proper sleeve (PVC) and at a depth of at least 12 inches, except 8 inches for gas lights and outdoor grills
    • Saddle clamp valves are not approved for gas service
    • An exterior gas shut-off valve should be installed (normally on the meter)
    • An interior main gas shut-off valve should also be installed on the interior of the house
    • All appliances should have gas shut-off valves in the same room and within 6 feet of the appliance
    • Shut-off valves should be ball valves. Gate valves are not normally recommended for gas service

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