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Thread: While adding a new leg of natural gas pipe - I hit a snag

  1. #1

    Exclamation While adding a new leg of natural gas pipe - I hit a snag

    I recently purchased a house and am in the process of adding a natural gas heater downstairs. The previous owner had planned ahead and inserted a 'T' into the main gas line coming into the house downstairs. So after taking the necessary steps to shutoff the gas, I proceeded to more closely inspect the 'T' joint. After closer inspection, the plugged end from which I wanted to tie into was not quite parallel with the ground, so I proceeded to adjust it so that it was . Since it only required a slight turn on the pipe, I figured that just maybe I'd be okay. Well, I got a portion of it together,plugged it, and turned the gas back on and proceeded to soap the pipes I had connected for leaks. They all looked fine EXCEPT for the 'T' that I'd adjusted. There is now a very slow leak emanating from the pipe threads onto which the 'T' joint was tightened. It is obviously a result of my small adjustment that moved the dried teflon paste around just enough to cause trouble. This 'T' joint occurs before all the other gas pipe that runs throughout the house, and I don't want to have to take it all apart just to fix this leak!

    Is there any way I can fix the leak without unscrewing all the pipes?

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default leak

    No. You are not permitted to cut it apart and use a union, and you do not have the experience to use a left/right coupling and nipple.

  3. #3


    Try pushing it back into its original position. When you loosen one end of a fitting in the middle of a run, you tighten the other. If it's too much work to disassemble the run from it's source, you may have cut it at the t and install a union.

  4. #4


    I should have added I'm not a pro. I have unions on my gas pipes from work done in my house. Is this not up to code?

  5. #5
    Plumber RioHyde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio


    Unions are only to be used at the fixture. I guess one way of doing it correctly would be to cut the pipe, thread both cut ends and use threaded flanges, but if you're going to do all that, just take the thing apart and rerun it. There is a packing material that looks alot like steel wool (heck it might be for all I know) that can be "caulked" into the threads, but I've never used it...in fact, I dont even know what its called. I saw an old time plumber use it once....and it wound up leaking anyway. lol (yeah I laughed at him then too)

  6. #6
    DIY Member jrejre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004


    If it were me, I'd just bite the bullet and take the time to pull it apart and put new sealant on the joints. It's just not worth the risk. Why is the manifold so difficult to disassemble?


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