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Thread: Gas line question

  1. #1

    Default Gas line question

    Good day,

    I am installing two new Heat-n-glo fireplaces. I need to run gas lines to both locations.

    Here in Mn, 1/2" flexible copper is allowable under code.

    One fireplace is approximately 33 feet from the regulator and the other is approximately 40 feet.

    Being that copper is so expensive, I was thinking about running a single copper gas line to the first fireplace and then putting in a T to run copper to the second fireplace.

    We may run both fireplaces occasionally at the same time.

    My question is will we have enough gas flowing through a single pipe and the T connector to feed both fireplaces or should I really run two 1/2" lines from the regulator?

    The ceiling is open so it's not hard to do - I'm just trying to avoid having to pay an extra $75 for copper. I'd much rather do the flexible copper rather than black steel since this is a DIY job and I'd like to avoid having a lot of connections in the walls.

    Thanks for any & all advice.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    My advice is that gas is not a DIYer project.
    The plumber will know what to do!

    It sure beats owning a vacant building lot with a smoldering pile of toothpicks on it, or, your family not getting up in the morning.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Gotta go with Redwood on this. Gas piping is not really a good DIY project. You can screw up with water lines and all you have is a wet mess, but make a boo boo with gas, you can die. My guess would be that the plumber will use black iron pipe at least for the long runs then possibly transition to flex line to make the connections to the fireplaces although he might do it all with all iron pipe. Seriously, this is one job you should hire a professional to do.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    1/2" copper will not be large enough to service 1 appliance let alone 2. When insufficient gas volume is delivered to an appliance it will still operate, however the flame produced will not be as "hot" as it should. This can and does lead to excessive amounts of carbon monoxide produced. This piping should be sized correctly and installed by a licensed contractor.

    Rule of thumb: GAS GOES BOOM!

  5. #5
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    In answer to your question, the total BTU's of the two appliances, and the length of the run, determine what size pipe is required. The National Fuel Gas Code book is where you find the charts to enter your btu and distance, and pull of pipe size.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    But Jimbo,
    For a DIYer to join the NFPA and buy the book a plumber would be cheaper! LOL

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Actually, you don't have to be an NFPA member.( I am not....membership costs too much!) to buy the books. And the fuel gas code is not expensive.

    I am following my usual practice that I will try to help a determined homeowner....rather than leave him to flounder around and then blow himself up, which with some help possibly we can avoid. And if he asks nice, myself or someone might just even look up the numbers for him!

    I know that some take a hard line approach to gas. Such is life. Homeowners will do gas work, and Osama bin Barrack may be president. Like goes in in either case!

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies guys (and gals?),

    I understand your concern and appreciate your thoughts.

    The fireplace gas input is 1/2". The gas regulator output is 1/2". The furnace, water heater, gas clothes dryer and gas stove are all 1/2".

    My plan is to buy 33 feet and 40 feet of 1/2" flexible copper - with no connections in between the regulator and the fireplace.

    I will flare the ends onto the cables.

    I plan on getting a permit so will have the gas line pressure tested.

    Once the gas line is connected to the regulator and the fireplace, I will check the connections with a non-corrosive agent like soap suds to make absolutely sure there are no leaks.

    I even have a gas detector and will plug it in to make sure there is absolutely no gas leaks.

    Taking all these precautions, it doesn't seem like a big deal to me.
    There will only be 2 ends of each gas line.

    Am I missing anything? I don't feel like I'm being reckless...

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member Wrex's Avatar
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    Jimbo's advice is spot on the BTU rating of the appliance or appliances and distance determines the gas pipe size.

    The larger pipe reduces the pressure drop over long distances the pipe can then be reduced again with a reducing coupling to the proper size for your appliance.

    With all the precautions you are taking including the pressure test you will be fine just make sure that you get the sizing right I can't stress this enough.
    Last edited by Wrex; 09-22-2008 at 08:43 PM.
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  11. #11
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    One more time. 1/2" copper is not large enough to carry the gas volume needed. Even though the regulator is 1/2" that does not mean the gas line should be 1/2"
    If you're running 33' and you have other gas appliances you will need to run this line in black iron pipe.

  12. #12
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    How about tossing some BTU numbers in here so we can talk about correct line sizes?

  13. #13

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    Both fireplaces are Heat & Glo.

    The main floor living room fireplace (33 feet from regulator) is a SL-750TR.
    BTU's is 16,900 to 24,300 BTU/Hour Input (NG).

    The basement fireplace (40 feet from regulator) is a SL-750TRS.
    BTU's is 20,200 to 30,800 BTU/Hour Input (NG).

    Thanks again!

  14. #14

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    More info from the manual -

    Pressure requirements for both units:

    Natural Gas:
    Minimum Inlet Pressure - 5.0 inches w.c.
    Maximum Inlet Gas Pressure - 14.0 inches w.c.
    Manifold Pressure - 3.5 inches w.c.

  15. #15
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    You can find the tables in the National Fuel Gas Code Handbook.
    I would give you the correct information but I have a huge problem with assisting someone in doing their own gas piping. The appliances that you are planning to install have some very specific piping and valving requirements and must be properly installed or they are unsafe to operate. That you do not know, or even know where to find the proper sizing tables tells me that you are in no way qualified to do gas piping. Do yourself a favor and have either the gas company or a licensed professional do this job before someone gets hurt or killed.

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