Properly tighten black steel gas piping

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Drew Toddsby

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Hey guys! Longtime lurker, first time poster. I'm in the process of teeing off a gas line for a new gas dryer in our second story mudroom / laundry room. We currently have a gas furnace in the attic and gas water heater in the garage. I bear crawled through the attic to trace the gas line from the furnace and it shot straight down to the water heater passing through the precise laundry room wall I needed for the tee. I cut open access holes to the attic above the laundry, in the wall of the laundry, and the garage by the water heater. I was able to disconnect the straight line from attic to garage (9ft 7in) by cutting it into two pieces where I wanted the outlet. I took the two pipes and had them threaded then tee'd off the 3/4" to a 1/2" tee for the dryer outlet. So that brings me to my current predicament. I'm trying to properly tighten each new section of pipe/fitting and finding it more than challenging. Every time I tighten one section, the next is loosened. I feel really foolish because I'm obviously missing some tip to ensure these are tightened properly. Should I be going in a specific order? I have two 14" pipe wrenches. Two sections of 3/4" pipe (5ft 9in Attic to tee, tee 3/4" to 3/4 "to 1/2", and tee to garage 3ft 8in). Any tips or help would be appreciated. Here are some photos for reference. (Dry run with all the pipes, attic fitting, garage fitting, and current state) I'm also using rectorseal 5 on the male threads before connecting.
 

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Dj2

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First, find out if you need a permit for what you want to do. In my town, a thing like this has to be inspected, pressured tested and signed off, whether done by a plumber or the homeowner.

Caution: gas line modifications done wrong can result in disaster called death.

When you want to avoid what you are experiencing, you can: use one section with a left hand thread along the line, or disassemble every fitting and pipe from the end user to the source, then install one section and one fitting at a time.

If you don't understand that, you will need professional help here.
 

Dj2

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About teflon tape: Use only gas rated (yellow) tape and gas pipe dope.
 

hj

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quote; use one section with a left hand thread along the line,

Even experts do NOT always use a left/right nipple and coupling properly. I would NEVER advise a novice, such as this, to try to use one.
 

Drew Toddsby

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First, find out if you need a permit for what you want to do. In my town, a thing like this has to be inspected, pressured tested and signed off, whether done by a plumber or the homeowner.

Caution: gas line modifications done wrong can result in disaster called death.

When you want to avoid what you are experiencing, you can: use one section with a left hand thread along the line, or disassemble every fitting and pipe from the end user to the source, then install one section and one fitting at a time.

If you don't understand that, you will need professional help here.
I've done my research. In my city the homeowner is allowed certain provisions for work on their own homes.

ANYTHING done wrong can result in death. The only difference between a professional and an amateur is knowledge and experience. Some things are inherently more dangerous than others, that's a given. I've done my due diligence prior to posting, I've come here seeking more knowledge, and I'm asking for feedback from others with more experience.

A union would create one left hand thread and one right hand, is that correct?
 

Drew Toddsby

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So a union unlike a coupler creates threads going different directions, is that an accurate assessment? Where would these be placed to be most helpful. From the attic to the tee? or tee to the garage?
 

Reach4

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A union would create one left hand thread and one right hand, is that correct?
No. A union butts two surfaces together, and generally a movable right-hand thread piece clamps the two surfaces together.
 

Storm rider

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Looks like that pipe is in a wall. Not sure what your code says, but where I live, you are not allowed to use a union inside a closed wall. If it were my project, I would do it as dj2 said, disassemble completely and reassemble from the source to the end.
 

DougB

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Union's were sometimes called 'ground joint unions'. It is simply a Male/Female fitting that has precise mating services. You do not use any pipe dope on the mating services. The union allows one to join pipes - where each end is fixed. The easiest thing to do is go down to your local big box store and look at them. Take one apart - you will see. Or google "disassembled pipe union".
 

Drew Toddsby

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No. A union butts two surfaces together, and generally a movable right-hand thread piece clamps the two surfaces together.

After further research (international gas code) it appears that Unions are not allowed in "concealed locations," however I have access to a nipple in the attic where a Union would be permitted.

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Looks like that pipe is in a wall. Not sure what your code says, but where I live, you are not allowed to use a union inside a closed wall. If it were my project, I would do it as dj2 said, disassemble completely and reassemble from the source to the end.
To recommend complete disassembly in this instance and in most is absurd! That's like telling someone trying to build a home addition to takedown all the walls to do it "right." I have a gas starter fireplace, a gas furnace in the attic, and a gas water heater in the garage. I'm not going to demo my house to add a clothes dryer.
 

Storm rider

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Since you are adding an additional appliance, you may need to recalculate the BTU load on each section of pipe back to the source. Replacement with larger pipe may be necessary.
 

Drew Toddsby

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Since you are adding an additional appliance, you may need to recalculate the BTU load on each section of pipe back to the source. Replacement with larger pipe may be necessary.
Very first thing I did before I touched any pipe or cut any holes was research and calculate load for each line. I also verified my meter had the overall capacity I needed to supply the calculated load. Dryer is around 22,000 btu, furnace around 50,000 btu, and water heater 40,000.
QzfzIxW.png

dryer leg didn't add any distance, furthest on leg is furnace at 30ft. Gas starter fireplace is on a separate leg and will never be used at the same time as the other 3 applicances
 

Jadnashua

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Make sure you add the 'effective' length of any fittings to the max length values on the chart.

Depending on where and how the pipe is run, sometimes, the only way to fix things is to tear it out to a point where you can then rebuild it.
 

SteveW

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Not to rain on your parade, but one week ago today a house in my home town of Omaha blew up due to a gas leak. 30-year-old housing inspector lost her life.

As an avid DYI'er, I have to say that if I were you, I would listen hard to the good folks here who are suggesting hiring a pro.
 
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