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Thread: Type of line for Gas Heater

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    Type of line for Gas Heater

    Hey folks,

    I'm putting in a 400k Natural Gas Heater in MA. Gas company is coming in to replace my meter. I've gotten 2 quotes from plumbers for running the line. Both want around 2k for a 70' line. One though is using a flexible line (I'm guessing PE of some kind?), the other is using rigid (guessing coated copper or black steel?). Not sure the exact materials.

    What's the preferred material for a natural gas line for a pool heater?

    Thanks!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    PE is the way to go ... rigid (black pipe) is prone to rusting eventually.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    Interesting. I read somewhere though that PE has a problem of critters chewing through it, or getting crushed if you ever have heavy equipment drive over it. Truly an issue, or just internet forums going overboard?
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    Two issues I had not considered. If the ground was well compacted, I find the crushing a little hard to believe. I suppose there could be gnawing as well. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will chime in.

    You KNOW that the black pipe will eventually rust (also more joints for possible leaks). The PE has no joints except at the end and you MIGHT have crushing/gnawing issues.

    Of course 1 member here hit his pool PE gas line with a shovel and put a hole in it ... he probably wishes he had black pipe ... although if it was buried to code more than 3" underground he would not have had a problem.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    Exactly why I'm here. It's like asking if I'd rather be punched in the eye or the jaw. My answer is "How about neither?" but apparently that's not an option So, what's worse? Deal with rust and more joints or deal with a more fragile material? I have no idea, they both sound bad, so what's the standard recommendation these days? Thanks
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    my father in law is retired from Wisconsin Fuel and Light (Gas guy).....anyway I had installed some flex line and when he saw it, he had me rip it all out...and put in black pipe...he said with kids, pets, lawnmowers..you are just asking for trouble with flex line if any of it is exposed, or ever becomes exposed can be punctured fairly easily compared to rigid pipe. The "recommend" for any and all gas installs that rigid pipe be used, period.
    33' x 52" Swim and Play Inc. PARAGON AGP. Hayward H200 Heater. Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.5hp pump. Sta-Rite Cristal Flo T-210WF Sand Filter. Stenner 45M5 chlorine pump

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    The PE will be fine; that's the standard nowadays. As long as it is buried deep enough (18" is code in most areas; check to make sure!) it won't get damaged. Are you going to be driving heavy equipment over it? If so, just bury it deeper or put it inside a rigid conduit where the traffic will be. You can't drive stuff over iron pipe either, by the way! Critters will chew into PE irrigation lines looking for water, but they only do that because irrigation lines almost always leak a little bit and they know there's water nearby. A gas line would be totally dry, so I don't see that happening.

    Flyweed, that's assuming the pipe is installed incorrectly (exposed). It should never be exposed; rigid risers should be installed at both ends. I would have no problem with PE.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    When people say "flex line" it brings up the thought of the type used to hookup things like stoves and dryers. That is not what should be used outdoors. The "flex" line used for outdoor installations is Polyethylene Pipe. It's yellow in color and is used in underground installations in tons of places. I see it used here all the time by the local municipal gas companies. It's buried 18" underground and is connected with special risers to bring the line above grade. It's save to use and it can be installed in a away that doesn't destroy someones yard. Unlike black pipe where a trench is dug the length of the run. Also, a tracer line is usually installed with it as well so it can be identified before doing any digging.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by ps0303
    WIt's save to use and it can be installed in a away that doesn't destroy someones yard. Unlike black pipe where a trench is dug the length of the run. Also, a tracer line is usually installed with it as well so it can be identified before doing any digging.
    How could it get installed without a trench? I ask because I'm responsible for making the trench in both quotes, so if I could avoid that, I'd love to.

    Thanks!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    Probably using a ditch witch or something like that .... probably more common to just dig the trench. With the PE and a ditch witch you could install it under a driveway or road without breaking up the surface.

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    So, what do people think about the fact that the price I'm being quoted is the same whether it's PE or Rigid? Without the joints and with the different type of material, I would have guessed that PE would be significantly cheaper. Remember too that in both of these quotes I'm digging the ditch. Is PE just as expensive as rigid or is my PE quote high?

    Thanks
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    I think your PE quote is high. It should be cheaper than iron; materials are cheaper and less labor involved.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    Although specialty tools are required to bond the PE to the risers. I would still think it should be cheaper ... get a few more estimates.

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    A Ditchwitch is a trencher and still digs up the yard. I'm talking about boring a hole through the ground and then pulling the line through it. You would probably have only two holes, one on either end.

    As for the cost, the metal risers are not as cheap as one might think. If you are concerned about the cost, ask them if they would do a price break down. Then you could see where the bulk of the cost might be. How did you get stuck digging the trench? Did you or them offer this as a way to cut your costs? Around here the cost to install/bury a gas line will run you $25-$30 per ft. So your $2K cost seems to be inline for where I'm at.

    Please keep in mind that a "real" licensed contractor has other costs they include in their price. Their actual profit on a job pays for lots of things such as paperwork, permits, insurance, maybe workers comp insurance and much more. People don't think of this when they get a quote for something. Also, every companies profit margins are different. I've seen the cheapo companies go out of business in a short time because they didn't charge enough and couldn't make a profit. Then people wonder why they are no longer in business when they need them. I see this all the time. I get calls from homeowners that tell me so and so installed this last year but the aren't in business any more. I ask how much they paid and when they tell me how cheap it was, no wonder they aren't in business any more.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    Thanks Paul.

    Got stuck with the trench cause both places wanted an extra 1k - 1.5K to dig the trench. Neither wanted to do that part so I think they both gave a high number for it knowing that I could do it myself.

    I'd love to go with the boring option, but I'd have to do it ahead of time, so I'm not sure how I could maintain the tunnel. Maybe if I put a conduit in. Only thought is that I know the inspectors sometime like to see the trench before it's filled in. I'd have to research that. Also, I could definitely bore a 5' maybe 10' stretch, but a 70' stretch gives me doubt. Don't think I could craft the equipment to do that.

    Thanks for the help
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    You have to dig the ditch. It needs to be inspected. Pulling a pipe with no trench is basically only done for water irrigation pipe. Thats not a way to install a gas line.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    Do you have 2psi gas at the meter? If so, then run flexible copper pipe. If you can do 2 psi, you should be able to run 3/4" for that load. Your price sounds high.
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    You have to dig the ditch. It needs to be inspected. Pulling a pipe with no trench is basically only done for water irrigation pipe. Thats not a way to install a gas line.
    Maybe your area is different but sorry to disagree, I know of several "licensed" gas installers around here that always bore and pull a line. As long as the two ends are left open for inspection. I guess you've never seen it done and that's why you're not sure. Even large contracting cable companies pull lines like this. Gas or not, it's an acceptable way in most areas. People don't like their yards destroyed by digging.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    Here is what I am talking about. http://www.portamole.com/
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Type of line for Gas Heater

    Thats for boring a hole for a line under a road or driveway. I've seen that done many times. Thats completely different than just pulling a gas line 100 feet across someones yard like installing irrigation line. Gas lines have to be at least 18 inches below grade, and a detection line has to be put in the ditch so the gas company or dig safe can find it again. You couldnt get a permit to do it any other way here except a trench. The OP and I are from Massachusetts. You florida guys can do darn near anything and get away with it. Up in yankee country, they still use copper shower pans

    Even on the front of the website you linked to, they have dug a trench in the yard before boring the hole under the drive.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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