Many property owners who live in rural locations, far from a natural gas connection depend on liquid propane (LP) as a primary fuel source for cooking, heating and hot water. Most building codes require the location of LP storage tanks with 250 to 1,000 gallon capacity at least 10 feet from any structure. These tanks require a high-pressure underground gas line -- 10 pound per square inch (PSI) -- to deliver the fuel to the structure.
Things You'll Need
- Pea gravel
- Polyethylene fittings
- Tracer wire
- Pressure gauge
Find out from the local building code inspector the regulations about LP line installations, including materials and installation methods. Some rules may require a licensed professional to perform some aspects of the installation. Apply for a building work permit. Do not start the project until receiving approval.
Measure the pipe run from the LP storage tank to the appliance. Some codes allow high-pressure LP pipe runs of up to 500 feet. Buy the pipe and fittings required to complete the project. Follow the building code when selecting pipe materials, such as copper tubing or plastic polyethylene piping.
Dig the trench for the high-pressure LP line, also called the service line. Compact the soil with a tamper. Pour a layer of sand or pea gravel in the trench and compact tightly. Make the final depth of the trench 12 to 18 inches. Check the local building code for the exact depth.
Place the pipe in the trench. Connect pipe sections with the fittings and methods specified by the manufacturer and building codes. Make the run as straight as possible. Cut the polyethylene pipe with a hacksaw. Remove burrs and clean the edges of the pipe with a cloth before installing the fittings.
Secure the pipe sections in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use compression fittings or insert fittings. Install compression fittings over the outside of the pipe. Connect inserts tightly inside the polyethylene pipe. Refer to the local codes for acceptable connection methods.
Attach a cap to one end of the line. Attach a pressure gauge to the other end to conduct pressure testing. Refer to local codes for the proper testing procedures for a high-pressure LP line. For example, some regulations require a 15-minute pressure test to determine whether the line can withstand 15 psi of pressure.
Call the building code inspector to schedule an inspection of the LP line before concealing or connecting appliances. Backfill the trench after receiving approval from the inspector.
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