How to Replace Stuck Gas Pipes

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Gas pipes deliver natural gas into homes for fueling fixtures such as ovens, water heaters and furnaces. However, in some homes, old gas lines that are no longer in use can become stuck as the metal rusts. Removing these gas lines to make room for new ones may be an essential part of installing a new appliance that requires a gas supply. There are several ways to replace stuck gas pipes, so it's always best to start with the simplest procedures before moving on to more complicated options.

Things You'll Need

  • Drywall saw
  • Garden spade
  • Pipe wrench
  • Work gloves
  • Vise grips
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Clear the area around your stuck gas pipe by cutting away drywall with a drywall saw, or digging away soil with a garden spade. Leave at least 1 foot of clear space on each side of the location of the stuck pipe.

  • Turn the nut on a pipe wrench to open the jaws of the wrench. Open them to a size that is slightly larger than the gas pipe.

  • Place the pipe wrench around the gas pipe close to a threaded fitting. Turn the nut in the opposite direction to tighten the jaws. Turn the nut as far as you can, wearing work gloves to protect your hands.

  • Gently rock the wrench back and forth in a motion that is perpendicular to the length of the pipe to break the pipe fitting free. Apply leverage by gripping the wrench handle as close to the end of the handle as you can while maintaining a firm grip.

  • Open a pair of vise grips to a size similar to that of your pipe wrench jaw opening, if the pipe wrench fails to turn the gas pipe. Place the vise grips around the pipe in the same location.

  • Turn the screw on the handle of the vise grip until the jaws are just touching the sides of the pipe. Squeeze the handle together to tighten the jaws.

  • Rock the pipe back and forth using the same technique as with a pipe wrench, with the vise grips locked in a closed position.

  • Select a long metal blade for a reciprocating saw. Insert the blade following the saw's user's manual.

  • Place the blade against the gas pipe, directly against the fitting. Switch the saw on and press the blade gently against the pipe as it begins to cut. Guide the blade through the pipe by using the edge of the pipe fitting as a guide to produce a straight cut.

  • Repeat the process to remove additional pipe fittings or make more cuts to remove all stuck gas pipes that are in the area. Contact a licensed contractor to install new pipes and connect your gas-fueled appliance.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult your local building code office if you plan to reuse any part of an existing gas pipe system. Old gas lines may not meet the latest codes, and using them will be a violation.
  • Only attempt to remove or replace gas pipes that are not attached to a fuel source. Even if you shut off your gas supply, the gas that lingers in the pipes makes them dangerous to work with. If you need to replace stuck gas pipes that are currently or were recently in use, consult a professional.

References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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