Natural gas is one of the most economical fuels for home heating and cooking. Natural gas burns cleaner and with less carbon dioxide exhaust than propane, and it is available as infrastructure in many communities throughout the United States. If you are considering installing a natural gas line in your house, you should familiarize yourself with the materials and techniques required to provide a safe gas connection.
About Natural Gas Connections
Though working with natural gas connections is not difficult, it entails a number of hazards that do-it-yourselfers must be willing to tackle before deciding to install a natural gas line on their own. Natural gas pressure is low, generally less than ½ lb. per square inch, according to the HammerZone website. The buildup of this gas can still be dangerous, however, so ensure that you use materials that are properly rated for use with natural gas. If you encounter any problems with connecting the gas line to your home, consult with the natural gas utility company or an experienced plumber for assistance.
Preparatory Steps for Running the Line
First, you must locate the gas line that runs from the street. Its location is generally cleared marked by the utility company. You must then turn off the valve that controls the flow of the gas. This connection is a ball valve that requires only a quarter-turn to close. Have your materials ready for use, including the correct type of pipe for gas connections, generally black iron, any fittings you might need, wrenches and pipe joint compound. All of these materials are available at local hardware stores and home improvement stores.
Connecting the Gas Line
Remove the pipe cap on the end of the gas line slowly to release the pressure inside the pipe. You may hear a brief rushing sound of air that tells you the shutoff is working correctly. The pipe for extending the gas line should be cut to the correct size and threaded at the ends for secure installation. Apply an even layer of pipe joint compound to the male ends of the pipe and connect with a wrench, tightening securely but not too much, using one wrench on each side of the connecting pipes. Wipe off any joint compound that oozes out of the connection. Then replace the cap on the end of the supply pipe and turn the gas back on.
Safety Precautions When Working With Gas Lines
Always ensure that the gas valve is closed before working on gas pipes. Do not smoke or have an open flame in the area. Keep a window or door open to allow fresh air to circulate to dissipate any gas fumes that may accumulate. After making the connections and turning on the gas, apply a soap solution to the joints to test for leaks. If there is any bubbling at the joint site, turn off the gas supply and re-do the connection.
- Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images