Natural gas provides an excellent way of fueling your home with clean energy. Installing a gas line is a process that should be carried with due diligence and attention to details. Regular, maintenance and repair ensures prolonged use of the line and helps you avoid exposing your household and neighbors to the hazardous effects of a poorly maintained gas line
Here are six things all homeowners need to know before installing or repairing their gas line.
1. The drawbacks of using natural gas as fuel
You should not opt for gas line installation until you understand the limitations of what you are getting into. The primary weakness of this gas fuel is that it is highly flammable. Therefore, a small leak in the line poses a fire hazard to your home and those around you.
You can take care of this drawback by having your gas line installed by a professional company, like Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. However, if you choose to DIY, then get all the information you need about the system. It may take you a lot of time and yet not guarantee you the safety that experts do provide.
2. The use of the gas line
People install a gas line in their home for different reasons. Ask yourself if you are installing the system for cooking, heating the patio or swimming pool. Your type of usage will determine whether to do it yourself or employ a contractor.
Again, it affects the type of material, especially size of the pipe that you can use in the process. Gas line for cooking purposes, for example, can be connected directly to the grill without first filling the gas tank. You may not even need the gas tank. However, only an expert contractor can install such a system safely.
3. The appropriate type of gas line pipes
Iron pipes have been used for several years in gas lines. They are, however, being replaced by flexible pipes. The new generation pipes are made of corrugated stainless steel tubing, CSST. They have proved to be safer, efficient and are not as labor intensive as the traditional iron pipes.
A flexible gas line is commonly used to supply natural gas to gas fireplaces, furnaces, stoves, and other appliances. Their installation involves minimal labor, as they are easy to cut into required lengths. Again, you do not have to cut several 90-degrees T-connections for every change of directions. You just bend the tubing. The reduced number of connections provides significant protection against leakages.
Even more, CSST pipes are permitted in all local and state building codes.
4. Sizing and fitting requirement
You are not ready to start repairing or installing a new gas line until you understand the fitting needs. What length of pipe do you need? What is the diameter of the pipe? Answering these questions will give a glimpse into how much it will cost you to repair or install the line.
The simplest way of determining the length is by first settling on where you will connect to the supply line and the location of your appliances. The distance will give you a rough estimate of the length of the necessary pipe. Using a flexible pipe will shorten the required length of material as it makes it easier to maneuver around obstacles.
Determining the proper diameter of the pipes is a decision that you should let the experts help you make. It is because it depends on several variables besides distance. The usage and the pressure of the supply line are some of the additional factors that affect the diameter of a gas pipe.
5. A gas regulator
It is a must-know for all homeowners who plan to install or repair a gas line. A gas regulator is a controller sort of in a natural gas system. It serves two main safety purposes:
Gas line monitoring: It is the primary purpose of the regulator to monitor the pressure and the heat in the gas line. It has sensors such as thermostats, which relay the heat levels in different appliances. It also has pressure transducers that monitor the pressure required by the connected appliances and that of the supplied gas.
Pressure regulator: Gas companies usually supply gas at very high pressure to enable it to travel long distances. The pressure, however, is not fit for residential use. It would cause fire, suffocation, and explosion if not reduced to proper levels. The regulator reduces the pressure to a level that can be safely used in the home.
6. Testing new installation and repairs
It is essential to understand how you will be able to know that the work done by your plumber is safe. Leakage is the most important thing to test. The simplest way of doing this is by applying a bubble solution over the gas line. If there are no bubbles, then your system is good to go. Otherwise, you may have to redo the installation.
If the leak is caused by a simple problem such as a loose joint, then you can go DIY. Large cracks in the pipe and broken valves will require the experience of professional plumbers.
7. How to hire a professional company
Gas lines are so sensitive to let their installation and repair in the hands of quacks. You can only DIY if you have adequate knowledge in the process. Your best option is to give the job to a professional company, like Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, that has both the training and experience in this kind of job. While it may cost more than doing it yourself, you will be assured of the most important thing, safety.
Here are four tips on how to find a reputable company to handle your gas line installation and repair jobs.
Qualified staff: By installing a natural gas line, the life of your family and neighbors hangs on the expertise of the installer. Any company that seems not to have qualified staff on its payroll is a no-go zone.
The materials used: The suitable company for your gas line installation should be one that insists on using quality materials. While this will affect the price, it is the only guarantee of safety and durability.
Takes no shortcuts: Some contractors take shortcuts to minimize costs and reduce the time spent on the project. Such contractors also use substandard flexes, valves, and dirt lines. Choose a company that is willing to put their feet down to ensure quality.
Guarantee of service: You need a company that can stand by its work. Such companies provide warranties on their services. Select a company that you can call anytime you have a problem with your gas line.
Natural gas is an excellent way of heating your home. However, it is a safety-sensitive system that requires carefulness to install and repair. Opt for professional services if you need quality work and peace of mind with your gas line.
Benjamin Franklin of Lake and Mendocino Counties has the expertise needed to safely and reliably install and repair gas lines. Give us a call at (707)-263-1629 or visit us online at Benjaminfranklinplumbingmendolake.com.
*We have 24/7 emergency services available in Lake & Mendocino Counties
Toll Free: (877)-236-1776.