View Full Version : Slightly OT,Codes,take your pick?

09-22-2004, 10:19 PM
Well it happened again today,customer comes in and asks me what is the code for a residential gas line installation.

We are the only place in town that both cuts and threads pipe,plus has all the fittings availible.I tell the customers who ask me the above question that I have no clue what the code is.
The city says black iron underground and galv.above with no copper anywhere.

The county says all galv.or sweated copper.

The state says all black iron with a maximum run of copper less than six feet.

Then to further add to the confusion we now have both the nat'l building code and the southern building code.They have even included the use of Pex tubing and corrogated stainless.

So,what I have been telling folks lately is ask the inspector how big a bribe he needs.But seriously,WTF do you do if you want a by the book installation? Just who has the final say legally?

09-22-2004, 10:23 PM
Well in Upstate NY, the Propane guy nearly had a heart attack when he was soldered copper connections going to the propane tank. Threatened to take away our gas. End result, bought a flaring tool, flared the connections, ripped out some walls in the cottage, and replaced soldered connections with flared ones.
Keep in mind, it is New York, they have tons of stupid regulations. Liberals run amuck.

09-22-2004, 10:49 PM
"Just who has the final say legally?"

City, County, State, Federal. In that order. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Cities can make there own laws or ordinances as long as they don't infringe on State or Federal laws.

Counties cannot make laws. They can only enforce laws of the State. They are granted specific rights by the State and may vary from county to county.

States can make laws as long as they don't infringe on Federal laws.

The Feds are limited to powers granted by the Constitution. (So they say)

09-22-2004, 10:51 PM
Crooked inspectors are the normal.

They have people they don't even inspect. How dare you if you want to bypass thier money or kickbacks.

And then the black Chattanooga electrical inspector said, I sure could use a generator like that one there. A pause of silence, then He turned down the building electrical permit. In a building as large as that one it is never perfect. (was a welding shop where people has put on thier own plugs,cords and switches.

I sure wanted him to lose his job, but the owner just paid up and he continues his life of extortion.


David Cofer, Of:
Tunnel Hill, North Georgia

09-22-2004, 11:04 PM
David, why is it that union electricians have the best dirty inspector stories? My brother is a Local 3 electrician and has told me some stories that would make you want to cry. One that was particularly scary was due to a screwup on a blueprint, a fire safety control panel was placed behind a column, Right behind the COLUMN. I mean you couldn't even open the door on the panel, you had to unscrew the cover and slide it off. My brother was waiting around to see what happened when the electrical inspector came for a looksee. When said inspector came out, my brother looked at him and asked "How did it go"
Inspector:"Fine, the building is approved" My brother: "So how much was it?"
Inspector, confused: "How much was what?"
My brother: "the bribe you took to pass the fire panel!"
Inspector gets angry and storms off.

Such is the nature of building in NY!


J Tiers
09-22-2004, 11:27 PM
I've always used black iron in the building....nobody has complained, particularly since that is what the meter is done with....

Galv flakes, at least theoretically...

They put copper underground here for a while. Sure enough, it rotted out in spots, and a few houses have blown up, some with gas co employees killed.

There is a "someday, maybe" replacement plan....

I had my meter moved outside. The old pipes leaked a bit, and the last straw was when the doofus gas co guy fixing them reefed on the valve. The rusty 6" stub of pipe to it flexed about 1/2 inch.. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

I was over by the electric panel. I was ready to cut power, knock the phone off, take off up the stairs, and slam the door after me. If it hit the doofus in the face, too bad.

Didn't have to do it, the pipe stood it. That time.

Oh. yeah, the new pipe to the meter is plastic.

[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 09-22-2004).]

09-23-2004, 12:32 AM
About 12 years ago I was working for a real estate outfit that operated their own construction co. to do whatever was needed in their buildings.

One building that I worked in quite a bit was the original Drakes bakery building in Brooklyn. It is presently a school.

We had some problems with the freight elevators and had to have a series of inspections.

After we had straightened everything out with the elevators, one day, the now familiar elevator inspector shows up and asks to see my boss in the motor room on the roof. This was unusual, because my boss was not a technical person and wouldn't have understood what he was looking at up there.
I had usually been the one to take inspectors around to see the cabs, motor rooms, pits, etc.

My boss returns about 5 minutes later.
I asked him, what did he want?
"seven hundred dollars" he says.

What did you do?
"I gave it to him".

Several years later a whole group of NYC elevator inspectors were arrested for regularly demanding and accepting bribes.

I don't know if our crook was caught or not.

09-23-2004, 01:55 AM
They changed the codes around here about ten years ago. The first gas installation I did in 83 or so was all black iron to the oil furnace that I converted to gas. Went to the gas inspectors office about two months before I did it and asked him point blank what he would look for when he inspected the install. That took him back, I don't think anyone ever did that before. But, he then thought about it for a bit and told me. "I like to see four elbows on the service entrance, I don't think three is enough". Well, I think to myself, that adds about 75 cents. "Yeah, good idea" I says. (slight trace of brown appearing on nose). Then he says "Also, I don't think the code requires enough pipe hangers, I like to see them at least every three feet". Well, I think to myself, that adds another 75 cents. "Oh yeah," he says, "I want to see it hold pressure for 24 hours, not just one hour". "Done" I think. I thank him and leave.

A couple of months later I finish the conversion and he comes out to inspect. I'm not sure if he remembered me or not but the first thing he saw was four elbows on the meter. His eyes lit up. He comments "that what I like to see". We step inside and he spots hangers on every ceiling joist in the basment holding the pipe. "Excellent, that pipe is heavy you know". (No ****, I just finished putting it up there). I still have the system under test pressure with the gauge reading 100 psi. He sees it and figures he's got me. "So, how long has this been under pressure?". "Since yesterday morning sir" I say. "Outstanding, nice job" he says as he signs the inspection cert.

Now back to the rule change. We can now plumb a house for gas using all 3/8" and 1/4" copper tube marked yellow, right from the meter. It must be all flared fittings and uses a 2 psi regulator at the meter with secondary regulators at every appliance. I did that when I installed gas at this house, boy was that easier. I put in a short manifold with five nipples capped in the center of the basement ceiling, valves on each end. Makes it dead simple to add a new appliance.

09-23-2004, 11:07 AM
My belief in the zone and building regulation folks was shoot a long time ago. I think that they make up the building codes as they go along.

If they don't like you, things don't pass even thou they are to code.

One village electrical inspector who really didn't like this one construction company, shut them down three or four times a week. Then a miracle happen, then all of the who passed regularly.

Did it have anything to do with the inspectors new asphalt driveway? He has a really long drive way, gravel that turned into a commercial grade driveway over a weekend.


09-23-2004, 08:34 PM
Around here people living in the city limits get screwed over the worst,they have both a city and county inspector.It takes a freakin lawyer to layout the plumbing to the point that both are happy.

09-23-2004, 09:32 PM
I only worry about the local inspector. Be it in a county or city.

We only run black pipe. I don't think gas can be run in galv. in Georgia. I haven't had a problem in 18 years.


Paul Alciatore
09-24-2004, 12:22 PM
What's the deal with flared fittings on gas line? What's wrong with solder?

I would just like to know.

Paul A.

09-24-2004, 12:37 PM
Zinc chloride flux/acid flux is corrosive and could harm gas valves and other parts of gas operated equipment if transported to the equipment through the pipes.

09-24-2004, 02:07 PM
The Propane commando delivery man told me that Propane expands and contracts with temperature, and over time, that would cause the soldered connections inside the house to fail, It's all totally BS, Theres a regulator on the tank, the pressure inside the house would never ever get that high.

09-24-2004, 02:36 PM
The delivery man is full of it. A standard propane installation uses two regulators. First one at the tank reduces tank pressure to around 10 psi. A second one where the line enters the house reduces it to 11" WC, about six ounces pressure per sq inch. Even with the recently approved "high" pressure system I have the pressure in the house is only 2 PSI.

09-24-2004, 07:37 PM
Gas pressure is reduced at the house regulator where the Natural gas comes in.

Regulator/meter is one unit here in this area, when they pull the meter one of the people here put a rubber hose between the gas line and his house, knocked the lock off and turned it on, went in and lit the pilot.

Next morning all that was left was a foundation. ALL the house was gone.

WE USE, black pipe, tar wrap under ground. COpper up to the devices right above the floor. SHut off on each leg.

Dalton utilities has been up rooting pipes for the last ten years. They had massive leaks all over town including two under the house I rented in town. THE sniffer they brought out impressed me, the guy drove around the block untill he located the source. It was in a sewer access manhole. They dug a hole in the street fifty feet long. SOmeone told me the gas system is over a hundred years old there.

Amazing to me.

David Cofer, Of:
Tunnel Hill, North Georgia

09-24-2004, 08:53 PM
Here they use two regulators if the tank is a good distance from the house,75'or better.Like said 10-15 psi at the tank,then 11" wc.People ask me all the time why the two regs,its simple,pipe cost.The longer the distance the greater the internal friction and the larger the pipe must be to supply the same volume of gas.

We typically sell 1" npt for matural gas and 1/2" for propane for runs under 100',over that you have to go with the higher pressure or the pipe gets bigger and more expensive.

Strange part is,they don't allow soft soldered copper in a residence,but in a commercial kitchen its fine,go figure.