Gas pipe replacement is a potentially hazardous job because it deals with highly flammable materials and dangerous gases. This is a job that should always be performed by trained professionals.
However, as a home or business owner, it’s essential to at least understand the process and know when it needs to be done.
In the article below, we’ll discuss how gas pipe replacements are done and when it’s warranted. Just remember, you should never try to repair or move a gas line on your own.
The Gas Pipe Replacement Process
In most cases, the new gas pipe segment will be installed adjacent to the existing pipe. The process starts with a trench being carefully dug alongside the original gas line. This trench is where the replacement pipe will be installed.
Your new gas pipe will be made of steel and coated so that moisture can’t come into contact with the steel, which would cause it to corrode. The replacement pipe segments are usually around 40 to 60 feet long and are carefully welded together to create a continuous pipe that is lowered into the freshly dug trench.
Before the new pipe is connected to the main gas line, it will be extensively cleaned to ensure no dirt or debris is in the line. Next, it undergoes a safety check via a hydrostatic pressure test. This test involves pumping water into the replacement pipe and pressurizing it to a level above its normal operating levels to check for leaks.
If no leaks are present, it’s ready to go. The original gas line will be safely vented of gas and disconnected from the main gas pipe. Finally, the replacement line will be connected to the main gas line and safely brought into service.
When is Gas Pipe Replacement Needed?
The most apparent reason for gas pipe replacement is a leak in the line. You may notice a rotten-egg smell or a hissing sound in or around your home. This is a sure sign that a leak is in your gas pipe and needs to be taken care of immediately by a professional. Leaks can happen as your pipes age and experience corrosion. Turn off all electronic appliances and leave your home as soon as you suspect a gas leak. Then call a professional to come out and take care of that leak as soon as possible.
New Gas Appliance Installs
If you’ve bought a new gas appliance, such as a stove, hot water heater, dryer, fireplace, or furnace, you might need to replace the existing electric lines with gas pipes. If you already have some gas lines in place, they may need to be replaced if they’re not in the correct position for your new appliance. Gas-powered appliances have grown more and more popular thanks to their efficiency and affordable power costs. So, if you’re planning on purchasing one of these gas appliances, you may need to prepare for gas pipe replacement.
Outdoor Gas Appliance Installation or Relocation
If you’re installing or moving an outdoor gas appliance, such as a grill, oven, gas-lighting, or other gas-powered appliance, you may need a gas pipe replacement. If you’re moving an appliance, the existing line may need to be replaced with a new pipe that lines up with the new location. If you’re installing a new one, the gas line may still need replacement if it’s not in the correct position.
Always remember that gas pipe replacement is a job solely for professionals due to its hazardous nature. The process involves digging a trench alongside the existing line, welding the new segments, cleaning out the new pipe, a hydrostatic pressure test, venting the old pipe, and connecting the new pipe to the main gas line. You may need a gas pipe replacement if you have a gas leak, install a new gas appliance, or install or relocate an outdoor gas appliance.