If your home appliances and systems use natural gas, this gas is delivered to different areas in your house via pipes and a plumbing system. Natural gas is often more affordable and efficient than alternative power sources. However, your home’s gas plumbing requires regular maintenance and inspections to make sure that there are no leaks or damage that must be repaired. Understanding how your gas plumbing works should give you a better idea of how often you should schedule maintenance.
How Gas Plumbing Works
Gas plumbing refers to a piping system that’s installed in your house to deliver natural gas from the main supply source to your heating system and other home appliances. This system is comprised of various branch lines that travel to the other appliances. Branch lines eventually lead to vertical pipes known as drop lines. These lines are hooked up directly to the appliances.
Gas plumbing relies on pressure to send natural gas into a house. Gas will flow from higher pressure points to lower pressure areas. Once the natural gas has been extracted, it will travel through a distribution line. The natural gas utility provider is responsible for maintaining the main service line. However, customers are responsible for the gas supply lines and equipment that are positioned downstream of the service line.
The gas will pass through a pressure regulator at some point to reduce the pressure before it gets into your home. Once you turn on a gas stove or furnace, the gas pressure will increase to the point that it’s slightly higher than the surrounding air pressure. This scenario results in the gas flowing out of a burner and into a heating unit for ignition.
Types of Gas Plumbing
The type of gas plumbing that’s installed in your residence can play a role in how much maintenance is required for the piping. Some of the materials that are commonly used in gas piping are PVC, copper, black iron, and steel. It’s possible for utilities to prohibit one or more of these materials.
Gas pipes that have been made from galvanized steel are considered more durable and energy-efficient than alternative solutions, which means that they should last for a longer period of time when you properly maintain them. Galvanized steel can be used for exterior and interior gas lines alike. These pipes are routinely installed to accommodate water supply lines.
Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing
Corrugated stainless steel tubing is simple to install and flexible. It also performs well in smaller areas. Even though the flexibility of this material can keep damage to a minimum, this type of tubing is prone to cracking over time. Consider using this material for indoor gas piping as opposed to outdoor piping. Regular maintenance may be required to identify cracks before they turn into leaks.
The most commonly used material for gas plumbing in interior and exterior locations is black iron. This material is heat-resistant and strong. It also forms an airtight seal. The main issue with black iron is that it can corrode over time. The sealant that it’s installed with can also deteriorate, which is why routine maintenance is necessary.
Copper gas pipes aren’t allowed in certain municipalities and only have a few uses. This piping lasts for just 20 years, which is why it’s not implemented in most gas piping systems. If your gas plumbing system comes with copper pipes, the pipes should be monitored consistently to ensure that corrosion is kept to a minimum.
PVC materials are most commonly used with underground gas lines because of their durability and corrosion-resistant characteristics. These pipes are affordable but aren’t always allowed because of their ability to break during installation.
Potential Gas Plumbing Problems
The main issue with gas piping involves leaks, which can result in fires and poor indoor air quality. By having your gas plumbing system inspected and maintained, potential issues should be identified before they become a problem. Signs of problems in your gas piping include:
- Poor connections
- Hissing sounds
- Exposed plastic pipe
- High energy bills
- Rotten egg smell
If you notice any of these issues, consider turning off the gas mains until a gas plumber arrives to provide the necessary repairs or maintenance.
What to Expect During Gas Plumbing Maintenance
Gas plumbing maintenance involves a plumber making sure that the gas pipes are in great condition and that all appliances attached to them are functioning properly. There are numerous steps you can expect to occur during gas plumbing maintenance, the first of which is that the ventilation passages will be looked at to ensure that they aren’t blocked.
The condition and efficiency of all safety devices will also be looked at. When an appliance is being maintained, the plumber will make sure that it’s at the right pressure while it’s turned on. Even if the gas pipes around your house appear to be in good condition, plumbers typically look through a home to determine if there are any signs that a gas leak has occurred.
During maintenance, you should ask any questions that come to mind. The plumber will be able to answer your questions and help you understand the source of the smells or issues you’ve been noticing. If you believe that a leak has developed in your property’s gas piping, the plumber should put your mind at ease and provide you with a detailed report that lists all of the work that was done during the maintenance visit.
Gas Plumbing Maintenance Requirements
Most plumbing projects require specialized experience and training from a licensed professional. Natural gas plumbers can run gas lines for hot tubs, fireplaces, stoves, water heaters, and furnaces. You should plan on obtaining an annual gas plumbing inspection. In comparison, standard plumbing systems only need to be inspected every two years or so. Even if you don’t notice any signs that indicate your gas plumbing system has been damaged, it’s possible for a gas leak to be undetectable.
Landlords are obligated to ensure the safety of their tenants, which means that anyone living in an apartment should benefit from gas inspections and maintenance on a yearly basis. Homeowners, on the other hand, need to schedule maintenance themselves. Regardless of how old your home’s gas plumbing system is, it should be maintained annually. If there are any small cracks in the pipes or minor damage to a gas plumbing fixture, this issue will be identified and corrected during maintenance.
Whether you need to have a new gas line installed or would like to request maintenance for your existing gas line, our team at High 5 Plumbing can complete this project in an efficient manner. Our gas plumbing services include gas line installation, maintenance, and repair. The repair services we offer can also be requested for the gas fixtures that are installed around your Denver, CO home.
Some of the other plumbing services we provide include water heater installation, bathroom and kitchen plumbing, repiping, and outdoor plumbing. We also offer sewer repair and drain cleaning services. Call us today to book our gas plumbing services.