When many people think of plumbers in the Denver, CO, area, they often think of professionals who can fix sinks, drains, faucets, toilets, or water heaters. In other words, plumbers often handle water-related systems and fixtures. While plumbers can indeed do all of this and more, they are also highly qualified to work on gas lines. In fact, industry organizations such as the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) all classify gas piping as a form of plumbing.

Local codes often require that licensed plumbers complete any gas line installations, maintenance, or repairs. But why do both lawmakers and industry leaders classify gas lines as types of plumbing? A look at these reasons can help you make the best decision for your home’s natural gas services.

What Are Gas Lines?

Gas lines are pipes that carry natural gas from an outdoor supply system directly to your home. Also known as gas piping, gas lines offer an efficient way to channel natural gas that can power many appliances in your household. There are two types of gas lines: branch lines and drop lines. Branch lines extend from the house’s main line straight to individual appliances that operate using natural gas. Drop lines are vertical pipes that use gravity and pressure to deliver gas to appliances. They are called drop lines because they flow or “drop” down directly to these units.

What Is a Gas Line Plumber?

A gas plumber is a professional who specializes in the installation, maintenance, and repair of piping systems that use natural gas or similar types of fuels. Gas plumbers can inspect and identify issues with gas lines, troubleshoot repair problems, and replace gas lines if necessary. In addition, gas plumbing professionals are qualified to work with fuel-burning appliances like gas furnaces, water heaters, and natural-gas stoves. Depending on the location, some gas plumbers must have licenses and permits to conduct their work.

How Do Gas Piping Systems Work?

Gas piping is another name for the network of gas lines in your home. Household appliances that use natural gas benefit from a sophisticated fuel distribution system. This system relies on pressure to deliver the natural gas from its source of origin to the various pipes in your house. Due to its natural properties, gas flows from high pressure to low pressure. Following the first extraction of natural gas, for example, it travels through a highway-like system of large pipes at high pressures and speeds. As it gets closer to residential neighborhoods, natural gas travels through smaller pipes at lower pressures and speeds.

Once it reaches your municipal neighborhood, natural gas runs from the main line to your home service line. Some local entities call the main line a “distribution line,” but natural gas utility companies manage the service lines. After the utility company hooks up the service line by turning on the gas meter, homeowners are responsible for all equipment and gas appliances that draw fuel from the service line. The process is also similar if you decide to use propane instead of natural gas. But instead of flowing from the local main line, the propane fuel comes from a tank on your property.

What Are the Different Types of Gas Piping Materials?

There are several types of gas piping materials. Common types include corrugated steel, galvanized steel, iron, PVC, and copper. The type of gas line used depends on local requirements as well as the age of your home. Plumbers work with all types of gas piping and will know the local rules for permitted materials.

Corrugated Stainless-Steel Tubing

Corrugated steel is highly flexible. This makes it popular for homes located in areas prone to natural disasters. However, this flexibility also makes this material vulnerable to stretching or cracking over time. You will need to contact a plumber for regular inspections and potential repairs. Because corrugated steel is incompatible with lightning storms, it is best to use this material for indoor gas lines only.

Galvanized Steel

Galvanized steel is sturdy and energy efficient. The material is appropriate for both indoor and outdoor gas lines. While galvanized steel is reliable, its usage has somewhat waned due to the labor-intensive installation process compared to other materials.

Black Iron

Black iron is among the most popular materials for indoor and outdoor gas lines. It is strong and resistant to temperature extremes. Black iron can also form an airtight seal to help lower the risk of gas leaks. Because iron can rust and corrode over time, it is important to schedule professional maintenance to ensure that the sealant is intact and that your iron pipes do not deteriorate. If your iron pipes have corroded enough, you may need to replace them.

PVC

PVC is the acronym for polyvinyl chloride. It is a sought-after choice for underground exterior gas lines since it does not corrode. Without expert care, PVC pipes can break during the installation process. For this reason, some regions prohibit the use of PVC to reduce the risk of gas leaks or environmental pollution. A trained plumber can help you determine whether PVC is allowed in your area.

HDPE

HDPE is the acronym for high-density polyethylene. Like PVC, HDPE is popular for outdoor gas lines. The material is both economical and versatile. However, it takes an expert to properly install this material since it can sustain extensive damage from underground rocks or tree roots.

Copper

Copper was once a popular piping material due to its conductivity. Due to its limited lifespan, some localities no longer allow it. If your copper gas lines are approaching the end of their life expectancy, you will need to make arrangements for replacing them.

What Are Common Types of Gas Line Problems?

Gas lines provide some of the best ways to fuel home appliances, but you should not simply turn on the natural gas meter and forget it. Without proper inspections and monitoring, gas lines may be vulnerable to leaks. Natural gas leaks can result in poor air quality, home fires, or even deadly explosions. Signs of gas line leaks include rotten egg smells or hissing sounds. In particular, sulfuric or rotten egg odors could signify the presence of carbon monoxide. Exposure to this chemical can result in illness, coma, or death. Since gas leaks can also increase the risk of lethal poisoning, it is important to contact a professional to investigate any potential damage.

Other possible gas line problems include the following:

  • Rusting
  • Loose connections
  • Unexplained spikes in utility bills
  • Problems with gas-fueled appliances
  • Dead vegetation or condensation

Regular maintenance can help identify pipe defects before they become household emergencies. Gas is highly flammable and constitutes a safety hazard, so it is important to hire a trained plumber to correct any issues.

Contact Us Today

Gas lines are important types of piping, and plumbers are experts who work on various types of piping systems. High 5 Plumbing, Heating & Cooling provides gas line services for homes in Denver and the surrounding areas. We conduct gas line installations and also offer gas fixture repairs. In addition to gas pipes, we work with all plumbing located in bathrooms, kitchens, or the outdoors. Our plumbers can help with any water heater problems or upgrade your home with a tankless unit. No matter the piping issue, we can help.

Contact High 5 Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today for all your plumbing needs.

Heather Ripley

Media Contact
865-977-1973
[email protected]

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