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  #1  
Old 9/21/06, 8:42 AM
Frank L. Bartlo Frank L. Bartlo is offline
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Default Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

Yesterday evening I did an inspection in which there had been some "weekend warrior" renovation done on the house. One of the issues was a water heater gas line which was evidently 1/2" outer diameter flexible copper piping, which ran along the floor, up a bit behind the unit, down almost to the floor alongsicde the unit, and up to a short length of proper rigid gas line to the controls.

Obviously this is an improper installation, and I told my clients the line should be run with rigid gas line with a "drip leg," and would get info as to how significant it really is.

How big an issue is this, really, and why? It's not that all that difficult to correct, but the water heater appears to be working fine as it is, and I don't want to make a mountain out of a mole hill or gloss over a potentially dangerous condition.
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Old 9/21/06, 8:50 AM
Michael Larson's Avatar
Michael Larson Michael Larson is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fbartlo
Yesterday evening I did an inspection in which there had been some "weekend warrior" renovation done on the house. One of the issues was a water heater gas line which was evidently 1/2" outer diameter flexible copper piping, which ran along the floor, up a bit behind the unit, down almost to the floor alongsicde the unit, and up to a short length of proper rigid gas line to the controls.

Obviously this is an improper installation, and I told my clients the line should be run with rigid gas line with a "drip leg," and would get info as to how significant it really is.

How big an issue is this, really, and why? It's not that all that difficult to correct, but the water heater appears to be working fine as it is, and I don't want to make a mountain out of a mole hill or gloss over a potentially dangerous condition.
Have a picture?
Copper runs to gas appliances is common here but there may be other issues and a picture would help.
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Old 9/21/06, 8:53 AM
Frank L. Bartlo Frank L. Bartlo is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

I do, but it's still on my camera. Evening inspection.
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Old 9/21/06, 9:55 AM
ckratzer ckratzer is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

Is this natural gas or LP ?
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  #5  
Old 9/21/06, 10:30 AM
Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI's Avatar
Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

Call your local gas company and ask if copper is even allowed in your area.



IF YOUR INSPECTOR IS NOT USING THERMAL IMAGING, YOU'RE NOT GETTING THE WHOLE PICTURE
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
Santa Clarita CA
(661) 212-0738
Santa Clarita Home Inspection
http://www.MyInspector.net


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  #6  
Old 9/21/06, 10:58 AM
Keith Swift, PhD. Keith Swift, PhD. is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

I haven't had time to research this, but I'm pretty sure that this is a safety hazard, and that there is a chemical compound in gas that "eats" copper.
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Old 9/21/06, 11:02 AM
Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI's Avatar
Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

You're correct Keith. It's the hydrogen sulfide (the chemical added to give an odor to natural gas).

Copper piping is allowed for gas piping in areas where the hydrogen sulfide levels are low enough (less than .3 grains per 100 cubic ft.), but this varies by the supplier. CPC 1210.1.1



IF YOUR INSPECTOR IS NOT USING THERMAL IMAGING, YOU'RE NOT GETTING THE WHOLE PICTURE
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
Santa Clarita CA
(661) 212-0738
Santa Clarita Home Inspection
http://www.MyInspector.net



Last edited by jpope; 9/21/06 at 11:07 AM..
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Old 9/21/06, 11:27 AM
Keith Swift, PhD. Keith Swift, PhD. is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

Yes, found out that at least the newer copper is okay. Thought for a moment I had had a bad dream. Everyday I'm reminded how little I know.
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Old 9/21/06, 11:44 AM
Frank L. Bartlo Frank L. Bartlo is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

Now this is getting really confusing. Newer copper or older copper? How much hygroden sulfide?

The copper line did not appear to be new. Definitely tarnished, but did not look very old. The gas company varies in my metro area.

Just to further muddy the waters, how much an issue is the lack of a "drip leg" (bearing in mind the line slopes somewhat upward to the elbow)?
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Old 9/21/06, 12:31 PM
Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI's Avatar
Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fbartlo
Just to further muddy the waters, how much an issue is the lack of a "drip leg" (bearing in mind the line slopes somewhat upward to the elbow)?
That's another "regional" issue. Here in CA, I rarely see a drip leg installed, as they are not required in the Los Angeles area.

Check with your local utility. They are best qualified to answer both of your questions.



IF YOUR INSPECTOR IS NOT USING THERMAL IMAGING, YOU'RE NOT GETTING THE WHOLE PICTURE
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
Santa Clarita CA
(661) 212-0738
Santa Clarita Home Inspection
http://www.MyInspector.net


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  #11  
Old 9/21/06, 8:37 PM
Frank L. Bartlo Frank L. Bartlo is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

Thanks, guys.

I have a very, very good nose for gas leaks, and none were detected.
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Old 9/25/06, 7:18 PM
Laura Line Laura Line is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

question for ya

the yellow flexible gas lines are they ok?
did an inspection today and there was a yellow flexible, meaning looking crimped line installed on the gas line, I know that in new construction they are using yellow flex lines, but this one was crimped looking not smooth like I've seen in new construction, It was installed by the owner and his brother
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Old 9/25/06, 8:46 PM
Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI's Avatar
Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Line
question for ya

the yellow flexible gas lines are they ok?
did an inspection today and there was a yellow flexible, meaning looking crimped line installed on the gas line, I know that in new construction they are using yellow flex lines, but this one was crimped looking not smooth like I've seen in new construction, It was installed by the owner and his brother
It's sounds as if you are referring to an appliance connector, which would be the proper method for supplying a water heater or other gas fired appliance.

Any pictures available?



IF YOUR INSPECTOR IS NOT USING THERMAL IMAGING, YOU'RE NOT GETTING THE WHOLE PICTURE
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
Santa Clarita CA
(661) 212-0738
Santa Clarita Home Inspection
http://www.MyInspector.net


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  #14  
Old 9/25/06, 9:00 PM
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Michael Larson Michael Larson is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Line
question for ya

the yellow flexible gas lines are they ok?
did an inspection today and there was a yellow flexible, meaning looking crimped line installed on the gas line, I know that in new construction they are using yellow flex lines, but this one was crimped looking not smooth like I've seen in new construction, It was installed by the owner and his brother
Are you referring to the following?

http://www.toolbase.org/TechInventor...ntDetailID=741



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Old 9/26/06, 7:56 AM
Laura Line Laura Line is offline
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Default Re: Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

Michael,

I have seen this type of connection on gas lines on new construction that you are showing here and it was not that type, in fact we had a bit of disagreement about the type you are showing and what I saw.

I have never seen this kind I am trying to describe here before and sorry no pics, to me the line I saw yesterday looked and felt like plastic, it was yellow and it was crimped not smooth (like copper flex tubing that is crimped)
I wrote down the part number it had on it #CSSD54-48

I know that the HWH was installed by the owners son and he wasn't sure where he got the line?????
so just wanna be sure, since the listing agent was questioning me.
thanks for the help
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