Can I run my own gas line?

clearly labelled gas line for security

Who can run a natural gas line?

Many homes and most restaurants have natural gas for cooking and heating. They get the gas through buried gas lines that come from small gas pipes that fee of gas mains that are buried under the ground. Those gas mains come from wells and pumps that natural gas companies have drilled deep into the earth. Along the way, from those wells and pumps to our homes and restaurants, they perform each gas line test to check for leaks.  

A plumber that is licensed and specializes in natural gas lines is the person to call for this type of work. They can perform other plumbing duties like hooking up water lines, unclogging drain lines, and all the other things that you would think to call a plumber to do. However, there are plumbers that have been trained on natural gas lines as well and can install, repair gas-powered fireplaces, HVAC systems, stoves, outdoor grills, and water heaters, and perform gas line test on any natural gas lines.

Do plumbers work on natural gas lines?

Not all plumbers, but many are trained and licensed to work on natural gas lines. Natural gas is a preferred source of energy for many people. It heats faster than electric when it comes to warm homes. It is a clean source of natural energy that cooks faster, which is why restaurants prefer it.

It is also dangerous, so when a new gas line is needed or moving an existing gas line is required, it is necessary to call a professional plumber that has a specialization in gas lines to do the job. They will do the job needed and afterward, perform a pressure test gas line for leaks. After installing, repairing, or moving gas lines, a gas line test is important.

Test a gas line is important to make sure there are no gas leaks, because as we stated above, natural gas is a lot of things, and one of those things is dangerous. Therefore, the local gas company will come behind the plumber and do their own gas line pressure test procedure. While plumbers have the knowledge and tools to do gas line testing, the gas company’s gas line pressure test for inspection is a security that nothing has been overlooked. This double-checking makes for a safety measure to eliminate any danger of natural gas leaks.

How do you bleed a natural gas line?

Flipping a switch will turn a gas fireplace on, easier than building a fire with wood and using a match. But if a gas fireplace hasn’t been used for a few months, it can get air holes in the lines. This requires bleeding the pilot gas line before you can get that fireplace going. The following steps will guide you through this process: 

  • Make certain the room is well-ventilated and there aren’t any open flames close by. Next, locate the shut-off valve to the fireplace gas line and turn the knob so it and the gas line are parallel. The pilot assembly will be behind the logs or on fireplace box bottom, make sure you know where it located. While this isn’t how a gas plumber would do a gas line test, it will tell you if the gas is getting to the fireplace.
  • Find the igniter switch and push the ignite button. You should see a blue spark at the pilot assembly. Next, light the pilot light and if it lights and stays lit, all is well. If there is air in the line, then the pilot light will not stay lit. 
  • To bleed the air from the gas lines, push and hold the gas valve control knob in while turning it counterclockwise to where you see “pilot” or “ignition” line up with “on”.   While you are pressing the valve control knob in, repeatedly press the ignite button until the pilot light ignites. Depending on how much air is in the lines, this can take up to ten minutes. 
  • After the pilot light is lit, keep pressing the valve knob in for another thirty seconds, then release it. The pilot light should be lit, and you can turn the valve to “On”. If the pilot light goes out, you need to repeat the procedure.   

If after 2 to 3 tries, if the pilot light won’t stay on, or if you smell a lot of gas coming from the fireplace once it is on, call a professional gas plumber after turning all the gas off to the fireplace. The plumber will perform a gas line test and make any repairs needed. 

Which pipe is best for gas lines? 

Inside your home, the gas lines are referred to as the building line or gas supply line and the gas lines to each appliance is called a branch line, which ends in a drop line. This is a vertical pipe that drops to an appliance from a branch line and is called a riser that carries gas to the appliance. 

The most common pipe for gas is black steel, but brass, copper, galvanized steel, or corrugated stainless steel tubing can be used if allowed by local utilities. In some areas, copper is the preferred choice, while galvanized steel is in other places. Before running a gas line, it is recommended to check with the local governing division what is acceptable or required. 

gas burner a light

Can PEX be used for gas line? 

The common piping used for gas lines is black steel, but PEX has become a popular choice for running natural gas and propane gas lines underground. It is yellow polyethylene similar to plumbing PEX, but the walls aren’t as thick. PEX has been approved for hydronic or radiant heating applications because of the likelihood of ferrous components being present. To keep rusting from happening to the ferrous components, an oxygen barrier PEX pipe is needed and having a gas plumber perform a gas line test is always recommended, especially if you have installed the PEX gas lines yourself.

In some regions, you’ll need an inspection by the governing body to turn the gas back on, which is why it recommended hiring a plumber to do the job. However, if you choose to run a gas line yourself, you still need to perform a gas line test to make sure there are no leaks. The following steps will get this done:

  • Mix soap and water in a handheld spray bottle and spray it on each gas line connection. This substitutes the electronic sensor a gas plumber would use.
  • Turn the gas on.
  • If bubbles form where you sprayed the soap and water mixture, using a pipe wrench, tighten the fitting, wipe off the solution, then recheck.
  • If there is still a leak, take the fitting apart and inspect the flare shape at the end of the copper pipe. It may need to be redone.
  • Once you have redone the flare shape, reconnect, and repeat the above gas line test steps. If there is still a leak, call a professional gas plumber. 

Remember, gas is a clean method for homes and restaurants, and safe when all is connected properly and working as it should.  It can also be dangerous if you aren’t sure about the connections.  It will always be worth the expense of hiring a gas plumber for gas line test, especially if you have connected the gas lines yourself. Call (817) 560-4144 today for your gas line test service in Fort Worth, TX.