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sisyphus 04-02-2013 07:56 PM

cutting gas pipe
had a question come up recently when a neighbor asked me a question about cutting a gas pipe. do you need to be concern about the residual gas in the pipe after you shut the gas off? and is it safer to use a manual saw over a electrical one? ( I probably already know the answer to the 2nd question). thanks

nealtw 04-02-2013 09:33 PM

If it's copper, use a plumbers pipe cutter, if it's black iron, unscrew it.

CallMeVilla 04-03-2013 05:46 PM

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You can cut gas pipes after airing them for quite a while (30+ minutes). You can rent a large pipe cutter and do it by hand without risk of sparks. (see picture) You can also use a sawzall although the end cut might be a bit ragged.

How are you going to reconnect the pipe?

Blue Jay 04-03-2013 07:43 PM

If it is Black Iron and you need to cut it (ie middle of a run that you can not un-screw) I would use a hand hack saw, not a sawzall, unless you are really gung ho I have never seen a spark from the hack saw but have with a sawzall.

How are you going to re-join the pipes after cutting?

sisyphus 04-05-2013 05:41 AM

thanks all for responding. the neighbor didn't say how he was going to reconnect the pipes.

CallMeVilla 04-05-2013 08:40 AM

The transition from metal to plastic (polyethelene)gas lines is an old story by now. All the pipe I had installed had been epoxy coated (green) pipe with pipe wrap at the corners. Since then, we have transitioned to yellow plastic pipe which is much faster to install, though the fittings are much more expensive.

Here is a short video on how to install an inline coupling with yellow plastic gas pipe.

THIS IS NOT FOR NEWBIES. Special tools are required and some training is needed.

JoeD 04-05-2013 01:49 PM

Different thatn what I have seen done in the past. I have seen the conenctions actually heated up and melted then pusshed together. Also the was for underground gas connections not for inside of buildings.

CallMeVilla 04-05-2013 03:00 PM

Right, Joe ... This is the in-line coupling process commonly called a "stab fitting." You can also use a thermal heater to weld the lines together with a coupling device. When you turn up out of the dirt, there is a plastic and metal "EL" you attach to the in-gound pipe. This EL is attached using the stab fitting or a thermal device. This video shows you and the above ground EL.

Anything above ground is done with traditional metal piping because plastic is vulnerable to UV and to breakage. The plastic pipe is fast underground and flexible around corners. They also have 90 degree fittings.

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