Can galvanized fittings be used with black iron pipe?

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Was at Lowes tonight picking up stuff for hooking up my HW heater this weekend and found out they did not have anymore 1/2" Tee's in black iron for my gas line. But they had galvanized 1/2" Tee's. Can I mix the 2?
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This is one of those questions that starts wars. Left coasters generally can use galvanized, but I believe that is a different galvanizing process for gas pipe than the standard galvanizing. Something about the galvanizing flaking off or some such. East coast generally has galvanized prohibited. Obviously your local code rules.
I would not mix galvanized and black iron directly, even if it's allowed, as that accelerates corrosion. You'd have to use a dielectric fitting.
Best thing is to visit a local plumbing supply house for such things. They'll have stuff Lowes and Home Despot won't carry, and the guys know far more than the guys in the aprons. On a side note, the local big guy plumbing supply house, which I used to loathe going to as they had major attitude and you had to be waited on (long lines and attitude = I go elsewhere), changed over to a pick-your-own store set up. Far superior. I'm sure they did it to trim superfluous counter people and pickers, and make the store more user-friendly.
R
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On 1/21/2011 9:58 PM RicodJour spake thus:

Now *that* makes my BS meter twitch just a mite: why would there be corrosion? Galvanized pipe is zinc over steel, so galvanized + steel (black) should be no problem, right?
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

To rephrase what you said, if zinc + steel = corrosion, than a galvanized pipe should disintegrate just sitting on the rack.
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On 1/22/2011 7:27 AM, HeyBub wrote:

Exactly.
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On second thought, you're right. It will - if you wait long enough.
R
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Bingo. I was waiting for someone to chime in with that. It surprises me that people don't notice such things, and assume that all iron/ steel is the same.
I still have no clue what sort of galvanized pipe they use on the other coast and how it differs, or if it differs, from galvanized pipe in the Northeast. Anyone know?
R
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RicodJour wrote:

Much black pipe is welded as well (ERW, commonly, these days).
It's not the manufacturing process, per se, that determines the ASTM Standard to which any given pipe will meet but the combination of materials and manufacturing and quality control. Welded pipe may meet or exceed a given seamless pipe of similar bore/schedule depending on the intent and/or spec is was manufactured to. IOW, it isn't whether it's welded or not matters, it's the Standard to which it was graded.
There's no difference in galvanized from one part of the country to the other; the only more-or-less definitive study on its application w/ natural gas I've seen (not to say there isn't more; only this is only one I've actually looked at) was done by PG&E who are, afaik, still west coast... :)
It concluded that w/ current domestic gas the impurities that were the initial concern weren't any longer but hedged its bets on the future w/ imports and particularly the possible/probable advent of large quantities of import compressed/lng products.
It was dated sometime in the 90s iirc; I've no idea what might be current Code or if any action was taken. Here in the barren middle NG-producing part, local Code anyway still hasn't been modified other than to accept the newer materials; galvanized is still generally not seen for NG.
For a single fitting in a small line, I'd not worry about it back to the OPs question altho I'm one that it would look out of place so I'd go get a matching fitting just on that basis alone.
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dpb wrote: ...

I'll add that, of course, the obvious answer is to get the matching and that what is kosher for the OP's area/Code is not at all the same thing as whether I'd worry about the effects... :)
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The OP said he was shopping at Lowes. There is only one quality at Lowes and they aim for the lowest selling price. What would you deduce from that about the galvanized pipe they carry? That's a rhetorical question.
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RicodJour wrote: ...

...
That there's at least a reasonable chance it's the same that he'd get a stick from at any other local distributor including the "pro's" places...
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2011 12:25:58 -0800 (PST), RicodJour

There are only a few suppliers of both black and galvanized pipe in Noth America, and a very large proportion of both is "imported - mostly from China. Doesn't matter who you buy it from, or at what price, the chances are very high you are buying the same product.
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2011 10:37:21 -0800 (PST), RicodJour

And a welded seam pipe is going to be an issue at less than 5 PSI pressure in natural gas distribution, and not be an issue at 60+ psi in a water system????
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Time to recalibrate that meter, kimosabe. Zinc is used as a sacrificial anode in boats for the very reason that it will corrode first and protect the iron. http://www.mikeholt.com/mojonewsarchive/All-HTML/HTML/Galvanic-Action~20010125.php
R
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2011 09:03:03 -0800 (PST), RicodJour

YOur BS meter needs recalibrating. The ZINC may corrode, but that is not an issue here. It is a very thin coating on one surface that is beinf threaded to another (identical) surface. NOT an issue. Period.
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On Jan 22, 3:38pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Why would the zinc corroding not be an issue? If you have a galvanized pipe and the coating is compromised in any way, the corrosion will be concentrated at that point, right? Why do gas companies and many codes prohibit using galvanized fittings in gas lines? Why do you feel that your apparently Pope-like-infallible opinion of your opinion is at issue with those utility companies and AHJs? You are familiar with sacrificial anodes, of course, and you do understand that the more reactive metal will corrode more quickly in a mixed metal situation, and you do know that not all gas is totally pure, may contain water, that there are recommendations for having traps to catch the water, but that the traps are not always present - so why the blanket certainty over a very uncertain situation? Oh, right - it's not your house.
Here's a possible repercussion that makes your opinion moot. A home inspection. If a home inspector flags a galvanized fitting as being against code, the homeowner will end up paying for it, and it will be more than just the price of the fitting. The OP's theoretical attempt at saving himself a trip to a more fully stocked supply house will cost him more in the long run. Perhaps you're banking on the OP being dead at that point, and it no longer being his concern, but I don't take such a short-term view of the situation. :)
I am not saying that the potential problem with using a galvanized fitting or whatever is necessarily a serious problem, nor is it inevitable, simply that there is NO benefit to mixing galvanized and black iron and it will raise concern, and increase the risk of a problem, no matter how small that risk is.
So, to sum up, there is NO benefit - the galvanized costs more, it will bother some people and some of those people are in a position to tell you what to do with your house. So what exactly is your reasoning that it's better to go with galvanized?
R
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RicodJour wrote: ...

Because there was some evidence that impurities in gas could lead to interaction with galvanizing leading to some particulate contamination.
Once there, as with most Codes, it's much easier to retain than remove restrictions whether they're still needed or not.
As noted above, PG&E did extensive study and determined it didn't seem to be an issue of concern at the time; what that study didn't do was make the decision as to whether to change policy or not. Whether that happened or not subsequently, I don't know. But, the issue wasn't related to this sidebar argument as to why galvanized was/is not used w/ NG.
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2011 13:08:58 -0800 (PST), RicodJour

The only zinc that could be an issue at all is inside the pipe or in the joint, where it is protected - no oxygen available.

If it corrodes on the outside, so what? It's just like black iron.

They don't (all) prohibit it. It can be used here. There are a couple of galvanized fittings in my gasline, as well as brass valves.

It's not, as noted above.

Code REQUIRES the drops - and it is NOT for water. It is to allow any particulates to drop out at the LAST bend before entering the appliance. The particles could block a jet - and that would cause problems. That particle COULD be rust, or flaked off zinc from inside either black iron or galvanized pipe. Water in the gas would be a reason to REQUIRE zinc, not to ban it.

Not at all. As I said, where I live the prohibition against galvanized fittings has been removed, for quite a few years now. If you have the REQUIRED drop trap any possible particulates will be caught - and the probability/possibility of a galvanized fitting ot pipe causing a problem is no higher than that of black pipe. The prohibition against Galvanized goes back to "producer gas" or "coal gas" which was the common municipal gas supply for many years, particularly in the east.

First of all, I NEVER said it was BETTER to go with galvanized. I just said if he could not get a black fitting there was no HARM is using galvanized. I even said any REAL hardware store or farm supply would have the required fitting.As in the black iron, or maleable iron fitting. You are just being arguementative, and your reading comprehension is not up to par.

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On Jan 22, 5:32pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

In my reply to the OP's question, the first reply in this thread, I wrote, "This is one of those questions that starts wars. Left coasters generally can use galvanized, but I believe that is a different galvanizing process for gas pipe than the standard galvanizing. Something about the galvanizing flaking off or some such. East coast generally has galvanized prohibited. Obviously your local code rules. " Is that what you are arguing about?
I'll tell you what, I'll get the local gas utility company, and the local municipalities that are within the OP's and my area (we're about 15 or 20 miles from each other, and there might be five or six different individual codes for the municipalities between the two of us), to change their codes if they don't accept galvanized pipe, just based on the say so of some guy in Canada. Will that be acceptable to you?
I'm answering the OP's question and you're arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Big help.
R
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On 1/22/2011 1:08 PM RicodJour spake thus:

This still makes no sense to me. (And just for the record, whenever I've plumbed for gas I've used black pipe, not galvanized.)
I mean, with black pipe, the entire goddamned pipe and every fitting is subject to corrosion, right? Except for the mill scale, or whatever constitutes the "black" on black pipe, it's completely unprotected. That's why we use galvanized for water. So if you use a galvanized fitting on a run of black pipe, it sure as hell is not going to corrode any faster than the rest of the pipe, so why sweat it *on that basis*?
There may be other reasons not to use galvanized with gas lines: all the pros I've talked to about this lately tell me it makes no difference. Nonetheless, most people still use black for gas.
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