piping a water heater

A friend tells me he smelled gas in his apartment and told his landlady, and she tells him that 3 gas company cars and a fire engine showed up. They told him there was nothing wrong with smelling a little gas at startup of the water heater.
A couple weeks later, the landlady had a plumber in because of clogged drains. He looked at the same water heater and said that it was against code (in Maryland, Baltimore City) to use flexible gas pipe for a water heater..
Is this true?
My friend wonder if there were three gas company cars and a fire engine, how come none of them complained about the flexible gas pipe??
The plumber wanted 250 to replace the flex pipe with the right pipe. She thought it was too much. What sounds right to you guys?
Thanks.
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check the code first...

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I'm honestly not familiar with the code in your area, but I find it hard to believe that water heater manufacturers would sell something that was against code everywhere:
http://tinyurl.com/2yldmg <--------- a place to buy flexible connection kit.
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At one time many gas codes forbade flex pip as it would start to leak after years of vibration. Now many have required it for seismic reasons. Make a phone call to the gas inspector to be sure.
$250 sounds a little high but I can't see from here what may be entailed.
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Depending on where you live, it might not be code to *install* a WH/ stove/dryer/whatever with flex pipe, but that doesn't mean that all existing installations need to be changed. There's a good possibility that if the unit was installed to what ever code existed at the time of installation, it could be grandfathered and would still be "legal".
I doubt the gas company or firemen would bother to try and determine the date of the installation and match it against the relevant code unless they found something seriously wrong with the current setup.
If that's the case, then the plumber may simply have been less than totally honest to try get the landlady to change the pipe. If he said "Ya know, you can't install a WH with flex pipe", he wouldn't be lying if that's the current code. If he then offered to replace the flex with solid, he could be considered to be rather sneaky, but not really dishonest.
Please note that I'm not saying the use of flex pipe was ever allowed or that it wasn't, because I don't know that answer. I'm only offering one explanation as to why the gas company or firemen didn't say anything about it.
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It's WAY too high and there's nothing wrong with flex gas pipe. That's why they make it.
s

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On Mon, 11 Feb 2008 07:32:55 -0600, "S. Barker"

Thanks to all of you. I sent them to my friend and I'm sure he'll make sure his landlady checks this out before replacing anyt hing. They are friends.
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wrote:

So my friend called the gas company and learned that it is just recently that hard pipe must be used for water heaters. The person on the phone didn't know if that was just Baltimore City or some broader area.
Edwin, there is very little siesmic activity around here.
Thanks again.
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Hears a thought Phone the building department.
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