Rerouting gas pipe

What a Sunday morning surprise: leaking hot water heater. I've known this day was coming and dreaded it, since the gas supply pipe for the hwh runs from a corner, through a cold air return, over the fuse box then down to the hwh. I'm sure this not acceptable, kind of thing that makes the fire marshall wake up screaming, but I have a couple questions on how to properly reroute the line. I'd like to drop the gas pipe down so it passes under the cold air return and the fuse box, at which point it will be roughly shoulder height off the floor( for a 5'8" guy). Question 1: what is legal/ prudent clearance for a gas pipe passing a fuse panel? Question 2: I notice all my gas lines run along the ceiling and drop only when they reach the appliance: is this standard/required? My last question concerns the dead end stub just before the pipe meets the valve: is there a standard or agreed upon distance the pipe should drop vertically before it makes that bend into the valve? I'd appreciate any comments or directions to FAQs
Thank you
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I just don't know, but check into flexible gas line like my house has. Mine is bright yellow.

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L. Baldanza wrote:

If the line passes thru the return without fittings, it may not be a problem. Can run past the panel without concern.
"Drip Leg" looks like this: http://fuelgas.copper.org/fgfigs/Fig15.htm (copper line is shown, but drip leg is same) Use a nipple of roughly 3" length. Shut off valve is ahead of the drip.
Jim
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My local building inspector concurs Jim. I will leave well enough alone and thanks for the advice.

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