When my house was built (about three years ago), the builders
neglected to paint the gas pipe on my side of my meter and that pipe
has now developed a nice coat of surface rust (it's normal black gas
pipe). The pipe on the gas company's side of the meter was painted and
looks the same as when I moved in.
(1) Is the rust/rusty color a problem and something I should correct?
The rest of the houses on my street (built during the past 1-5 years)
are in a similar situation.
(2) I assume that I should paint over the rusty-looking pipe so it
doesn't corode or develop into a problem. What is the appropiate paint
to use here?
Paint it if it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. The chances that it will rust
through in your life time is pretty slim.
I have seen alot of gas pipe that is 30-40 years old, that other than the
nice coating of rust, is in good condition.
Code in our area now requires it to be painted, but I have installed a ton
of pipe that was not painted, before the codes changed.
When I put an addition on my house 15 years ago local code required wrapping
iron pipe in plastic to protect it.
It might be worth a call to your building department to see what they
required 3 years ago. There might be a big lawsuit brewing, if the
contractor is still in business.
I think wrapping or coating is only required if the pipe is going to
be buried, though I could be wrong and checking certainly isn't a bad
idea. The gas company may be a better and quicker source of info.
A condo complex where I used to live had black pipe that was not
properly coated and was buried from the meter till the point where it
went inside the unit. The builder pulled all kinds of short cuts. In
the case of the gas pipe, it was clear that after the pipe was
installed, they just poured the tar sealing compound over the top of
the pipe as it was laying in the trench. The top of the pipe was
coated, but not the bottom.
I would never believe this if I had not seen it myself. Within 5
years, the gas pipes were all failing from corrosion. I held pieces
of it in my hands and the bottom of it had so many holes, it looked
like swiss cheese. One would think that if it were not properly
coated it might fail at some point, but I would never think it would
occur that quickly. I can only guess that it may have been some real
cheap foreign import, which may have made it fail even faster. We
wound up replacing the pipes in 120 units.
The connection to the meter is probably painted, but the line from the hot
tap to the riser is most likely poly coated steel pipe. All underground gas
piping is either coated or taped these days. Even if you have a plastic
service from the main, the riser will probably be coated steel
Where in the world are gas companies putting a steel jacket on plastic
All over the US!
Running steel pipe underground is getting to be a thing of the past.
The poly, not plastic, polyethylene actually, pipe is direct buried in the
ground. The poly pipe is connected to a "riser" that is nothing more than a
poly pipe with a steel protective jacket. The poly runs right through to the
fitting. The steel jacket does nothing more than ward off weed trimmers,
hungry dogs and the like.
I have actually installed a fair bit of under ground myself, and have been
around when the gas company does their side of the meter. On my job we use
the same pipe the gas company uses.
Absolutely not true, plastic gas line is used in applications under 99 psi,
almost always. We weld miles and miles of steel gas line every year, from
low pressure up to around 1200 psi. From 3/4" to 36" 1.250 wall.
What you call poly is plastic. Everyone else calls it PE.
The poly pipe is connected to a "riser" that is nothing more than a
I've never seen a plastic riser in a steel sleeve, I've seen hundreds of
pe/steel transition risers. But that doesn't mean some utilities don't do it
that way I suppose.
I've installed hundreds of miles, 99% of it on the high pressure side of the
meter. Underground gas line is poly coated, or taped. The meter installer
will generaly paint everything thats not gas company grey after piping his
Pretty much any underground gas on the utility side of the meter here is
poly. Granted there probably is some steel in the ground here and there, but
any new installs have been poly. The mains are poly, branches to homes and
business' are poly.
That's just not possible, PE is legal for pressures under 99psi, all in town
distribution systems have pipe pressures well over that, they have to
maintain volumn. Even a small town will have distribution mains running 200
to 500 psi. and from 2" up.
As far as services go, steel services run off steel mains and PE services
run off of PE mains.
Maybe you haven't seen them, but there are quite a few steel lines in your
You just can't run an entire dist. system with pressures under 99 psi.
Especially in the winter.
All this goes out the window if you are in Mexico, Gautamala, ect. But in
the U.S. it will hold true.
Not going to argue with you, been there, seen them bury and connect mains.
I was told by the utility that they run 50 psi in the mains, I have seen
them run 2" and 4" poly. I know they have larger lines.
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