installing gas lines to pool heater

I am trying to install gas lines to a new heater. I have existing 25 yo pi pes. http://memphis.craigslist.org/lbg/6282864510.html
1) I think I have three choices. What are the pros/cons of my approaches.
A) I can replace the 3/4 pipe after the reducer with a longer piece. Repl ace the pipe right before the spigot with a longer piece. Add a piece from the coupler to the gas insert. I like this because it seems to avoid adding more joints, but upsets existi ng work.
B) [out-down-forward] I can add a pipe coming out of the heater to an elbow joint (or tee), run a pipe down to another elbow joint and to the left int o the spigot. This avoids touching as much of the current work.
C) [out-forward-down] I can run a pipe out of the heater to a elbow (prefe rable a tee valve with a plug in the far side), run a pipe forward to an el bow join and down into the spigot. This too avoids touching as much of the current work.
2) Should I replace all the existing above ground pipe since I am working already. It has a bit of rust on it, but not too much. How much worse is this going to be in another 25 years if I don't replace it all now? Mind y ou, this is a lot more work, but I have someone helping me who has done a l ot of piping as a maintenance man.
3) Should I put the pool heater up higher on 2" bricks to give me better a ccess if I need to service it in the future without having to disconnect pi ping. It is on a concrete slab.
4) I was thinking of adding in a tee join with a plug in case I decide to add another connection in the future.
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On Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 10:48:51 PM UTC-4, Deodiaus wrote:

pipes.

s.

place the pipe right before the spigot with a longer piece. Add a piece fr om the coupler to the gas insert.

ting work.

ow joint (or tee), run a pipe down to another elbow joint and to the left i nto the spigot.

ferable a tee valve with a plug in the far side), run a pipe forward to an elbow join and down into the spigot.

g already. It has a bit of rust on it, but not too much. How much worse i s this going to be in another 25 years if I don't replace it all now? Mind you, this is a lot more work, but I have someone helping me who has done a lot of piping as a maintenance man.

access if I need to service it in the future without having to disconnect piping. It is on a concrete slab.

o add another connection in the future.
I would replace most or all of the above ground pipe in that picture becaus e I wouldn't want to look at it next to a new pool heater. I believe a sedi ment trap is required by code too. Is the rest of the underground galvanize d wrapped and taped properly, to code? I've seen galvanized installed inco rrectly underground fail, corroded away in just 5 years. I sure wouldn't t ake that job for $50 and it would be illegal here unless you're a licensed plumber. There are electrical safety issues too, eg the heater needs to be properly bonded. Having to ask how to do it, hiring someone off Craigslist for $50, to install a gas pool heater, doesn't sound like a good idea to m e.
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On 8/31/2017 3:32 AM, trader_4 wrote:

  AFAIK the current installation doesn't meet Shelby County building codes , I'd have to ask a (former brother-in-law) plumbing inspector tp be certain . He should re-plumb the whole thing with black iron pipe , and have it done by a licensed plumber - and 50 bucks ain't gonna cover it  . If MLG&W got a look at that mess his gas would be cut off until it was corrected . Or maybe not , that's a "nice" neighborhood , unlike the part of town where our house is .
  --
  Snag
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On Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 7:11:16 AM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

yo pipes.

ches.

Replace the pipe right before the spigot with a longer piece. Add a piece from the coupler to the gas insert.

xisting work.

elbow joint (or tee), run a pipe down to another elbow joint and to the lef t into the spigot.

preferable a tee valve with a plug in the far side), run a pipe forward to an elbow join and down into the spigot.

king already. It has a bit of rust on it, but not too much. How much wors e is this going to be in another 25 years if I don't replace it all now? M ind you, this is a lot more work, but I have someone helping me who has don e a lot of piping as a maintenance man.

ter access if I need to service it in the future without having to disconne ct piping. It is on a concrete slab.

e to add another connection in the future.

cause I wouldn't want to look at it next to a new pool heater. I believe a sediment trap is required by code too. Is the rest of the underground galva nized wrapped and taped properly, to code? I've seen galvanized installed incorrectly underground fail, corroded away in just 5 years. I sure wouldn 't take that job for $50 and it would be illegal here unless you're a licen sed plumber. There are electrical safety issues too, eg the heater needs to be properly bonded. Having to ask how to do it, hiring someone off Craigs list for $50, to install a gas pool heater, doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

g



l it


I see it's missing a sediment trap, but that's the only thing not to code t hat I see. Galvanized is permitted here and it's what's used outside, above ground, here.
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How much for running three existing pipes without changing existing work upsteam? How much for replacing the all the piping from above ground to the heater? Is black iron or galvanized recommended? What do you mean by properly bonded, bonded to the concrete slab? The previous one was on the slab directly.
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On Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 6:45:39 PM UTC-4, Deodiaus wrote:

Best thing to do is get two or three quotes from plumbers in your area.

For outside, I'd use galvanized, that's what's used here in NJ. There was a lot of debate on the merits of black pipe vs galvanized. I'm not sure I ever understood the entire reasoning, but I think some locations prohibited galvanized on the theory that the zinc can flake off and possibly clog appliance orifices. It may have been also based on some regions back in the day having nat gas that was not as pure and which had some substance in it that reacted with zinc. Galvanized is permitted here.
I wouldn't get hung up on the cost of replacing one part of what you have in that pic versus all of it. Getting a plumber out, doing one part of it, once he;s there, doing the rest shouldn't make all that much difference in the cost. The pipe and fittings don't amount to much and it goes pretty fast.

All the metal on that pool pad is required to be bonded together electrically so that it's at the same potential. There should be a heavy solid copper wire there connecting the pump, heater, etc all together. There is a bonding terminal showing in the pic you have of the new heater and the old one should have been bonded when installed.
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What's a fair price for a licensed person?
Are there special requirements for a plumber doing the work if he is workin g with gas instead of water? How do you verify a plumber's qualifications for working with a gas line and validate the insurance policy, i.e. prior t o doing the work? Even if the insurance company acknowledges a policy in p lace, are there clauses that might exclude them from paying out? Do you ru n the paperwork through some sort of database which shows you if he is qual ified and call up his insurance company to verify his credentials. I have heard that sometimes people let their policy lapse, especially if they don' t have enough money to cover it. Is this something that is customary to va lidate? I don't recall anyone taking the effort to validate the credential s, but maybe its because most people fail to validate this. I keep hearing horror stories on my HMO bulletin about shoddy workmanship from places (us ually builders and roofers) with a big local presence and wonder how that b usiness survives. I have checked people out with the BBB, but more times than not, the only w ay to get a bad rating with the BBB is if you don't pay your dues. That an d the fact that the BBB usually sides with the dues paying member despite y our having documentation. I have taken a roofer and car mechanic to small claims court and despite having his lost the judgment (not showing up), I find that I get robbed again by trying to collect on the judgment. The age ncy that offered to collect the payment wanted 50% of the settlement if the y collected at all. Mostly, they would harass the delinquent payment in th e hopes that he would be shamed to pay off. However, I heard from a lawyer that most people will just ignore you, as this is their best option.
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On 8/31/2017 6:41 PM, Deodiaus wrote:

Most towns require a permit and inspection for gas work. It is often ignored on small jobs as it adds a lot to the cost to apply, then get the permit and inspection.
It is easy to check for a license. Most will show you if asked or tell you where to verify and some states you can go on line and type in a name. Some states require a gass fitter license.
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I think Ed is suggesting that far fewer home projects would actually be attempted if they all required and, there were a way to enforce the obtaining of permits.
However, my interpretation of his statement could be wrong.
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On 9/2/2017 9:36 AM, Stormin' Norman wrote:

No, you are exactly right. Changing out a fixture goes from a 10 minute DIY to a three day $100 project.
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I just got back from the hardware store. The guy recommends using this cop per flexible coated with plastic line. Is electrolysis corrosion an issue for copper and iron piping [which seems to be a common youtube presentation ]? I see this done on hot water heaters.
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On Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 10:24:13 PM UTC-4, Deodiaus wrote:

opper flexible coated with plastic line. Is electrolysis corrosion an issu e for copper and iron piping [which seems to be a common youtube presentati on]? I see this done on hot water heaters.
Electrolysis generally happens in water, which supplies the electrolyte. Gas transitions from steel to copper, brass, etc and I've never heard of any dielectric unions, etc. Is that flexible line even of sufficient size for the BTUs of the pool heater? They can be 250K, 400K, which is like 4x a furnace. Is it rated for outdoor use? Whether codes allows it or not, IDK. If it does, I would think it would have to be protected from physical damage and if so, I don't see an advantage to just using steel pipe. I have not seen it used here for a pool heater, but then I haven't seen a lot of them either. You could probably use the flex pipe made specifically for gas runs, ie the kind you can run through a whole house, but AFAIK, that requires special tools to work with. I looked into it awhile back for a project, but figured it wasn't worth it and went with steel. But the only thing that matters is what the local code is.
If it were me, I'd just either use what's there, with minimal change, if it's in decent shape and looks OK or replace it with new steel. How much is your time worth, figuring all this out? NAt gas isn't very expensive here, but people with pool heaters wind up with bills of $2K a season. Spending a few hundred to just get it done right might be the best option.
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On Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 6:41:31 PM UTC-4, Deodiaus wrote:

ing with gas instead of water? How do you verify a plumber's qualification s for working with a gas line and validate the insurance policy, i.e. prior to doing the work? Even if the insurance company acknowledges a policy in place, are there clauses that might exclude them from paying out? Do you run the paperwork through some sort of database which shows you if he is qu alified and call up his insurance company to verify his credentials. I hav e heard that sometimes people let their policy lapse, especially if they do n't have enough money to cover it. Is this something that is customary to validate? I don't recall anyone taking the effort to validate the credenti als, but maybe its because most people fail to validate this. I keep heari ng horror stories on my HMO bulletin about shoddy workmanship from places ( usually builders and roofers) with a big local presence and wonder how that business survives.
All those are good questions. For something like this, I'd find someone who's established, licensed as a plumber and appears reputable and see a ce rtificate of insurance. IDK what the specific licensing reqts are for gas vs water, but I would think any plumber that's licensed in your state to do residential work would be licensed to do gas. Best thing to do is ask around for people who are happy with the service they've received. Also, Angie's List is now free, you could look there for ratings and feedback. I didn't have much use for them when you had to pay, but if it's free, it can't hurt to look.

way to get a bad rating with the BBB is if you don't pay your dues. That and the fact that the BBB usually sides with the dues paying member despite your having documentation. I have taken a roofer and car mechanic to sma ll claims court and despite having his lost the judgment (not showing up), I find that I get robbed again by trying to collect on the judgment. The a gency that offered to collect the payment wanted 50% of the settlement if t hey collected at all. Mostly, they would harass the delinquent payment in the hopes that he would be shamed to pay off. However, I heard from a lawy er that most people will just >ignore you, as this is their best option.
I've heard similar about the BBB. I think you have to be pretty bad to get a bad rating. And agree about the difficulty in collecting a judgment. If it's a real business with a bank account and property, then it can be done, assuming you're willing to put in the effort or pay someone else, which then eats into what you get. Bigger problem is that the people you need to go after the most, ie the shysters, not only don't show up and ignore collections, but are judgment proof, ie their assets are hidden, in someone else's name, etc.
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On 8/31/2017 8:01 PM, trader_4 wrote:

MA is the only state I know of that requires a gas fitter license but most plumbers have it.
In my town I see a couple of trucks around for plumbing and electrical. I've seen them around for years so I'd be comfortable with any of them.
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On Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 9:38:29 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

You can also DIY as long as you know what you're doing, at least here, in the Peoples Republic of NJ. That's a fairly simple job. As I told him previously, the part I'd be most concerned about is the underground portion that you can't see, if it's steel. Today they do most of that with poly which won't corrode. But even if he calls a plumber, I think they would just go with what's above ground, not worry about what they can't see.
I'm a little more nervous because I lived in a condo in the 80s where within about 5 years of being built new, the gas pipe between the meters and the units started to fail. People found out when their furnaces went out. Those pipes looked like swiss cheese. If I didn't see them myself, I wouldn't believe it could fail that badly, that fast. And you could see why. The pipes had tar going around the pipe about 80% of the way. They had poured tar over the black pipe after it was in the trench, instead of properly coating it with a brush. The bottom never got coated, it even had stones embedded in it. It's supposed to be taped and coated. But the poly stuff they use now eliminates all that. We wound up having to replace pipes on 120 units, which included having to cut the pavement, a real mess.
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This brings up a good point, the 25 y.o. pipe buried from the meter to the pool heater distribution. If the above ground connection is showing as muc h rust, I dread to think how bad is the buried pipe. It seems as if they d id a poor job of making sure that it didn't rust. Should I dig up parts of the pipe to inspect the rust damage or should I replace it all while I am working on this? All of a sudden, this grew from replacing the final connection with 3 elbow joints to replacing 20 feet of piping, some of which runs under the drivew ay?
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On Friday, September 1, 2017 at 12:38:39 PM UTC-4, Deodiaus wrote:

e pool heater distribution. If the above ground connection is showing as m uch rust, I dread to think how bad is the buried pipe. It seems as if they did a poor job of making sure that it didn't rust. Should I dig up parts of the pipe to inspect the rust damage or should I replace it all while I a m working on this?

ow joints to replacing 20 feet of piping, some of which runs under the driv eway?
The buried pipe is supposed to be wrapped in tape and coated with tar. Back in the day, maybe it was just coated, IDK. If it was at least coated properly, it's probably OK. Another factor is what are the consequences if it leaked? If it was underground but inside a building or close to a building, I'd be concerned. If it's outside, away from the house, then I wouldn't worry about it. If it starts leaking you'll find out some day by getting a whiff of gas. If you call a plumber, you can see what they have to say. Today they typically use poly for underground so you don't have the corrosion problem.
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On 08/30/2017 10:48 PM, Deodiaus wrote:

To prevent rust, spray the pipe and fittings with WD-40 as needed. Obviously you'll want to shut off nearby open flames first.
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BTW, does any know where I can find a 3/4 inch 3 way corner joint made of iron or brass? I tried googling but all I see are ones made of PVC or a tee valve. I was thinking of using one for the sediment trap? Can't seem to find this as I thought it would be standard? Also, the cut off valve for the gas is made of brass. I guess the one there must be painted over, as I thought that you didn't want to mix metals to avoid electrolysis.
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On Friday, September 1, 2017 at 8:58:27 PM UTC-4, Deodiaus wrote:

IDK what a 3 way corner joint is. Sounds like a tee to me, which is what's typically used for the trap. A tee, a short nipple, and a cap. Brass valve with steel pipe, I don't think you have a choice. I have a brass valve on my new furnace with black iron and it passed the plumbing inspection.
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