Gas lines are an integral part of millions of homes. Whether they power your home’s furnace, water heater or cookstove, a steady supply of natural gas is essential for everyday tasks. The gas lines inside your home provide this constant supply of fuel to the appliances in your home, and when you add a new gas appliance, you’ll need to bring that supply to the newcomer.
So, how do you tee off an existing gas line? Let’s find out.
Can You Tee Off A Gas Line Yourself?
In some areas, you can tee off an existing gas line yourself. However, some areas have laws that prevent homeowners from handling this project themselves. So, before you start your project, ensure you can legally work with the gas line in your area.
Sometimes, you’ll need a license for this project, so to avoid fines, it’s best to check. You’ll need to hire a licensed professional to handle the project if it’s illegal in your area. If your area doesn’t have requirements in this aspect, you can still hire a professional if you’re uncertain about your abilities to handle the task safely.
How Much Does It Cost To Tee Off A Gas Line?
In most cases, hiring a professional for this project is better than attempting to DIY the installation. On average, installing a gas line costs approximately $22 per linear foot. To have a professional handle the gas branch line installation, most homeowners pay between $265 and $850.
Of course, costs might be higher or lower for your particular scenario based on factors specific to you (labor costs, project size, project difficulty, etc.).
Can You Tap Into To An Existing Gas Line?
In some cases, you might need to tap into an existing gas line to supply another appliance. Generally speaking, you can tap into the existing line to add the extra line. However, you’ll need to ensure the existing gas line is large enough to supply gas to several utilities.
You’ll need to reevaluate your approach if the line is too small. When this is the case, it’s usually best to have a licensed professional handle the project. While local laws might allow you to manage this project yourself, it can be complex, especially when you need to resize the existing gas line.
Is It Easy To Tee Off An Existing Gas Line?
The process of branching your home’s gas line is relatively simple. For experienced professionals, the process usually only takes an hour or two. However, while the process is simple, it’s dangerous (since you’re handling gas).
If you don’t take the proper safety precautions, you could cause a gas leak, which opens the door to health and safety issues (explosions, fires, natural gas poisoning, etc.). So, while the process isn’t overly complicated, it’s usually out of the realm of most homeowners. If you’re even slightly unsure of your abilities to complete the task, it’s best to hire a professional. Better safe than sorry!
How Do You Cap Off An Existing Gas Line?
The process is doable if the laws in your area say you can legally tee off an existing gas line in your home. However, you’ll need to be extremely careful, as working with gas lines can be hazardous. If you’re comfortable handling the task yourself, follow these steps.
Gather Your Materials
Before you start the process, you’ll need to gather a few materials and tools. The list is pretty short and includes the following:
- Pipe cutter or reciprocating saw
- Gas-rated Teflon tape (yellow)
- Plumbing wrench set
- Protective gear, such as safety glasses
You can find the correct Teflon tape at most home improvement stores, but ensure you get the tape rated for gas. If you don’t have a plumbing wrench set or saw/pipe cutter, you might be able to rent them from your local equipment rental center. Sometimes, home improvement centers offer rentals, so check there too! Or borrow the tools from a friend or family member.
Turn Off The Gas Supply
Once you gather your materials, turn off the gas supply. You have two options: turn the gas off at the meter or at the isolated shut-off valve near the pipe you’re working on. Generally, it’s best to turn the supply off at the meter. You can have your gas company turn it off or manually turn it off at your home.
Give It Time
After the gas supply is off, you need to wait a while. The gas needs time to dissipate, so wait about 20 to 30 minutes after you turn off the gas supply before you start working on the line. There might be a small amount of vapors remaining in the line after turning off the gas, but it shouldn’t be enough to raise explosion concerns.
Before you start working on the piping, verify the gas is off. When you check, be sure to wear protective safety glasses.
Choose The Correct Location
When you’re done waiting, start by finding the right location for the tee. Choose the location that works best for the new line. It might be near the water heater or next to a new gas stove – either way, choose the most logical location.
Generally, people tee off one of these gas lines (water heater, gas stove, etc.) to add the new line for the new appliance.
Make The Cut
Once you pick the right location, cut the pipe. Use a pipe cutter or reciprocating saw fitted with a metal cutting blade to slice through the pipe cleanly, creating a square cut for even connections. If you use a pipe cutter, you’ll need to cut into the pipe in a 360-degree motion around the diameter of the pipe. Because of this, you’ll need plenty of room to work.
Use a reciprocating saw if you don’t have enough room around the gas line to use a pipe cutter. Simply slice straight down onto the pipe, making two cuts to remove a small section of the pipe. You’ll need to remove about half an inch of the pipe to make room for the tee.
Install The Tee
After you cut the pipe, you can install your socket tee. Fit the socket tee to the new gas line, ensuring the new gas pipe matches the thickness of the existing pipe. In addition, verify the tee mirrors this size.
Use the Teflon tape to secure the tee in its place. If you’re installing the line for a new appliance, you might need to thread the pipe to fit the tee on correctly, but it depends on the type of fitting you use.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Happens If You Work With A Gas Line Without Certification?
Working with a gas line without certification isn’t recommended, as penalties can be steep. Although the exact fine varies based on what you’re cited for, fines can climb to $200,000 for handling gas lines without holding a certification.
So, if you’re considering handling the project yourself, be sure to double-check the laws in your area. After all, $200,000 is the cost of some homes, so avoid racking up fines by breaking the law!
Who Do You Hire To Work On Gas Lines?
If you’re unsure who handles gas line work in your city, call your local plumber, building authority, or gas company. They should be able to direct you toward a licensed gas plumber. Teeing off an existing gas line is a relatively simple project for experienced professionals, so it usually takes no longer than an hour or two.