Many homes have gas running to them through Coserv, or atmos gas corporations. offers. Natural gas many benefits over electric power.
Gas furnaces and water heaters are generally less expensive to operate than electric ones. A gas furnace can heat a space faster. Gas cooktops are preferred by many people to electric. Who doesn’t like the convenience of a gas fireplace in the winter months?
Natural gas can be scary, but it’s also a system that requires occasional maintenance and service.
WHERE IS YOUR GAS METER?
Atmos or Coserv is responsible for maintaining the gas distribution system within the neighborhood, up to the home’s gas meters. The homeowner is responsible for all matters beyond the gas meter.
The gas meter is generally located either in an alleyway behind the home or directly adjacent to it on the right or left. They are approximately the same size as a backpack and are typically painted gray or forest green.
If the gas meter is situated right up against the home, the gas company is responsible for the gas line that runs to the yard. If the gas meter is not located near your house (e.g. back in the alley), then you are responsible for the gas line running through your yard from the gas meter to your home.
This line is usually made of two different materials: black iron/steel or plastic/polyethylene.
BLACK IRON YARD LIST
If the steel gas lines have not been replaced, older homes built before 1970 will likely have them. This pipe is cut to the required length and threaded using special equipment.
The horizontal line will be buried in the yard and will rise with 90-degree fittings at both ends. It will connect at one end to the meter.
It will then rise to the top and enter the structure. It will often be connected to a shutoff valve.
It’s not a matter ” if” these steel yards lines will have problems. It’s not a matter ” ” but ““. These lines carry gas, but not water. However, soil moisture will eventually cause them to rust and leak.
If the underground gas line leaks, it can cause a dead patch in the grass, strong sulfur odor, and high gas bills. These types of failures are so common that the entire line is replaced rather than repairing a single spot.
Around the mid-to late 1970s, “Poly” gas lines were introduced to this region. Because of their plastic construction, these lines are not susceptible to corrosion or rust.
The horizontal line below the ground will consist of a continuous polyethylene pipe with no joints at the ends. It will attach to an “anodeless risingr” at each end.
These “L-shaped” steel sleeves connect to the horizontal lines underground and transform the plastic line into steel piping above-ground.
Because polyethylene pipe is less durable than steel pipe it can be easily damaged by being struck during excavations or driven into the ground with a stake. The gas line itself is in good condition.
These leaks are usually found at the riser connections below the ground or in the steel pipe above the ground. Ground movement and improper installation can cause these leaks. This can lead to a gas smell and higher gas bills.
BLACK IRON PIPING IN THE HOUSE
Once the line is inside the structure, it must then reach all gas appliances in the house, including gas dryers and gas ranges, water heaters, furnaces, water heaters, water heaters, and gas furnaces. Each section is cut to the required length, and ends are threaded during construction. All fittings and pipe are assembled by hand.
Design of a System
The pipe begins with a larger diameter where it enters your home (typically 1 1/2’’, 1 1/4’’ or 1” IPS depending upon the size of the system). The size of each pipe “teeing” from the main run gradually decreases until it reaches the appliances, usually at 1/2 inch in height.
The attic is usually where the mainline runs. The mainline will run through the attic. All the smaller lines that “tee off” will fall into the walls behind appliances, and then return to where the appliance is connected up. Each appliance should have a shutoff valve (typically a yellow, red or older gray handle).
The steel pipe is extremely resistant to damage but the main problem is where the threaded connections were made. The pipe will expand and contract with temperature changes, so fittings can leak over time. The strong sulfur smell that is often a sign of gas leakage from fittings is the first sign.
Unprotected CSST cannot be installed outside of a home. Therefore, black iron gas pipes will likely enter the structure like a complete black iron system. Once inside, the flexible CSST will be used until the mainline is reached.
This is where the mainline connects to all the smaller appliances lines in a single location. Each appliance line will have a shutoff valve at the manifold. It is similar to an electric breaker panel, except that it does not include the gas system.
The smaller lines will run through the attic and fall down the walls near gas appliances. When it reaches the appliance, the CSST will once again become a steel pipe. An appliance shut-off valve will be located at this location.
CSST, when installed as a manifold systems, has fewer joints which can leak. The individual gas lines run from the manifold to each appliance in a straight line. CSST is less durable than steel in terms of damage. It can easily be punctured with a screw or nail. This can be prevented by installing pipe protection during installation, although it is still quite common.
This will give you an idea of how the gas system in your house is set up and some things to watch out for.