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How to Shorten a Gas Pipe to Fit an Oven

Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shortens a gas pipe for a homeowner whose new stove does not fit against the wall because it is getting stuck on the pipe

Steps:

  1. Working with gas is dangerous and should be left to a licensed professional.
  2. Start by shutting off the gas to the meter using a wrench.
  3. Carefully slide the stove out until you can fit behind it to break the connections.
  4. Disconnect the flexible gas line from the gas piping using the pipe wrenches.
  5. With the pipe wrenches still in hand, loosen the gas piping and the shutoff from the pipes below the floor. Since gas pipes usually go in before any finish work happens, there’s a chance that twisting the pipe will damage the wall a little behind it when the shutoff begins to twist.
  6. Unthread the gas pipe from the shutoff valve.
  7. Replace the gas pipe with a smaller pipe. Be sure to choose a size that’s long enough to reach all the way through the floor, but short enough to allow for the additional height of the flexible gas line to the stove. To thread the pipe, apply a generous coat of pipe dope to the threads and be sure to tighten it using the pipe wrenches.
  8. With the shorter pipe secured to the gas shutoff, apply more pipe dope to the thread on the other side of the short pipe. Send it back through the floor and tighten it to the rest of the gas line using the pipe wrenches. Be sure to tighten it until the gas shutoff is parallel to the wall so you’re still able to access the shutoff as needed.
  9. Reconnect the flexible gas line from the stove to the shutoff on the pipe. Slide the stove back into place.
  10. Turn the gas back on. Test all the new work for leaks by applying a soap solution along all the new connections. If any bubbles form in the solution, it means air is escaping somewhere and the connections aren’t sealed tightly enough. If there are no bubbles, then the gas line is perfectly sealed.

Resources:
Richard emphasizes that working with gas is extremely dangerous and should be left to a licensed professional.

All of the tools and materials Richard used to shorten the gas pipe, including the replacement nipple, pipe dope, pipe wrenches, and the soap test, can all be found at home centers.


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