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How to Connect Steel Gas Pipes

Looking to connect gas pipes in your home? This Old House Plumbing & Heating Expert Richard Trethewey explains a new method for connecting gas pipes, known as “press-connect.”

When gas comes into a building from its main source it is distributed to various appliances via steel pipe. Traditionally that pipe is cut to size and then threaded before being connected using fittings with opposing threads of the same size.

A new method, known as “press-connect” is on the rise in the US since it was adopted by code standards a few years ago.

PLEASE NOTE: Gas pipe connections should be done by a licensed professional.

How to Connect Gas Pipe Using the Press-Connect Method:

1. Cut the pipe to length

Using a band saw or miter saw equipped with a blade for cutting heavy metal, the pipe is cut to length.

2. Remove burs

Using emery cloth, the cut end is cleaned to ensure that it is smooth and free of burs.

3. Dry-fit and mark the fitting depth

To ensure the pipe sits fully into the fitting, dry-fit the fitting and mark its location on the pipe. Measure the distance to make sure it complies with the fitting manufacturer’s recommended depth.

4. Crimp the fitting

Reapply the fitting and crimp it using a specialty crimping tool. This tool is made specifically for this process and ensures that the proper torque is applied to the fitting.

How to Connect Gas Pipe Using the Traditional Method:

1. Cut the pipe to length

Using a power pipe threading machine, the pipe is cut to the proper length.

2. Reem the pipe

Once the pipe is cut to length, the inside of the cut end is cleaned up using a pipe reamer. This step removes the excess material that narrowed the interior diameter during the cutting step. Opening it back up removes potential friction which could impact that flow rate of the gas.

3. Thread the pipe

Using a specialized pipe threading die, tapered threads are cut into the end of the of the pipe. The thread taper means that they gradually grow shallower as the get farther from the pipe end. Applying pipe threading oil during the stage helps manage heat built up from the cutting process, which helps increase the longevity of the thread cutting teeth on the die.

4. Dope the threads.

After wiping down the thread to get rid of excess oil, gas-rated pipe dope is applied to threads.

5. Add the fitting

The fitting is then added and tightened using two wrenches.