gaspipeThe Story

It was a 3 bedroom early 60’s home on a slab, just perfect for flipping. The new owners had spent a lot having a designer make plans for a gourmet kitchen when they found out the old gas pipe was now in the wrong spot. Then they called for help.

The gas service was 3/4 pipe and only fed a small furnace and the stove. The pipe in the kitchen came up about 24″ above the floor and was now where the new marble countertop would be. There was no way to run the pipe over to the new cooktop area, which was opposite the old location, without drilling through all the new cabinets. This horrified the new owners and simply wouldn’t be practical from a plumbing point of view.

The only choice was to run the pipe up, over the roof, and back down into the new cooktop location. Well, it wasn’t going to be easy.

I started by carefully bashing plotted holes in the walls to find studs and the old kitchen vent. I planned to make a swing joint in the pipe running over the roof to meet up to the new pipe location – wherever that ended up being. I started with a plumb bob to get the hole in the eave just right over the 3/4 service. I then had to install a new earthquake valve shutoff.

Spanning the roof with a full 21′ 1/2 inch pipe, I got as close to the roof rise as possible.

The next part was to get the pipe for the drop to the cooktop as close as possible. Drilling that hole with a boring bit and jumping up the diameter sizes was the only way to do it. That was no fun, I can tell you!

The owners didn’t like the holes in their plaster, but I had to get the right angle drill in there somehow. The holes were the least of the necessary evils. I got the pipe in there straight and switched to black iron pipe to run inside the walls. The photo looks like galvanized steel, but that’s only because the pipe was brand new and the flash reflected it. It’s per building code requirements to use black iron pipe inside of walls, so it never gets mistaken for a water pipe.

Outside the roof I used galvanized pipe to protect it from the elements as much as possible. Some areas require that only black pipe can be used for gas – whether inside or outside – so check with your local code requirements.

I then carefully stuffed it through the roof starting by taping the threads then pushing up past the roofline only a little bit. I slicked up the pipe from the inside with rooftar and continued pushing up to my guesstimation mark. The trick was to not get ANY rooftar in the pipe. I swung my swing joint over to the new location and threaded the pipe in. The final tightening was done from the inside.

A swing joint is made by a 90°, then a short nipple and another 90°. Then the trajectory can end up at any crazy angle it wants. You just have to make the pipe length about a foot longer than your longest span, and then you can meet up with the drop or rise without fighting it. A great trick that saves countless hours of frustration if you don’t know the secret.

Now, the easy part was jumping around the vent pipe and over to the cooktop, installing a shutoff and a flex line. Wallah! Done. It was nice when they signed that check. I charged well for my expertise that day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *