If you’re looking for a complete guide on how to tee off an existing gas line in your home, you’ll find this guide helpful.
Whether you plan to add a new appliance or introduce an outdoor gas fire pit, you can do it on your own, provided you have the right tools to use and the correct procedure to flow.
To do it correctly, the MOST crucial step you need to take is turning off the gas supply to avoid leaks and explosions.
With the gas off and all the traces left in the pipes fully dissipated, go ahead and start cutting the pipe to create a way for the teeing socket.
Discover more details below on how to cut into an existing gas line, including the right set of tools to use, a step-by-step guide to follow, safety measures to observe, and more.
How To Tee Off An Existing Gas Line? Guide in 2022
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it.
Tools and Materials Needed
- A variety of fittings.
- A reciprocating saw or a pipe cutter.
- Teflon tape (yellow).
- A pipe joint compound.
Step 1 – Turn Off The Gas
BEFORE you can do anything, you want to first turn off your home’s natural gas supply for safety reasons. You can turn it off at the safety valve at the meter or by simply turning off the safety valve on the line where you plan to make changes.
If you can’t locate the gas shutoff valve for any reason, call up your local utility company for help. In some cases, it will be easier and safer to let them turn it off than doing it yourself.
Step 2 – Let The Gas To Fully Dissipate
After you have turned off your main gas valve, don’t get to work immediately. Instead, wait for at least 20 minutes to ensure that any gas left in the line gets completely dissipated.
You might detect some fumes left in the lines. This is nothing to worry about because they’re not enough fumes to cause an explosion in your home.
Step 3 – Find The Line For Teeing
Now that you have set the necessary safety conditions, it’s time to locate the existing line you want to tee off from. Typically, the main gas pipe might be situated near your water heater or at the gas stove.
Where you tee off from will depend on where you intend your new line to go. For instance, you can tee off one of the gas lines to add a new appliance or utility to your kitchen. However, be careful not to go too far past any main gas systems.
Step 4 – Cut The Pipe
Using a pipe cutting wrench, cut off your pipe in a 360 degrees motion around the pipe.
If you don’t have the pipe cutting wrench, a good alternative would be the reciprocating saw or even a metal cutting blade.
The reciprocating saw is quite easier and faster to use. It is also helpful if you don’t have enough room to make the 360-degrees motion cutting as it lets you just cut in a downward motion.
Be careful not to nick or damage any other parts of your piping system while doing so.
Be sure to make two cuts around the gas pipe and remove approx. ½-inch piece of pipe to create a way for the socket tee.
Final Step – Install The Socket Tee
The last part involves introducing a 90-degree three-socket in the existing gas line to create your new gas line.
And when doing so, make sure the diameter of the existing and new lines are the same. Your socket tee should also be the same size to ensure proper fit.
When you’ve double-checked that everything is the correct size, connect your tee and secure it with a yellow Teflon tape.
How to Cut into an Existing Gas Line? Best Way
Cutting into a gas line can be done safely and effectively as long as you take proper precautions beforehand.
If you decide to cut into gas lines yourself, one of the key precautions to take is to make sure you turn off all of your gas lines.
After turning off the gas line, be sure to wait for up to 20 minutes before you start any cutting. Gas pipings that are turned off usually have little gas left in the lines.
But this isn’t enough to explore, so you shouldn’t worry when you see flames resulting from the sparks igniting this little vapor.
Proper cutting into your home gas line also requires using proper tools. The three main tools you can use include a reciprocating saw, a pipe cutter or a hacksaw. The reciprocating saw is a great choice if you have limited working space.
The Teflon tape you use MUST be gas-rated to ensure it is safe for use with gas fitting (gas-safe tapes usually come in the color yellow).
Above all, always know where your main gas shutoff valve is located. In case of an emergency like an explosion or burst pipe, it’s important to know how to turn off the gas flow immediately.
Important Tips For When Working On Gas Lines
Below, we have outlined some helpful tips to ensure you properly and safely get the job done when working with gas lines.
1. Check local regulations and codes
Depending on where you live, gas lines are governed by local building codes, so it’s important to follow these regulations before you start any work.
Some local codes/laws may prohibit working on the gas lines on your own, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with these laws.
2. Use the Right Tools
When dealing with gas lines, make sure that all of your tools are safe for use with gas lines. The wrong tools might cause serious injury as well as damage to the gas pipes. The reciprocating saw and pipe cutting wrench are the standard gas line tools.
3. Test for Leaks
After you’re done cutting into a gas, we highly recommend you test for any leaks before you start using the new appliance.
Use the soap and water spray method on the pipe and look out for any bubbles. If you can’t find any, it means your connection is secure and you can go ahead and use your new appliance.
Alternatively, use an electronic leak detector. This handheld tool is great because it beeps to let you know if there are high levels of natural gas in your home.
4. Practice safety!
It’s imperative that you protect yourself while you’re working on a gas line. The whole process can be dangerous, so make sure you wear proper personal protective equipment on hand. They include gloves, a safety mask, and goggles.
But most importantly, make sure the gas is turned off before you cut the gas pipe.
Why It’s Better To Hire A Professional For This Project?
Many homeowners try to save money by repairing gas lines themselves, but professional plumbers and electricians are trained and certified for a reason.
They will not only have access to expert-level resources and equipment but also know how to go about the whole process.
So, if you plan to tee off your existing gas line, you might want to consider calling in a certified individual to do it for you. This is to avoid harming yourself or your family along with paying for costly damage repairs later on.
You might also want to hire a professional if the area you reside in has strict codes and laws regarding working with gas lines and other repair jobs around the house. Ignoring these laws can land you in trouble with the authorities.
Some laws are so strict that you may end up being fined a colossal sum of up to $200,000!
Frequently Asked Questions
Before you commit to cutting into an existing gas line, learn more about some of the most frequently asked questions about teeing gas lines below.
1. Can you shorten a gas line?
Yes, a gas pipe can be shortened. But make sure you follow the correct procedure and use the right tools to get it done safely. Because working with gas can be dangerous, you might want to hire a professional to do this job for you.
2. Should gas pipes be exposed?
Gas pipes can be exposed. But if you do so, you must also make sure you follow proper piping practices such as hanging or strapping the piping every 4 feet or keeping the lines in protected areas.
3. Do gas lines get hot?
Gas lines can get hot depending on where they’re installed. For instance, if you place the line next to a heat source or area with high temperatures, it can get quite hot.
It should worry you if the pipes become too hot to the touch as it can lead to increased gas pressure and bring up the possibility of leaks or even an explosion. Insulating the gas lines is the surest way to keep them from getting hot.
4. Should I turn off gas when on vacation?
Yes, it is a safety practice to turn off gas when on vacation to minimize the chances of leaks and explosions. This is even a better practice if you’ll be away for a longer period of time. As such, you can enjoy your vacation with peace of mind.
5. Does the gas turn off when the pilot goes out?
Absolutely! The pilot light relies on the natural gas to stay lit, meaning it will go off when your gas is shut off.
Teeing off an existing gas line is easily achievable when you have all the necessary tools and the correct procedure to follow. The steps and tips provided here on how to tee off an existing gas line will guide you through the process of safely and properly cutting into your existing gas line.
Remember that gas lines are dangerous to work with, and you should only handle this project on your own if you’re confident in your skills. Otherwise, you should consider hiring a certified professional to do the job for you.
If your local laws and regulations do not permit homeowners to handle gas pipe repairs on their own, you should also call in a professional to avoid parting with large sums of money as fines for going against the local laws.