Ask The Expert
Dear Mr. Lamoureux,
I had a bar-b-que that wasn’t running right so I bought a new one. It’s still not running right. The man at the store said it may be water in the gas line. Does this sound like a possibility? How do you fix?
Thanks very much,
I would say that is a strong possibility and is actually very common.
For the repair, you have to replace that gas line or run a separate line to your grill.
Either way, the lines have to buried at two feet. You use Scotch Coat, which is a protective coating on top of black gas pipe or plastic gas line. To join lengths of the plastic line, you have to socket weld it with couplings or use butt fusion which needs a heater available at your local rental yard. This way, you use an iron and basically melt both ends together and stick them together. For this, I would strongly recommend you use someone who is certified for butt fusion. If not, the line is going to leak. Also with the plastic, you have to bury a tracer line with it which is a bare piece of bare # 10 copper. This is used in case the gas company wants to come out and identify that gas line, they would send a signal through the copper wire out of ground, called a firefox, and their locator would pick up the signal telling them exactly where the gas line is running. We usually wrap the plastic line with the copper wire about every 10 feet.
Most people use the plastic gas line underground because it is cheaper than the Scotch Coat, but to transition out of ground, from the two foot mark up, the line has to be Scotch Coat. You cannot come out of ground with plastic pipe.
To use Scotch Coat underground, file off the coating or take a torch and burn it off. You have to remove this coating or the threading dyes won’t fit onto the pipe. Once you get both ends threaded and ready for the coupling, use the yellow gas teflon tape wrap at each coupling. I use a gas compound also. Then you want to really cinch those couplings on there. Use two pipe wrenches and give it all you’ve got. This is where water got in the line in the first place so make it tight.
After you make all of your connections, then you’ll want to wrap each coupling with 10 mil tape three times so you have a minimum of 30 miles of tape. When you threaded the pipe, you had to burn off the scotch coat so the dyes would fit. You wrap it up so that none of this bare pipe is exposed. The inspector will check this. He will also cap off the line and see if it holds 10 lbs. of pressure for 15 minutes.
Submit your questions to: email@example.com. Robert Lamoureux of IMS Construction, Valencia, CA, has 30 years experience as a commercial General, Electrical and Plumbing contractor. The opinions expressed in “Ask the Expert” are not to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after a thorough visual inspection has been made.