This post is one in a series on remodeling small bathrooms. To access the lead post, please select the link in the prior sentence.
How often is there a natural gas explosion in the US? Every few days! Seriously!
Why are there so many? Because natural gas is highly flammable and ignites fairly easily. That is why natural gas has a harmless but smelly gas added to it. So we know when it leaks and can take appropriate action.
The Solera Group provides expert bathroom remodeling services in the greater San Jose metro area
What’s most important about your natural gas system?
That every section of it be properly sized and every joint be gas tight.
When you look at the diagram, you see there are four gas appliances in that home.
First in line is a 65,000 BTU range, next is a 50,000 BTU water heater, then a 125,000 BTU furnace, and last a 40,000 BTU gas grill. The system must be sized as if you were to run all your gas appliances at once, because you might.
If the pipes were too small to deliver the total amount of gas needed to all devices, when you turn on a “down stream” device, you might “starve” an upstream device of gas. If that happens and that device has a pilot light, the pilot light goes off. When the gas stream is resumed, that pilot light just became a gas leak.
Gas tight? Not air tight?
Natural gas molecules are smaller than air molecules. As such a pipe junction that is air tight is not necessarily natural gas tight. If you seal a natural gas junction with silicon tape, you use the right one (yellow). If you use the wrong silicon tape (white) it is guaranteed to leak.
How do building departments test gas tightness?
You shut all of gas appliances using the valve at the appliance. You then fill the gas system with air (I know, I know) up to 15 PSI. You then wait 15 minutes. After 15 minutes the pressure must not have dropped. If it did, you have a leak in the system somewhere and the inspector will not pass it.
For help with your bathroom remodel, please contact us.