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We're switching out the natural gas oven for a new model, and we opted for electric. We already have the 240v supply in place and ready to go.

The oven is the last piece of natural gas equipment in our home. We still have pipes running about for the water heater (which we recently switched out for electric, and capped off).

Since there will still be natural gas pipes running throughout the house, are there any special considerations we should take as we cap-off the final leg in our gas system, and shut it off at the meter?

I.E. since there are pipes about, should I somehow evacuate whatever leftover gas is in the lines of the house? Should I take the pipes out? I'm just unsure if there's anything I'm "missing" besides just shutting off the gas at the main (and calling to cancel the gas service)

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  • 5
    Induction is supposed to be as good as gas, if not better, with a few exceptions (such as using a wok). And that (@Elcan) couples heat more efficiently into the pan than gas, offsetting the transmission losses. Gas has transmission losses too though, in the energy used to pump it around, compress it, etc. And very few places have no renewable generation; most are increasing. If I get solar panels as I hope to, I'd seriously consider going for a combination of induction and halogen electric burners
    – Chris H
    Jun 29, 2022 at 8:25
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    @Martha I recently switched from Gas to Induction, and it's absolutely amazing. Temperature control is just as good, and induction is a lot faster when you need it. So even apart from climate change or not wanting to support Putin (if you're in Europe) etc, it's just a better cooking experience. But I agree that a standard electrical stovetop would be a step back. Jun 29, 2022 at 11:14
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    @njzk2 I've heard of it. I've heard of Valhalla too. Good fiction.
    – paulj
    Jun 29, 2022 at 11:17
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    Ask California about rolling brown outs and their push to have everything electric. See how that's going there...
    – FreeMan
    Jun 29, 2022 at 11:47
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    @Eclan electrical generation from gas is done very efficiently at the power-plant scale - much more so than the efficiency of a stovetop burner. There are also air quality and fire safety considerations to be made. Jun 29, 2022 at 11:49

3 Answers 3

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I would not take the pipes out because of the demo cost and the fact that having them available may increase the value of the home for resale. Call the gas utility and have the service turned off and when they pull the meter cap that line and there is no more real safety issues but the line should be capped to prevent additional moisture and rust inside the lines.

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    I would intentionally air out the pipes after the service has been shut off, but apart from that yeah, 0 reasons to remove them
    – Hobbamok
    Jun 28, 2022 at 8:24
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    Isn't airing them counter-productive? There is no pressure to force the gas out so no significant fire danger, on the other hand, air brings inside moisture and oxygen (=corrosion) and mixing gas and air is a risk in itself. @Hobbamok
    – fraxinus
    Jun 28, 2022 at 9:04
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    @fraxinus would the gas leak out and oxygen leak in over time anyway?
    – user253751
    Jun 28, 2022 at 11:56
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    It shouldn't. And if it does, it will hardly reach explosive ratio outside at any point of time (inside is rather hard to have a spark)
    – fraxinus
    Jun 28, 2022 at 13:10
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    @computercarguy there is a trivial amount of gas in the pipes. I might be more concerned about drapes, bedding, carpeting, clothes in closets, boxes of matches... Jun 28, 2022 at 23:06
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should I somehow evacuate whatever leftover gas is in the lines of the house?

It's not terribly difficult, just open a few ends of pipe and consider it evacuated after about an hour. Make sure you have plenty of ventilation as well. Cap it off again to avoid rusting the inside of the pipe.

There is very little gas inside of the pipe; it's usually pressured to just .25 PSI. There is no practical danger of leaving it inside the pipe if you're shutting it off at the meter. Over time it will leak through the joints anyways.

If you evacuate it then your basement will smell like mercaptan for a few days.


Should I take the pipes out?

That's up to you.

A reciprocating saw with a carbide-tooth blade makes light work of gas pipe. Just be careful not to cause collateral damage!

Pros:

  • Makes the basement neater
  • Makes room for other utilities
  • Get some pocket change at the scrapyard for your pipe

Cons:

  • It takes effort
  • If you ever had a need for gas in the future then adding lines would be costly
  • If you're selling your home then buyers might see it as a negative; I know I would
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  • I had my gas supply disconnected (meter removed) at a house which I am demolishing in France. There was absolutely no smell of gas on opening the tap to the heating boiler and I cut out all the gas pipework with an angle grinder without any problems (admittedly, the boiler hadn't been used for 10 years).
    – grahamj42
    Jun 29, 2022 at 11:37
  • @grahamj42 Sounds like either France doesn't use an odorant such as mercaptan or the pipes have been in disuse long enough for things to dissipate.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Jun 29, 2022 at 11:54
  • I'm pretty good at detecting mercaptan, so I think it was the latter.
    – grahamj42
    Jun 29, 2022 at 13:46
  • @grahamj42 Same here. Sometimes my wife will bump the stove knobs and not notice a thing for well over an hour. Me, I can smell a leaky joint in a 1,000 square foot basement.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Jun 29, 2022 at 14:03
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Shut off at the meter is the main thing. Cap off the pipe. There should be a service valve on the cooker supply pipe already in the shut-off position.

There's no reason to worry about the small amounts of gas still in the pipes.

To further reduce the chance of a gas leak leading to disaster after some idiot(*) turns the meter valve back on, you might lock the meter valve in the off position. Maybe with tape, if it has no provision for a padlock.

Note, when you terminate your gas supply with the utility company, they will probably do this for you, either at (or inside?) the meter, or with an upstream valve outside the property that you don't have any access to.

I'd leave the gas piping in the house in place, in case the next owner of the property wants a gas supply. (I know I would!) If it's actively in the way, it's easily cut and removed.

(*) or a person with early-stage dementia.

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