One of the homeowners (who is also a gas fireplace installer) in my subdivision sent an alarming email to everyone stating that the gas line between the meter and the house is not of the correct type to be buried. He says that this arrangement will lead to leaks.

Nearly every house in the area has the same arrangement: the pipe exiting the gas meter goes down in to the ground, then comes back up about 4 feet away and enters the house through the wall.

gas meter

gas pipe entering house

And here's a close-up of the only writing I can find on any of this piping:

enter image description here

So, is this guy right? Should I be worried about a leak?

1 Answer 1


Looks like galvanised steel which correctly should not be buried! even with the Zinc coating it is still susceptible to oxidization and corrosion!

  • Which most of the rural installations I've ever been around are. What does code require? Apr 7, 2013 at 20:34
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    If you live in an area with "wet" natural gas or sulphide content, rules usually prohibit copper and galvanized pipe due to reactions with the materials. If allowed, Galvanized Iron pipe joints must not be exposed to earth (must be run through conduit). Apr 7, 2013 at 20:56
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    Every states building codes are different. Florida has some weird plumbing style codes. I am assuming the user is in Florida as his profile says so. In which case Florida building code stipulates you may only use polyethylene (PE) normally black or copper. The reason for no allowance on galvanised steel is that the zinc coating reacts with the gas and causes it to flake off! Copper does oxidize however that is technically not rust. Preferably you would always use polyethylene! Apr 7, 2013 at 22:21
  • And from what I've been reading on the subject, if the contaminants in the gas will cause Zinc to flake, they will put pinholes in copper. I think the Gas Rated polyethylene is the way to go on this and be done with it as well. Might as well make the repair permanent. Apr 7, 2013 at 22:32
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    I have reviewed the latest copy of Florida building codes, There seems to be some caveats that aren't fully explained in the document specifically what the standards that they specify it must conform to actually are. My initial analysis maybe incorrect, You really need to read it for yourself. If your interested in reading about it you need only look up; 2007 Florida Building Code, Fuel Gas SECTION 403 (IFGS) PIPING MATERIALS www2.iccsafe.org/states/Florida2007FinalDraft/fuel_gas/PDFs/… Apr 7, 2013 at 22:38

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