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This pipe may have been an old oil line for a heater. I want to cut it off and cap it then bury it in the concrete. Copper pipe, 6/16 outter diameter. Capped now but also crimped. I can use a copper tube cutter and maybe recap it. Then chisel away some concrete and bury it with a concrete patch. What cautions should I take? The line should be inactive but how can I know? If it’s natural gas I will be concerned. Ideas?

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  • Where was or is the oil tank? A world of grief awaits if you have not tracked it down and made sure it's both empty and gone.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 6, 2023 at 16:26
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    "6/16"? aka 3/8?
    – brhans
    Jul 6, 2023 at 16:40
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    Definitely sounds like old oil line and not like gas -- gas is generally iron pipe.
    – keshlam
    Jul 6, 2023 at 16:58
  • @keshlam Many places have allowed semi-flexible copper pipe for natural gas in the past (though it seems to be discouraged or banned now due to the added odorant corroding the copper).
    – Moshe Katz
    Aug 6, 2023 at 5:52

2 Answers 2

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We have one of those. It was from the original oil tank, which was outside. When the oil tank was replaced, they ran new lines, and after emptying the old tank, they just left the original feeder line in place, since it was no longer connected on the other side. It's buried under the floor, and would be really hard to get out anyway. As others have said, you need to confirm where it goes. If you have a buried tank and it wasn't fully emptied, when you uncap it you'll have a mess, at the least.

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You have two bad ideas here:

Bad idea 1 is to ask random people on the Internet about a pipe which is possibly carrying combustible materials inside of your house. If it's an old fuel pipe, you risk a huge mess, and maybe a chemical spill in your property. If it's a gas pipe, you risk fire, injuring yourself, or death.

Bad idea 2 is to then hide such pipe inside of concrete, transferring the risk to the next person who has to work in that area.

What you need to do is go around the basement and find where pipe is coming in. If it's an old fuel line, look around where the oil tanks used to be -- usually near a wall, with the re-filling pipes drilled into the mud sill. Once you confirm that the pipe is not connected to anything, do the next person a favor and remove it completely.

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