Just what is the device in the photos below? I traced the pipe it branches off of, and it is the gas line for the hot water heater in the house. (That pipe can be seen in the background of the end view.)

Side view: Side view of mystery device

End view: End view of mystery device

Inline (larger diameter) section: Larger diameter section inline with mystery device

Side of device, closeup -- the only text I could find on the device: closeup shot of text on side of device

  • 1
    Bit of moisture and sulfur content in that gas, flowers of sulfur around the valve stem packing nut that have evaporated from a minute leak over however long it's been there. Dec 21, 2015 at 17:56

2 Answers 2


Trick question??

A flare fitting (male) with no female line attached (is the soft copper line loose -it's the type of thing this might mate to) a valve with the handle missing, an adapter to a larger pipe size, a short section of larger pipe, an adapter to smaller pipe size, perhaps a few more m/f size adapters tossed in there.

You didn't ask and I can't really divine a purpose for the short fat pipe. You could open it up and see if it's packed with some sort of filtering material - perhaps the thing that used to attach to the fitting was very picky about dirt in the gas.

  • laughs Come to think of it -- you're probably right on the money. I'll have to take a look at the soft copper line. (The house had a gas range long, long ago, then was converted to an all-electric kitchen.) Why would the handwheel be pulled off like that, though, instead of simply capping off the male flare and leaving the valve intact? Dec 21, 2015 at 3:45
  • 1
    So someone (children, adults who act like children) doesn't inadvertently open the valve. They needed a valve handle, and this one wasn't being used. They broke it. Aside from caps for that type of connection not being overly common, the guy ripping the gas stove out didn't care to do anything beyond the minimum when disconnecting it, at a guess. Perhaps they were just preserving the option of changing back to gas by leaving the whole thing in place.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 21, 2015 at 3:55
  • 1
    @Ecnerwal the fat pipe is a reservoir. My father-in-law is a plumber and used the same setup (a wider pipe in line with narrower pipe) to get his natural gas grill to work better.
    – Gunner
    Dec 21, 2015 at 11:15

I'm pretty sure it's just a valve with the handle missing. If it weren't a valve you would have gas coming out of that flared fitting.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.