My new home is under construction and I noticed the gas has been distributed to three places through a very tight and rough hand-dug hole.

Yes, I have concern about potential gas leakage. Though we will have advanced detector...

Is such installation normal? If not, What kind of code is related to this?

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Update: 2016/03/06

More unbelievable work has been done to "protect" the gas pipes...

not straight stress hurt1 hurt2 hurt3 brand of the flexible pipe

County inspector just say they will determine if it meets the minimum code requirements. Now just wait to see if it can pass the county inspection.

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    Wow those look like flexible lines. In my area it must be hard plumed inside a wall. Gas lines are usually pressure tested to 30psi and the actual pressure is less than 2psi. If those are flex lines I would ask the inspector if they are allowed in a wall. Many times the inspectors only check the pressure gauge then check the points of use so this could be overlooked. Then they check the gauge on the way out no pressure change it gets a green sticker.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 29 '16 at 14:07
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    I think your plumber might be an idiot. Also @EdBeal is right, flex lines inside a wall are a bad idea, and flex lines so close to the interior edge of a sill plate? Someone installing baseboard around this room stands a great chance of nailing right into the flex. Feb 29 '16 at 15:39
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    What on earth is even going on in this house? The hardline for the gas comes from the second floor and goes down toward the basement? And they don't see fit to extend it another 6 inches into the basement, and instead put an ugly hole in the sill to stuff flex lines through? Aside from investigating if it will even pass code, I would demand a full explanation by your super. Unless there is a really good reason, insist they rework the entire connection and fix that sill.
    – Jeff Meden
    Feb 29 '16 at 17:50
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    As a homeowner you should always be entitled to observe inspections and get answers from the inspection authority to any questions you may have. Builders don't go out of their way to seek extra scrutiny but you're paying for all of this and your family will be living here. In my experience, inspectors are happy to meet homeowners who want to understand good building. You do have to be a stickler about this though because inspection schedules tend to jump around a lot in response to both contractor and inspector availability. Feb 29 '16 at 19:38
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    @BigBadFatRabbit Please, as a favor, follow up on this story! I am really curious to know how that pipe layout came to be.
    – Jeff Meden
    Feb 29 '16 at 21:02

No, it is not okay. Make sure this is fixed before it's covered up. I'd have to search through the code books to find all the relevant code sections, but simply looking at this there appears to be a few problems.

I'm pretty sure you can't have connections like that in concealed location. So if this wall is going to be finished (covered with drywall), they have to be moved.

If the pipe is within a certain distance from the edge of the wood member it passes through, steel plates have to be used to protect the pipe.

I'm not sure if non-rigid pipe is allowed in concealed locations, but I'm sure if it is, it has to be protected in some way.

Call your local government, and have this inspected.

  • (not a plumber disclaimer) These don't look like flex lines to attach appliances, but rather CSST. One manufacturer's literature (wardmfg.com/literaturedownloads-2) shows fittings in concealed locations, stating: WARDFlex®/WARDFlex®MAX mechanical fittings have been tested and listed per the requirements of ANSI LC-1 /CSA 6.26. This specification provides test requirements which certify fittings for concealed locations and connections where accessibility is not possible. When the use of a concealed fitting is required always reference the National Fuel Gas Code NFPA 54 or CSA B149
    – Tim B
    Mar 2 '16 at 16:29
  • @TimB That's true, the pipe may be allowed in concealed locations, however, as I said, I think it has to be protected in a specific way especially where going through framing members. Black iron pipe needs less protection, whereas CSST typically requires large steel plates. See this answer for more detail.
    – Tester101
    Mar 2 '16 at 16:44
  • yes, I added that as a comment on another answer. I was only speaking to whether hidden fittings were never allowed. No strike plates and penetrating outside of the bottom plate both look like real issues.
    – Tim B
    Mar 2 '16 at 17:36
  • @TimB, Thanks for the CSST information! I think then it's probably OK to be installed in the concealed place. The builder still hasn't finished the work for inspection. They will install steel plates before inspection I think. As you said, penetrating outside of the bottom plate will be an issue...The ugly dug hole really make me sick:(. I will wait to see what county inspector says and keep eye on this until they really do it right. Mar 2 '16 at 18:57

I would not have any flex lines in the walls. It is probably against code. It could be ruptured by a nail or screw. As for running it through the floor and trench they make a solid pipe rated for that. If you passed inspection it would be a good idea to ask for another one and point this out. Better safe then sorry.

  • 1
    I quote one CSST manufacturer's literature above. It does appear to be permitted to run CSST through walls, but that same document shows that striker plates are required to protect the tubing: At concealed support points and points of penetration less than 2 inches from any edge of a stud, joist, plate, etc. shielding is required at the area of support and extending 5 inches in one or both directions (if appropriate). So based on that, I don't see how the lack of protection at the floor penetration passed. In fact, how do they even plan to drywall that spot?
    – Tim B
    Mar 2 '16 at 16:32

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