Gas furnace pipe repair

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Gas furnace pipe repair

Postby Gilbey » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:20 pm

We have a Lennox high efficiency gas furnace, installed in 1999. A few days ago I thought I smelled gas in the house. We called the gas company's emergency number, the inspector arrived, found two or three leaks in the interior piping leading to the furnace and a couple more leaks outside. He shut the gas off and advised that we had to get the entire length of the piping tested, then repaired and pressure tested before the gas could be turned back on.
The technician who came to do the repairs did the -
1. tested, with a soapy mixture, all the pipes that he could reach. There was some piping behind the actual furnace that he could not reach/test.
2. pointed out the number of elbows and joints/connections in the pipes - there are many, due to the manner in which the gas pipes had been brought into the house through the garage and the basement ceiling.
3. cut out all the pipes behind and above the furnace, where there were many leaks around joints, etc. and replaced the pipes with flexible copper piping. He said this would make for fewer joints/connections and, we assumed for him, an easier repair job.
4. repaired leaks outside, repaired the connection where the pipes come into the house from outside and painted all the exterior pipes.
5.pressure tested the pipes.
6.said there would be a smell of gas for a few minutes because he had to blow air out of the pipes. There was an odour of gas for about 5 minutes.
7.turned the furnace back on. It worked, no smell of gas since.

For this work done by two men - it took them 4 hours (8 man-hours) he charged us $1,000.00 for parts and labour.
My -
1.Is it reasonable/safe to connect this flexible copper piping between two areas of rigid pipe?
2.Is it safer than the old metal pipes?
3. Was the cost reasonable?
4. How the h*ck could we get so many leaks all at once?

Sorry this is so long but I do hope that you can provide me with some information. I have received great help on this site in the past.
Thanks!
Gilbey
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- Gas furnace pipe repair

Postby Freon » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:30 pm

1.Is it reasonable/safe to connect this flexible copper piping between two areas of rigid pipe?

Yes as long as it's above ground. If you are concerned, check your local building code... every municipality is different.

2.Is it safer than the old metal pipes?

It's as safe but metal piping is cheaper.

3. Was the cost reasonable?

To me the cost was ridiculous. Plumbers get between $50 and $65/hr unless you're in a big high priced city like NYC or Boston.

4. How the h*ck could we get so many leaks all at once?

The original installers did a poor job. My best guess is the connections were not tight enough to begin with and the pipe dope kept the leaks to a minimum. As the pipe dope hardened and expansion and contraction of the pipe occurred due to normal temperature changes, the leaks increased.
Freon
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- Gas furnace pipe repair

Postby Gilbey » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:41 pm

Thanks for the response. We have had the work checked - our local gas company wanted another $70.00 to do this. We have confirmed that the tubing used is within code for our area and that the tech who did the work did a good job. As to the price - well, I think we got taken for a ride but I think he knew we were desperate!
Thanks again - always get good advice here.
Gilbey
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