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  1. #1
    Tim Toale's Avatar
    Tim Toale Guest

    Default Gas Flex vs. Gastite vs. Tracpipe for BBQ natural gas grill

    Hello. I’ve read extensively about Tracpipe and Gastite for a new natural gas line I’m running about 50’ from my meter to a new BBQ grill that I’m putting in. I understand that these are both great products, but expensive. I’m wondering if anyone has ever worked with a product called “Gas Flex” sold by a company called Excel America out of Miami.

    Here are some website references:

    gasFlex Flexible Gas Pipe Piping Tubing Tube Indoor Outdoor Instalation

    Results for 5. GasFlex System

    gas Flex tubing pipe by THE METER 1/2" 10353P1 - eBay (item 260393252424 end time Jun-07-10 15:08:13 PDT)

    They have an eBay store selling .5” Gas Flex for about a third of the price of Tracpipe or Gastite. Gas Flex is not a CSST, but rather a bendable aluminum core coated internally and externally with PVC. Regardless of which type of flexible line I use, I will run it in sealed PVC conduit both underground and aboveground. I’d really like to use this Gas Flex if I can find it by the meter in .75” diameter rather than .5”. Has anyone ever used this? I don’t have a lot of confidence in the Gas Flex website gasflex.com. The pressure drop calculations they have listed are in metric and the standard conversions are quite large. For my ~50’ line, it was telling me that I would expect to lose about 3.5” w.c. even with the .75” diameter Gas Flex. I really don’t think there is that much pressure drop especially since the inside of the pipe is not currogated, but rather smooth with the PVC liner. Thanks in advance.

    A disclaimer: My interpretation of NFPA 54 is that this Gas Flex would be against code if it is installed outdoors or underground since it is aluminum and not stainless steel. I'm not overly concerned with a code violation, but am questioning the quality of the product itself.

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    Last edited by Tim Toale; 05-17-2010 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Updated
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Gas Flex vs. Gastite vs. Tracpipe for BBQ natural gas grill

    This is one of those things that you really don't want to go cheap on. Why not invest the dollars now instead of paying them out later to correct a problem. If it was me I would hire a good plumber to run good ole black pipe to the location and them use a flex line for the connection.

    What is allowed and not allowed by your utility company and the local AHJ? You should look into this before you do anything.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Gas Flex vs. Gastite vs. Tracpipe for BBQ natural gas grill

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    This is one of those things that you really don't want to go cheap on.

    If it was me I would hire a good plumber to run good ole black pipe to the location and them use a flex line for the connection.

    Not only that, but some places do not allow homeowners to install "everything" as many homeowners think they should be allowed to do.

    In South Florida where I used to live, when I installed my whole house generator I was allowed to do everything EXCEPT for the gas - I had to have a gas company install the tanks and a licensed contractor (plumbing licensed in gas) to install the gas line.

    And, as Scott said, use black pipe, it is much better, that is what the plumber installed for me.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Gas Flex vs. Gastite vs. Tracpipe for BBQ natural gas grill

    Trac Pipe makes a product called Counter Strike that can be buried directly and is lightning resistant.


  5. #5
    Tim Toale's Avatar
    Tim Toale Guest

    Default Re: Gas Flex vs. Gastite vs. Tracpipe for BBQ natural gas grill

    Thank you all for your input. I think I am more comfortable with rigid gas pipe since it is harder to put a shovel through. I'm debating running the rigid pipe myself and just having a master plumber come out to hook it up to the gas meter and then inspect and pressure test the entire line. I checked local requirements and galvanized pipe is not approved for underground gas use in my area. The plumbing inspector explained that "black steel" coated pipe is approved for direct buried, but it is not clear to me if this is the same as the "black pipe" that is sold at Home Depot or Lowe's. Does anyone know if this "black steel coated" pipe is the same as the "black pipe" at the big box stores? Thanks again.


  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Gas Flex vs. Gastite vs. Tracpipe for BBQ natural gas grill

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Toale View Post
    Thank you all for your input. I think I am more comfortable with rigid gas pipe since it is harder to put a shovel through. I'm debating running the rigid pipe myself and just having a master plumber come out to hook it up to the gas meter and then inspect and pressure test the entire line. I checked local requirements and galvanized pipe is not approved for underground gas use in my area. The plumbing inspector explained that "black steel" coated pipe is approved for direct buried, but it is not clear to me if this is the same as the "black pipe" that is sold at Home Depot or Lowe's. Does anyone know if this "black steel coated" pipe is the same as the "black pipe" at the big box stores? Thanks again.
    Black steel and black pipe are one in the same. It is steel pipe with a black corrosive resistant paint. Most likely you could buy it cheaper at a plumbing supply store if you are getting 50 or so feet of it. Go with the plumber to set the pipe and hook it up, you'll be glad you did in the end.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Western Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Gas Flex vs. Gastite vs. Tracpipe for BBQ natural gas grill

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Toale View Post
    Thank you all for your input. I think I am more comfortable with rigid gas pipe since it is harder to put a shovel through. I'm debating running the rigid pipe myself and just having a master plumber come out to hook it up to the gas meter and then inspect and pressure test the entire line.
    I don't know what your experience and skills are, but given the nature of your questions I'm not inclined to think they are very extensive in pipe fitting.

    The LAST thing you want is an underground gas leak. I don't know of many plumbers that will sign off on a homeowner job, even when that homeowner is a licensed plumber in a different state (learned from personal experience). Have a licensed plumber run your gas piping start to finish. Trust me on this one.

    Also, you should be aware that just because Home Depot or Lowes carry something, it doesn't mean it's good quality or is even approved for use in your state.


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