You Are Not My Licensed Appliance Installer
October 23, 2015 5:05 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to connect my secondhand gas dryer and would like your advice on the sanity of this setup (second pic.)

I feel pretty confident I can connect the gas connector and an appropriate metal exhaust vent, but I don't understand this crazy setup where the gas line comes out right on top of the the vent exit.

I'm trying to remove that old gas connector and can't even fit a wrench in there to take it off. Meanwhile, I'm afraid I will kink the new connector if I install it in this location where it will run directly into the outlet box. And finally, is it wise to have the gas line literally right on top of the vent where hot air will be escaping the house?

I am willing to pay someone to... move the gas line I guess? But I'd much rather do this myself.

Handy people of metafilter, please advise.
posted by latkes to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That doesn't look ideal to me for all the reasons you described. I'm no expert on natural gas, but I doubt the dryer exhaust is generating enough heat to cause a real problem there. On the other hand, it's probably not a good idea to have it configured like that. If it were my house I'd probably hook it up as-is for now and get the gas line adjusted in the next couple weeks. Of course, if you really can't get a wrench in there, you're kind of up the stuck anyway.
posted by that's candlepin at 5:48 PM on October 23, 2015

IANYLAI, but I see no hazard in that setup. You just want to be sure that:

1) The new gas connection is tight and sealed, and
2) The hose doesn't touch the dryer vent

#2 is just because you don't want any plastic coating on the hose to melt off. Dryer exhaust doesn't normally get very hot. There's usually a safety mechanism to shut off the dryer if it starts getting too hot (like, around 200 degrees). But better to leave some room there, and your setup looks okay.

#1 is important, though. ALWAYS use a new gas connector flex hose and fresh teflon tape when you replace them. Remove all the old tape and clean it off the threads. Part of the connection seal depends on the metal edge of the nozzle deforming slightly when you put it under compression. Reusing a hose can leave gaps in the seal. Test the connection with soapy water - wipe some on and wait 20 minutes. If you see bubbles, you need to make it tighter or start over.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:05 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

A correctly sized open end wrench (not a crescent wrench) should fit in there.
If you can get that valve loose you could add a 90 degree fitting to make it more accessible.
And, yes, teflon tape and soap bubble test.
posted by H21 at 6:10 PM on October 23, 2015

I think the NEC and IBC code books say "NO" as far as the gas line passing anywhere near that electrical outlet box. Add in the heat from the dyer exhaust, and "NO NO NO NO". What you have now is a trifecta of safety fails waiting to happen.

This is an article on modern code gas connectors.

I'd run a 90 degree gas pipe up and away from the electrical outlet box, and run the gas pipe closer to your gas appliance.

Flipping the electrical outlet 180 degrees to the left, so that it is not directly over the dryer vent; would also not be a bad idea.

A double wall vent pipe either sheathing the existing duct; or replacing it would also lessen the heating effect that could transfer to the electrical box, gas line, or more importantly; any wood surrounding the dryer vent.

Call a professional and spare yourself from the risk of 1) an explosion (with electrical fire to follow), or 2) an electrical fire (with explosion to follow).
posted by buzzman at 6:21 PM on October 23, 2015

Teflon tape is necessary on the pipe thread fittings, but it isn't required on the flare fitting and can cause problems there if any of it gets in the wrong place. If you do tape the flare fitting, be very careful to keep the tape on the threads only and not on the conical taper at the end of the fitting.
posted by jon1270 at 6:21 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

There is really no need for the teflon tape on the flare fitting for the connector, as Jon states the seal is the tapered parts. It won't help, and could make things much worse. Pipe tape is for pipe fittings. The fact that it is there tells me someone didn't know what they were doing. There is a special yellow tape for gas, BTW
posted by rudd135 at 6:35 PM on October 23, 2015

Response by poster: Hmm. Thanks all.

Welp, this is a major pain in the ass. I created a 90 degree angle up and away but the very first fitting to the gas line is leaking and I don't think I can get it any tighter. Sooo... I may have to give up after all.
posted by latkes at 9:45 PM on October 23, 2015

I don't know if it's code but I've always installed the shut off just barely below the top of the dryer so that you can reach over top of the dryer with one hand and shut the gas to the dryer off without moving the dryer.

So in this case I would: Shut the supply gas off at the meter. Remove the hard 90. Install an extension from the upright to higher up the wall. Re install the 90 and shut off. And then finally install the flex to the dryer. Only do this if you can relight all your pilots.

And ya, don't use tape (or pipe dope for that matter) on a flare (tapered) connection. If the flare leaks the tape won't help (because gas will leak out the back side of the flare connection) and if it gets on the flare that will leak. Don't use tape on a compression fitting either.

PS: Verify the breaker feeding that electrical box is a 15A and not a 30A. That is a bizarre location for a quad box and I'd bet at one time it was a 30A dryer receptacle not a couple 15A receptacles.
posted by Mitheral at 11:58 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Here in the UK, DIY gas work is illegal. And for good reason. Even so, we still have regular gas explosions. Please get a professional to do this for you. Just looking at your photos made me wince.
posted by derbs at 7:38 AM on October 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hey folks, this was a very helpful discussion. Ultimately, I called the gas company to check if I had done correct connections. I had not, but they generously re-directed the line safely for me. However, I still feel like I learned a lot from this thread that I can perhaps apply later (and also that made me want to call the gas company to confirm what I was doing).

So thanks!
posted by latkes at 4:25 PM on October 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

« Older What's a good date idea (we're in our 40s)?   |   How to create a dripping liquid look for sriracha... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.