My Options: Rip Off or Blow Up?
May 27, 2008 11:16 AM   Subscribe

We are having a new kitchen floor put in. Everything has to be out of the kitchen. The propane company wants $130 to spend two minutes disconnecting and reconnecting our propane kitchen stove. There is a shutoff valve next to the stove. Can I safely DIY. How?
posted by Xurando to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You can, depending on your level of proficiency with a wrench.

You'll need teflon tape and an adjustable wrench.

Light the stove, turn off the shutoff. Wait till the stove goes out. Unscrew the supply line from the valve. Move the stove. Really at this point you should consider using some dish soap to check the line for leaks...around the shutoff. Bubbles= bad. Go ahead and clean off the soap when there's no bubbles, it's not good to leave it on there.

When they're done, move it back in, put teflon tape on the threads (at least 2 full wraps) and reattach. Turn the stove OFF, turn the shutoff ON, and test for leaks with the soap again.

Make sure you don't overtighten, but go until it doesn't move any more.
posted by TomMelee at 11:29 AM on May 27, 2008

I want to add that there is a correct way to apply teflon tape:

When looking at the pipe opening head on (gas would stream into your face) you wrap clockwise around the pipe threads. This way, when you tighten the pipe into the fitting (or equivalently the fitting onto the pipe) the fitting "smoothes out" the tape. If you wind incorrectly (counter-clockwise when looking at the pipe head on, then tightening the tape will back the tape off and cause it to bunch up. I hope this makes sense. Gas/propane lines (and most other plumbing applications for that matter) use a "pipe thread" which is tapered, providing the seal you need. Teflon tape is there as a lubricant to allow tightening, but incorrectly installed teflon can interfere with the seal.

Use TomMelee's tip of very soapy water again after you hookup the stove to test again for leaks. And after you have everything hooked back up, turn off your stove valves before opening the shut-off. Then after you have tested for leaks you can test the stove.

I am not a plumber or pipe-fitter but I have some experience with DIY gas/propane projects like this one.
posted by KevCed at 11:45 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

One last tip. Use the YELLOW Teflon tape, not the white. The white stuff is for water, the YELLOW is specially designed for natural gas and propane. Other than that I think the other two posters have it covered
posted by Mr_Chips at 12:02 PM on May 27, 2008

Best answer: One more tip: Gas fittings are threaded the reverse of normal threads. I.e., for gas it's lefty tighty, righty loosey.
posted by bricoleur at 12:29 PM on May 27, 2008

Note that the connection may be via flare fitting, in which case no sealant should be used. If the flex connection is metal have a good look that it isn't cracked, dented or otherwise damaged.

Also depending on your location and the age of your house there may be improvements to the connection that should be made because of seismic requirements.

Secure the shutoff in the off position with either wire or tape so it can't accidentally get turned on while the stove is disconnected.
posted by Mitheral at 12:34 PM on May 27, 2008

Dish soap can be corrosive to some varieties of gas plumbing - as long as you're buying teflon tape, pick up a bottle of non-corrosive surfactant made for detecting leaks, it'll be in the same place as other gas fitting supplies (some users may now want to chime in and say this is ridiculous, it's what my stove guy told me and he didn't have anything to gain by it, he was only selling me the stove). It's really pretty easy to deal with. Use the leak detector, check all joints after you re-connect it and turn the gas back on, if everything is tight you're good to go.
posted by nanojath at 2:01 PM on May 27, 2008

If you are uneasy, a plumber can do this task, and may charge less.
posted by theora55 at 3:19 PM on May 27, 2008

- Not all gas fittings are reverse thread.

- When you break the connection, note how it is put together. Does it have pipe-sealer or teflon tape? Then reinstall it with same. If not, then don't use it.

- As others have said, generally, there are two types of fittings. Compression type, where the pressure of a tightened nut seals a flare against a taper. Do not use sealant on this kind of connection. Or the pipe thread type, where the threads are actually tapered, and as you tighten the pipes, they physically lock together and the tightness of the threads creates the seal. This type of connection benefits from teflon tape. (When you install the tape, just use one or two layers of thickness, and turn the tape the same direction as the pipe will be turned when its installed. You want the pipe threads to glide over the end of the teflon tape, not turn against the end and bunch it up.)

- Not sure how propane is scented, but I know that with regular natural gas, if you can't smell it, it isn't leaking. The odorant used is specifically chosen to be very, very noticeable.
posted by gjc at 5:39 PM on May 27, 2008

Here across the Connecticut in NH, the law now requires that a licensed gas person do the hooking up, or so I discovered when I bought a new gas range this spring. They tested all the gas lines, fittings and appliances in the house at the same time. $103.00.
posted by Hobgoblin at 6:02 AM on May 28, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, mission completed. The most helpful tip was about the reverse thread. I got a little worried when I was unable to unscrew the fitting at first. I switched from a crescent wrench to a more solid sized wrench and it came right open. Because it was a flared fitting I used no sealant. Thanks for saving me $130.
posted by Xurando at 2:31 PM on May 29, 2008

« Older Stop noise bleeds before they start   |   Getting a children's book published Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.