Upgrading Your Pipes

Understanding The Use Of Black Iron Pipes When Installing A Gas Line

If a gas line has been severed either inside or outside your home, then you will need to speak with a professional who can complete a gas line installation for you. Gas line installation can be quite pricey with costs that range from several hundred dollars to more than $1,000. While the costs are partially due to the expertise needed to install the line itself, you will need to pay for materials as well. Materials include black iron pipes. If you want to know what these pipes are, then keep reading.

What Are Black Iron Pipes?

Black iron pipes are basically steel pipes that have a black exterior coating. Black iron pipes are made from steel, like galvanized varieties. However, galvanized steel pipes are treated with a stainless or rust resistant coating of zinc. Black pipes do not have this sort of coating. They instead have a dark iron oxide layer. Like the zinc coating, this helps to protect the steel from deterioration. 

Stainless steel pipes are suited for the transport of water, and the zinc will protect the steel from the formation of rust. However, over time, the zinc itself will deteriorate and leave the steel unprotected from rust. If this sort of pipe were used for the transport of natural gas, this can cause a major leak. Fortunately, the black steel does not deteriorate like this, unless it is in the presence of water. This makes the pipe ideal for transporting natural gas, but not water.

Even when black steel does deteriorate, it forms a fluffy, black type of rust. The rust does not flake or break away like it does on galvanized steel. This means that the pipe may weaken over time, but it is less likely to burst. Also, while steel is expensive, the black steel is still cheaper than the galvanized piping material.

How Are Black Pipes Installed?

Black pipes are made in a way that they are completely seamless, and long sections of the piping can be ordered and prepared for installation. With fewer seams, there are fewer weak spots where gas can leak out of the pipe. Also, your plumber or piping contractor will make their own cuts in the pipes where they are needed. When the cuts are made, the ends will be threaded. This allows the professional to secure tight fittings on the pipes that twist into place. 

In most cases, the threads will be attached to elbows, and these elbows are made from the same type of steel that the pipes are formed from. Teflon tape or thread sealing compounds are also used to make sure that natural gas does not leak from the fitting.