Water Heater Gas Connection

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by sjm133, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. sjm133

    sjm133 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Mobile, AL
    I'm back again with another gas WH replacement question regarding the gas connection to my (potentially) new WH. I've seen several pictures, videos, etc of making the connection from incoming gas line to the WH gas valve and noticed variations in how they're piped. The attachment shows the most common I've seen, top image, and also what my current connection looks like, bottom photo.

    My questions are basically;

    1) what's the difference
    2) is one preferred/recommended over the other

    My potentially new WH will be 40,000 BTU and my current is 32,000 BTU so I'm sure I'll need to make some sort of change but was curious as to the piping differences first.

    Thanks in advance.

    WHGasLine.jpg
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,915
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    It depends on local code.
    In the West, they like to see flexible connectors. We have earthquakes.

    Some places that don't acknowledge the danger prefer solid connections. I would talk to your local plumbing inspector about it.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,334
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Terry says it all. Local codes prevail. FWIW, I have 7 gas appliances in my home and all of them are connected with flex tubing. My water heater water lines are also flex tubes and all of my water using fixtures have flex connections.
  4. sjm133

    sjm133 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Mobile, AL
    I guess the basis of my question was regarding that round doo-hickey in the line leading into the valve in the photo. What is it? The top image shows an option of flex line or solid line with the the drip leg and no round doo-hickey.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,915
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    It looks like a high pressure line with pressure reducer.
    Is this an LP water heater?

    [​IMG]
  6. sjm133

    sjm133 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Mobile, AL
    It's Natural Gas. That little silver plate on the top reads "Max Pressure 10 PSIG". Also, those yellow bands, one around vertical line and one on top of the doo-hickey, both read "2 PSIG GAS".
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,915
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    So yes, it's a reducer. That has to stay there.
    You can hard pipe from it, or use a flex. Since you already have soft copper coming in, that's like a flex line anyway.
  8. sjm133

    sjm133 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Mobile, AL
    Excellent. Glad I asked. So as I mentioned at first, I'm looking at replacing my 32k BTU with a 40k. Will this affect any of this piping?
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