Gas pipe joint has rotated--leak?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by MBrown, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. MBrown

    MBrown New Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    OK, here's the situation:
    My two overly rambunctious cats knocked over a stepladder in the utility room. The ladder fell over and was stopped by...the gas pipe leading to the furnace.

    The gas pipe hangs down from a 90-degree joint that is anchored to the floor joist above. When the ladder hit the pipe, the horizontal part of the 90-degree joint rotated on the pipe threads, knocking the pipe out of alignment. I slowly moved the pipe back into position and dripped soapy water (as best as I could) on top of the joint to see if there were leaks. As far as I can tell, there are none. I also don't smell gas (but that may not mean much).

    My question is, should gas pipe joints be rigid? Or should they be as flexible as these, allowing the pipe to rotate easily along its threads? (The yellow flextube from the valve to the furnace was fine.)

    Do you recommend that I have a plumber replace the gas line joint?

    P.S. I've moved the stepladder, but had to keep the cats. :(

  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    Gas pipes

    I use liquid soap straight to check for gas leaks. From your report, it doesn't sound like you have a leak. However, gas pipes should be tighter that what you have described, and unless you have the tools and mechanical skills needed to properly do the work, you should call either a plumber or heat contractor to properly inspect/repair your pipes.
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    The joints should be tight, but if that piece of pipe is fairly long it had a lot more mechanical leverage than even a fairly large pipe wrench. You can only tighten joints so far, but if you twist them with a long enough wrench, or piece of pipe, they will turn no matter how tight they are.
  5. MBrown

    MBrown New Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Thanks everyone

    The joint seems fine but I'm calling a plumber tomorrow to have him/her check it out for my sanity's sake. I need an estimate for a water supply repipe anyway. Thanks!
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