Swing Joint for Natural Gas Riser to Meter (Union)?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Geobrick, May 4, 2021.

  1. Geobrick

    Geobrick Member

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    Can/should I do a Swing Joint from a riser to the meter? It's a 1-1/2" riser. I was considering using 4 elbows (maybe 2 of them street elbows) and a 6" or 8" pipe to be able to have better control when lining up the union joint (with whatever other benefits come with a swing joint - the downside being more opportunities for a leak). The previous hook-up used an 'L' type connection (elbow off the the riser, 12" pipe to another elbow to a 20" pipe with the union at the end).

    This is above ground, outside the house where a riser from a line serving backyard appliances (BBQ, Fire Pit, and pool heater) attaches to the meter.

    If the recommendation is to do it, is there any reason the pipes need to always be perfectly horizontal and vertical? I understand the Union needs to be as in-line as possible but can the swing joint's pipe be moved to whatever angle works to meet the union? I only ask because it seems like pipes are always installed squarely, vertical or horizontal so maybe there's a code restriction or just an esthetic plumbers like to see.
     
  2. Tuttles Revenge

    Tuttles Revenge In the Trades

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    A small bit of swing joint work will make the rest of it look great. There are provision in plumbing code for straightness and following building lines and whatnot, but that only comes into play when you're trying to impress people.. gas doesn't care if its 2° out of plumb..
     
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  4. plumber69

    plumber69 In the Trades

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    You want an S or a U shape no street 90
     
  5. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    aestetics basicaly, and individual opinion. sometimes it looks better to have a swing joint than a bunch of extra fittings.
     
  6. Geobrick

    Geobrick Member

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    I understand "no street 90" but can you clarify what you mean by an S or U shape.
    My assumption is the swing joint should be arranged so that any settling (down) would result in a tightening of a fitting vs loosening which means, depending on the layout, I would end up with an S or U shaped swing joint? Is that what you mean?

    |_| or ┌┘
     
  7. Geobrick

    Geobrick Member

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    Wouldn't a swing joint always have more fittings?

    In my situation, the position of the riser can't be lined up directly under the Union that was tapped off the main line from the meter. The original layout had the riser routed under a cement wall with a deep footing (you can see the original pics in my post where I thought there was a leak at the Union-but ended up being in the riser pipe underground). The riser barely made it above ground level (and at a slight angle). They put a 90° elbow going to a 12" pipe (nipple) to another 90° elbow to a 24" pipe which ended at the union fitting. That method seemed to have enough freedom to be able to line up the union because the riser had several inches of play (because it connects to flexible PE).

    In searching for the leak, I had some of the deep cement footing removed which no allows the new riser to sit level with the existing PE depth (instead of having to dip deeper than 18" (or whatever the code requires) to get under the footing. So the riser's end will be a better height. I can still do an 'L' connection but thought (without custom made pipe lengths) the swing joint would give me height flexibility to meet the Union. So an 'L' would require 3 fittings (two 90s and one 6" to 12" nipple) and a swing joint would be 7 fittings (four 90s with a small nipple between them (not using a street 90) and the 6" to 12" nipple).

    Here's a picture of the original orientation:
    Gas-Service-1-IMG_3238.jpg L-joint-IMG_3244.jpg
     
  8. plumber69

    plumber69 In the Trades

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    Now you got me wondering about loosening or tightening
     
  9. plumber69

    plumber69 In the Trades

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    pretty sure meter can lower and rise do to frost
     
  10. Geobrick

    Geobrick Member

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    Yeah and who knows whether it gets pulled down or pushed up by the soil. We don't get freezing where I live but we get earthquakes occasionally.
     
  11. plumber69

    plumber69 In the Trades

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    Was talking to a guy the other day. His Inspector said if you s shape into a house off meter it has to be to the left of the meter. Which would tighten the fittings on settlement. If it S shap to right it would loosen
     
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  12. Geobrick

    Geobrick Member

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    Makes sense if it's going into the sides of the meter. In my case, I'd be swinging up to meet a union (see the picture above). If I elbow off the riser 90° to the left and the next elbow is 90° towards the meter which can swing up (clockwise tightening) with a 10" nipple then to an elbow 90° to the right to another elbow that can swing up (clockwise tightening) to an 18" nipple with the Union joint, if the riser sinks over time, it will cause the elbows to tighten. If the riser rises (which it must because after all, it's called a 'riser') then the elbows will loosen.
    Either way, I don't think it's anything to be concerned about.
    I bought enough fittings to do a swing joint or just an 'L'. I'll decide once the riser's in place. I'll probably do a temporary install using each method just to show the pictures here. I should have it done within the week. I've only been at it for 2 months.
     
  13. plumber69

    plumber69 In the Trades

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    You want 3 90s. Heres my neighbors. The purpose of the 3 is to keep less strain off the vertical. This is a s shape.
     

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  14. Geobrick

    Geobrick Member

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    Location:
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    Here are some dry fit examples using a 4 elbow swing joint.
    I could adjust by using different nipple lengths.
    With the riser at about the correct height, it comes very close to the bottom of the meter but it's workable.
    None of the pictures demonstrate the arrangement required where settling results in tightening. I'm not sure I can do it with the layout I have.
    4-elbow-swing-joint-IMG_1549.jpg

    On the layout below I play with trying to keep it from running directly under the meter. I'd need to play with the segment lengths to have it look better.
    IMG_1560.jpg
    This configuration results in loosening of fittings when the riser settles. I'd have to come at the union from the left side to be in the tightening geometry but can't do that because other pipes are in the way.

    Below is using a more direct connection. Similar to how it was. This is probably the configuration I'll end up using.
    2-elbow-IMG_1557.jpg

    And here's the clearance under the meter. Seems workable.
    IMG_1558.jpg
     
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