[opendtv] Re: Steel pipes for gas!

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2006 08:52:30 -0400

At 5:24 PM -0800 10/30/06, John Willkie wrote:

We know that gas lines break during earthquakes (Northridge '94, magnitude 7.1), and although it's been a few decades, I remember attending San Diego City Council meetings where building code upgrades were discussed, including keeping the requirement for steel gas lines. Haven't paid much attention since then.


If I were concerned about the potential of breaking a gas line, I would probably prefer the plastic lines now being installed. There are three general problems that can cause gas leaks:

1. Construction crews that do not properly locate utilities before digging. We've had two such incidents with gas lines in the past year or two here in Gainesville. I doubt that steel has any advantage over plastic when a back-hoe snags a line.

2. Corrosion. Plastic is the hands down winner here. The installation procedure uses ultrasonic welding techniques, which make the joints as strong or stronger than the plastic pipe.

3. Earthquakes, sinkholes, etc. When the ground starts to shift, which would you rather have, a pipe system that is flexible and can bend, or one that is rigid? We are not talking about plastic water mains or sewer pipes, which typically have segments that plug-in to one another with gaskets or glue. Gas mains are thick wall plastic with ultrasonic welds.


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