Author Topic: Gas Copper  (Read 4160 times)

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Gas Copper
« on: April 02, 2015, 03:54:47 PM »
Does anyone know exactly when refrigeration copper was no longer allowed to be used with new gas installs?

We got this water heater that was installed in 2004 and the it had the old style milled nuts and refrigeration copper. We red tagged it for having a busted section of the abs venting.

As long as I have been working with the stuff, type G copper had to be used in the early 2000's... One guy seems to think we were allowed to use refrigeration copper on gas fines up until 2010, which I'm quite certain is wrong.

Offline Admin

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Re: Gas Copper
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2015, 06:11:15 PM »
Quote
Clause 6.2.4 - Copper tubing used for gas systems shall be Type G, K, or L, and shall meet the requirements of one of the following Standards, as applicable:
(a) Type G tube shall meet ASTM B 837; or
(b) Types K and L tube shall meet ASTM B 88.

I attached a page from the B149.1S1-07 Gas Code, which was adopted August 1, 2007.  Clause 6.2.4 was not amended so it would have existed in the B149.1-05, which was adopted January 1, 2006.  I would have to dust off my Code books, but I believe Clause 6.2.4 also existed in the B149.1-00 and in the B149.1 as Clause 5.2.4.

At one point the TSSA considered ACR refrigeration tubing to be equivalent to Type L copper so we could save money and use one type of tubing for gas and refrigeration.  You can read the TSSA 2002 Update - Here

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ACR Copper Tubing –Just Say “L”!

The types of copper tubing appropriate for natural gas or propane service has changed. Clause 5.2.4 of the CSA-B149.1 allows types L, K and G tubing only to be used. The Code does not specify ACR tubing for use in natural gas or propane service. Many technicians would like to be able to use ACR tubing as an efficiency improvement for gaseous fuels in conjunction with their air conditioning installations.

TSSA is satisfied that ACR tubing meets the performance standards of type L copper tubing and is suitable for natural gas or propane service. We also recognize the potential cost savings and the reduction in confusion in the industry that result from using fewer types of tubing. Therefore, we will allow technicians to downgrade ACR tubing to type L tubing where they choose. If you have used ACR tubing for an installation and are questioned for Code compliance Just Say “L”.

TSSA proposes to bring this issue of moving to a single type of tubing to the next Gaseous Fuels Risk Reduction Group meeting to establish the merits of a transition plan for phasing out the use of all tubing types other than G. We would expect to reduce industry confusion and tubing costs. We welcome your comments or suggestions.

I still think if the ACR refrigeration tubing does not meet ASTM B 88 or ASTM B837 it's illegal, according to the Gas Code, but maybe we are allowed to use ACR tubing with natural gas if we just say "L".  ;D

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Re: Gas Copper
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2015, 11:51:15 AM »
Wow. I'm more confused than anything :D I'm not sure how a technician would know if their acr tubing, or existing, old tubing conforms to astm b88. I've seen it with nothing labelled on it, or just ACR, but never the other numbers. I can't imagine just being able to say it's type "L" would be sufficient enough without proof. I know just by bending acr copper in comparison to type G copper you can notice that G copper is stiffer. I don't know if it's wall thickness, or a different copper ratio.

Anyways, we had gone back to that  house to finish the ac install and check out how they dealt with the red-tagged water heater... the guy simply installed a pvc coupling to the abs on the outside (without changing the actual broken abs connection where the pipe rotated inside) and snorkelled the old abs up to get his 12" from the ground and put a pvc elbow on the top. It looked like crap and my boss had us rip the whole thing out and do the entire thing in pvc since it's only about 10' total, and we changed the old tubing and put on proper forged nuts that meet the  c37700 requirements

Also, when I removed the old copper, the copper was quite a bit filled up with flaking crap on the inside walls that looks like flaking ashes from cigarettes. It clings to the walls and then flakes off down the pipes. I've seen these many times before when removing old copper lines. I've never gotten a proper answer on what this is, and why it happens... It seems it could cause btu issues when a line is sized just big enough for an appliance, and then 10 to 20 years later the appliance starts getting starved of it's fuel supply. Or blocked up at the main valve.

Offline Admin

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Re: Gas Copper
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2015, 12:46:26 PM »
I'm not sure that the ACR tubing would ever meet ASTM B 88.  I think what the TSSA was saying is that they will consider it to be equivalent to Type L copper even without the ASTM B 88 rating.

When you say he installed a PVC coupling, was it a S636 fitting?  Download Director's Advisory FS-101-07-R1 - Here
I'm pretty sure the entire ABS vent would need to be replaced to S636 if it was cracked, separated or deformed, but we are allowed to mix ABS and S636 at the termination.

Quote
Existing vent alterations
1. Corrections made to existing vent termination
It is permissible to alter existing ABS venting system terminations with S636 approved PVC or CPVC venting components using appropriate S636 transition cements. Examples of such situations are as follows:
a. Addition of snorkels to accommodate grade changes, to overcome vent termination/air supply pipe freeze-offs and to correct customer complaints (e.g. blowing on bushes, window fogging).
b. Vent extensions to avoid building/air supply openings.
c. Alterations required due to deck installations.

As per Director's Advisory FS-210-14 only the flare nut at the appliance connection needs to be replaced, but if you replaced the copper line then I suspect you did the right thing by replacing all the flare nuts.

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Re: Gas Copper
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2015, 05:45:06 PM »
I'm pretty sure it was a 636 coupling and elbow he used, but I think it may have been some miscommunication with my boss... The original outside venting went up on a stupid angle about 6' along the outside wall. No idea why, It was broken and hanging half way down and actually blowing on the existing a/c condenser. It had actually twisted at a joint on the inside somewhere and rotated downward, but was still functional and sealed at all joints.... We had to cut off the big long section outside to get it out of our way to do the 636 for the new furnace.... So we cut it the abs for the water heater outside with about 3" sticking out... I assume when the guy came to fix it, he must have thought the issue was outside only, but the point that it pivoted from was inside near the water heater. It was also a tight place to get at.

As for the copper, I was glad to change it since it had all that flaky crap. It was only about 8' and took about 10 minutes to yank out and swap with the gooder stuff.

Offline howitt

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Re: Gas Copper
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2015, 05:13:01 PM »
So, can ACR copper tubing be used for gas in Ontario?

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Re: Gas Copper
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2015, 05:42:18 PM »
No. ACR copper has a thinner wall, or a lightness to it that doesn't meet the standards of type G copper.

Offline walker

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Re: Gas Copper
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2017, 07:44:03 PM »
Is there anymore clarification on this, we can't use ACR copper for gas lines.  I wonder if this will be set in stone in the new code book.

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Re: Gas Copper
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2017, 09:05:39 PM »
The B149.1-15 is the same as the B149.1-10 as far as Clause 6.2.4 goes.

Quote
Clause 6.2.4 - Copper tubing used for gas systems shall be Type G, K, or L, and shall meet the requirements of one of the following Standards, as applicable:
(a) Type G tube shall meet ASTM B837; or
(b) Types K and L tube shall meet ASTM B88.

I don't think we can use ACR tubing, even if we refer to the 2002 TSSA update.  Maybe I'm wrong but the TSSA should have an amendment, advisory or order clarifying this.

It looks like ACR, Type L and K tubing all have the same minimum tensile strength.  Type L and K have a thicker wall than ACR tubing.  I agree, some clarification would be nice.

I found some specs here,

http://www.cannellegt.com/sites/default/files/catalogo%20camlee%203.pdf

Do you know the cost on rolls of copper?  I'll have to ask the installers what type of copper they use.  I notice some use CSST and the last time I checked, with CSST fittings it's much more costly.

Offline walker

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Re: Gas Copper
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2017, 10:10:56 PM »
Well a roll of 50' 3/4 ACR is about $100, and the gas tubing is $170.  Gastite is about $350 for a 50' roll and the fittings are like $20 each. 

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Re: Gas Copper
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2017, 05:53:04 AM »
I spoke to the fireplace installer who only uses copper.  He says ACR tubing is not allowed to be used with gas anymore.

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Re: Gas Copper
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2017, 11:44:21 AM »
When I used to run copper lines for fireplaces it was sometime in early 2000's you couldn't use ACR for gas any more. Since ACR is made to ASTM b280, you can see it doesn't meet either codes for 6.2.4.

I've heard reasons from being that gets corroded internally from sulfur to gas copper being stronger. But never got a concrete answer for it. I've taken out plenty of old copper lines where you could see this ugly ash buildup on the internal walls. Sometimes I was surprised how any gas was still flowing through the pipe. I could always tell the difference between G copper and ACR copper just by the weight and bending it. I always found ACR copper easier to bend and lighter in weight.