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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have a suggestion for replacing stolen copper pipe and a regulator from our roof in Tijuana that connected to a 300 liter LP tank and from the tank to service pipes to the interior of our home? I was hoping maybe something plastic, or trac pipe. Or doing the copper again, but securing it better. The roof to our condo is accessible for 10 units. The only other solution I can think of is to change to black steel pipe or more securely bolting down the copper tubing so it can't be taken apart too easily. Help! Cold showers and no stove is getting old fast! I've also considered keeping a ferocious dog up there, or gating in the perimeter of our alotted roof space, electrical wire fence....anything that'll help secure the piping!
 

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LPG is pretty low pressure. I would think PVC to be fine. Leave your inside pipes copper though. Can't be too safe with LPG, unlike natural gas, it is heavier than air and will accumulate indoors.

For the regulator, mount it inside a box, bolted to the wall. Or even better, Concrete with wire mesh.
 

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I suggest you get an opinion from someone who understands the limitations of the different kinds of plastic pipe. I do know that high density polyethylene, HDP, is recommended over PVC for usage in gas service, though I'm not aware of all the reasons. It's too easy to do a job like this right (and too easy to do it wrong) and a gas leak could be the result of a poor decision.
 

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The same thing happened to my wife's family house . They replaced it with galvanized steel pipe . Don't try copper again , because they will steal it no matter how hard you try to secure it .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
More info

ok, all this sounds like how've I've been thinking about resolving it. At this point, I'm thinking about using galvanized pipe. I'm assuming the metal content isn't of much value to steal, or is it just too difficult to remove? I can provide a link to a series of photos if anybody wants them. I'm not allowed to post this yet.

The copper pipe is still going into the house from the roof and the replacement pipe needs to adapt to these joins. I'll have to figure out a way to secure the new regulator to the tank's shut off valve. I'm not sure if this is LPG or propane, natural gas. I company called Zine I believe delivers the gas on a big truck and hoses it into my tank from there.

My main concern is safety. I guess the copper pipe, and I suppose galvanized or black steel pipe is extremely hazardous in a lightning storm, huh! Perhaps I'll consider encasing it all in larger plastic pipe. Not sure how to handle the regulator. This can be off a ways from the tank I suppose and I'll construct some sort of wire-mesh, cement encased space for this hot little item. Previously I've also had my water meter stolen and it's behind a locked access gate now.
 

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I suggest you get an opinion from someone who understands the limitations of the different kinds of plastic pipe. I do know that high density polyethylene, HDP, is recommended over PVC for usage in gas service, though I'm not aware of all the reasons. It's too easy to do a job like this right (and too easy to do it wrong) and a gas leak could be the result of a poor decision.
As I understand it, liquid propane requires a certain kind of pipe. A few years ago, I had to have a section added to my installation and had some leftover copper plumbing pipe in perfectly good condition. The plumber said he couldn't use it because the gas line had to be a different … thickness? diameter? composition? I don't recall the reason, but he came back with a length of pipe that looked almost identical to the plumbing pipe but apparently wasn't. Best to check on that.
 

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Professionals?

I don't know about youse guyz but when it comes to things like explosives I would rather call a professional than rely on us here, unless any of us are plumbing/heating specialists.

There must be more than one plumbing/heating contractor in Mexico and I would trust the proposals from a few of them on the composition of pipe.

Handling gas is way too dangerous to be left to amateurs, mistakes can cost not only your life and home, but your neighbor's life and home also. In this case pay the money...shave the risk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Professional all the way

I agree with you FHBOY. The original install was professionally done. So will the second version. I'm beginning to think this whole deal with the theft of the existing copper has been a stroke of luck as now I can truly eradicate any safety concerns as well as having any potential thieves scratching their heads. I am curious about Sparks' use of copper tucked into the corner covered with cement. I have the same rooftop build he mentions and except for the connection to the roof's tank, the service point in the middle of the roof and at the rear over the side wall, this could work. Would the pipe need to be encased in plastic first? What about earthquakes that could tip the tank and break the pipe encasement causing an explosion? My goal is to get ideas here, and present them to a professional installer in Mexico. However the last professional installation got stolen, hence the need to seek a strategic future implementation of this piping. Has anyone heard of track pipe that is covered with a plastic covering? I'm considering using this also but I'm not sure how it will fly with the bomberos in Mexico. Can anyone inform me what kind of gas I'm getting delivered to my tank in Tijuana?
 

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I don't know about youse guyz but when it comes to things like explosives I would rather call a professional than rely on us here, unless any of us are plumbing/heating specialists.

There must be more than one plumbing/heating contractor in Mexico and I would trust the proposals from a few of them on the composition of pipe.

Handling gas is way too dangerous to be left to amateurs, mistakes can cost not only your life and home, but your neighbor's life and home also. In this case pay the money...shave the risk.
I would call the gas company . They should know what works and what to avoid .
 

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I don't know about youse guyz but when it comes to things like explosives I would rather call a professional than rely on us here, unless any of us are plumbing/heating specialists.

There must be more than one plumbing/heating contractor in Mexico and I would trust the proposals from a few of them on the composition of pipe.

Handling gas is way too dangerous to be left to amateurs, mistakes can cost not only your life and home, but your neighbor's life and home also. In this case pay the money...shave the risk.
I would agree with that. Even the company that delivers the gas may have the name and contact of a company that will do the work for you. I would get at least 3 quotes however.
 

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There is PVC piping specific for gas or LP installations. I´ve used it on some developments. It´s just as reliable as copper, but it has to be the specific type, with the connectors, couples etc specific for that line of products. I cant recall the name of the brand, but if you PM tomorrow I will remember to check, I have all that information in my office.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
There is PVC piping specific for gas or LP installations. I´ve used it on some developments. It´s just as reliable as copper, but it has to be the specific type, with the connectors, couples etc specific for that line of products. I cant recall the name of the brand, but if you PM tomorrow I will remember to check, I have all that information in my office.
Please do give me as much information as you can. I'd really like to use plastic that will be acceptable to the fire department and a professional installer in Tijuana. This will need to coupled with existing remaining copper tubing which services the back patio's water heater and clothes dryer and a service point in the middle of the roof that connects to a stove. My neighbor there, also suggested plastic, but it had to be a certain type. Internet search “CPVC”, “PEX”, or “plastic gas pipe” for more information on these products, pipe, and fitting systems.

I'm a new member and am unable to PM you until I do five posts. So please message me if you can or put the info in a reply to this thread.
 

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Does anyone have a suggestion for replacing stolen copper pipe and a regulator from our roof in Tijuana that connected to a 300 liter LP tank and from the tank to service pipes to the interior of our home? I was hoping maybe something plastic, or trac pipe. Or doing the copper again, but securing it better. The roof to our condo is accessible for 10 units. The only other solution I can think of is to change to black steel pipe or more securely bolting down the copper tubing so it can't be taken apart too easily. Help! Cold showers and no stove is getting old fast! I've also considered keeping a ferocious dog up there, or gating in the perimeter of our alotted roof space, electrical wire fence....anything that'll help secure the piping!
** The preferred pipe for LP gas is typical Black Iron pipe (BI), NOT Galvanized! Black Iron pipe is typical hard piping and less expensive than galvanized, and will not rot, athough should be painted but NOT required. The galvanizing can corrode on the inside of the pipe after continued exposure to the LP gas and clog the regulator and or other orifices in your appliances.

You'll need pipe, fittings, brackets, threaded rod, nuts (2 per hanger), hack-saw, (2) pipe-wrenches, screws for brackets, screws to fasten base plates and regulator to structure, pipe thread sealant, screw driver, spray paint for pipe, sopay water solution in spray bottle. You might also consider a silicone caulk/sealant beneath all base plates to seal from potential leaks, as well as where ever the pipe enters the house.

The regulator should be mounted OUTSIDE the house and MUST be vented. Be sure to use a quality pipe thread sealant on all male end of all fittings. You'll need (2) pipe wrenches. Wrench #1 is used to hold pipe-A while wrench #2 is turning pipe-B (or the appropriate connection fitting). Once the install is complete, turn on the gas and check each connection by spraying with soapy water solution...bubbles will expose leaking connection, which can simply be tightened using the pipe wrenches. The pipe should be supported with proper pipe hangers. If using threaded-rod type hangers, remember to use nuts on each end of the rod to lock it into position on the hanger (to keep it from wobbling). These are the best/most secure type of hanger and can be tightened very securely. They consist of (2) 1/2 round brackets which clamp around the pipe and fasten to each other w/screws. This bracket is then attached to a base plate using a section of threaded-rod. The base plate is fastened to the structure with two screws. The threaded rod is purchased in 6' sections and then cut to your preferred length with a hack saw or sawzall. Again, don't forget the nuts on each end of the threaded rod. One tightened against the bracket, one against the base plate, keeping the rod from turning/wobbling. You can buy different length sections of pipe, and or have them cut and threaded to length to fit your application. You can also buy a section of flexible gas line in case you have difficulty getting the exact length to bring the copper and BI pipe together. This section should be as short as possible.

When you get to the point where the BI and Copper pipes must connect, there are fittings to properly connect them leak-free.

I hope this helps....
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok, I just returned to Tijuana yesterday. With the aid of my wife, we drove down the hill from our house and located a great plumber to do the job. Upon obtaining a regulator and piping for this work, we were introduced to Flowguard Gas CVPC/AL/CVPC pipe (FlowGuard® Gas). Our tank is LPG, which is low pressure. We also noticed that others were also using plastic pipe in our area, but this pipe has an aluminum inner core sandwiched in between two layers of CPVC. It can easily be attached to our existing copper with adapters. The whole job cost around $130.
 
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