Flexible copper 1/2" gas line to water heater -- how big an issue?

Building permit to install a gas line??

Yep, in many cities, you need a permit to do a lot of improvements to your own home. Most of the times, it’s a way to generate revenue for the city.

In the case of water heaters, gas lines, furnaces, I’ve seen too many cases of leaking gas lines and other dangerous installs. Some guys should never be allowed to buy a wrench, they’re just all thumbs and do it wrong. They’re not saving themselves any real money, just putting their familiies and home at risk.


You are correct that the gas companies add the chemical to produce the rotten egg smell,but it’s not hydrogen sulfide,hydrogen sulfide is found in natural gas in trace amounts,naturally,what they add is MERCAPTAN.


Santa Barbara, CA. requires building permits for just about everything. New appliances, new cabinets…anything. If you change or add anything that is attached in any way to your house, they require a building permit.

We moved the main panel, with permit, and when the inspector was there to sign off, he noticed the old cabinets stacked in the garage and all hell broke loose. Permits ended up being around $1800 for everything we did. Had the windows blacked out but forgot to shut the garage door. DAMN expensive lesson.

Where I live, Berkley MI, we are required to pull a permit to do any type of plumbing work, even if it is only replacing a garbage disposal. This is normal for most of the cities that I did re-mod work in before getting into inspections.

The Tri-County Service Board in my area prints a flyer titled: Permits Protect The Safety and Value of Your Home. One of the key points of the flyer is to let homeowners know that insurance companies may not cover construction work that isn’t permitted. If for example, an unpermitted deck collapses, homeowners may be liable for injuries and repairs. After reading this flyer I called my State Farm agent (who handles our homeowner’s insurance) and asked her about this. My agent stated that they would definetly deny a claim where work that required permits was done without the permit or didn’t pass inspection and resulted in injury or damage to the property. She told me that if a homeowner decided to add an electrical outlet without a permit, and it was later discovered that a fire resulted from the miswired outlet, the claim would be denied. When I tell my clients this, they have a new found respect and appreciation for complying with the process of getting the required permits and inspections.

Holy Cow! There’s so much to learn. I should have been a lawyer or a doctor. Too late now.

Yes. And no. Possibly.

Especially since you are in California.

If A is the SOP, and B is above and beyond the SOP, and there are 150 home inspectors in your area, and 149 of them are doing B, and you are doing A, the courts will hold you to B, meaning that you lose.

That’s why it is important to go to CREIA, ASHI, and/or NACHI dinner meetings, to learn what the competition is doing. It’s also vitally important that you know what the other organizations’ SOP’s are.

This is for California only. Mileage in your state might be different.

I’ve found the same in the states where I have done renovations, i.e., California, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, and Louisiana.

They run copper pipe here to carry propane from the tank. Does it not have hydrogen sulfide?

From the National Fuel Gas Code: Copper and Brass. Copper and brass pipe shall not be used if the gas contains more than an average of 0.3 grains of hydrogen sulfide per 100 scf of gas (0.7 mg/100 L).

So as I read this copper is allowed BUT not if your gas supply contains more then 0.3 grains of hydrogen sulfide per 100 scf of gas . Threaded Copper , Brass and Aluminum.
Threaded copper ,brass or Aluminum alloy pipe shall not be used with gases corrosive to such material.

I think Type K or L are the type of copper piping that can be used with natural gas.

Don’t see it that often around here.

The (Uncoated brass flexible connectors) are the topic of recall and explosion warnings/ notices (old types without any coatings). They fall apart /disconnect at the fitting end.:eek: