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Running Gas Line to a Barbeque

ngp63's picture

I am building a small outdoor barbeque area in my backyard and was wondering if I could go ahead and direct bury black pipe from the house over to the barbeque. (I've heard that galvenized pipe is not good because the coating on the inside of the pipe can flake off and clog the burners.)

If black pipe cannot be used, is there perhaps some alternative material that normally used?

(post #109649, reply #1 of 19)

Not totally go up one side and down the other, but.  My FIL put in a gas line for his bar b Q.  He used black pipe.  However, the cost of the project could have bought about 20 years of propane tanks and now his BBQ is no longer moveable.

(post #109649, reply #11 of 19)

I put a quick-connect fitting on the wall beside the deck and have a long hose on the barbeque, so it can move around a fair way. At another home, they have several posts beside "features" (like lights, statues, planters, ...) that either have a gas connection or a power outlet in conjunction with a water spigot - one of my better ideas.


Phill Giles

The Unionville Woodwright

Unionville, Ontario

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Phill Giles

The Unionville Woodwright

(post #109649, reply #2 of 19)

Where I live (your mileage may vary), they use black pipe for above ground and flex-hose if it's buried(I have no idea if that's per regulation, but it seems to be the practise). I had 42' put in for ours, by a licensed pro: can't remember the exact price, but it was pretty cheap. With the big difference between natural gas prices and propane by the tank, it pay for itself..

Phill Giles

The Unionville Woodwright

Unionville, Ontario

Edited 9/19/2002 12:00:33 PM ET by Phill Giles

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Phill Giles

The Unionville Woodwright

(post #109649, reply #3 of 19)

Copper is best for use underground. Any steel product, black, galvanized or painted and wrapped, will rust away under ground.

(post #109649, reply #4 of 19)

Would the rigid 1/2" copper tubing with sweat connections used for piping water be OK, or is it preferable to use the flexible tubing with flare connections?

(post #109649, reply #5 of 19)

The flexible 1/2" copper tubing and flare (or compression) fittings would probably be acceptable - but check with your local gas company to assure compliance.  The gas lights popular in front yards a few years ago were frequently hooked up with 1/4" flexible plastic tubing just below the turf & many of these light went out when the next bush or tree was planted over the line.  

(post #109649, reply #6 of 19)

Hold it with the copper, black iron and galvinized. Doable, some are allowed in some areas. But there's a better answer.

Measure the distance. Go to a plumbing supply house. Get polyethylene pipe designed for underground natural gas lines. The smallest size will work for a BBQ (don't know if there's 1/2" but there is certainly 3/4"). They will attach metal risers on each end at your requested length. There's a small copper wires with it for future locate needs. Two connections, both made by a pro. A non-corroding pipe. Versus many threaded joints made by a homeowner with limited access and lots of dirt falling into the trench. Go with the plastic pipe. And with any material new to you in your area, check with your building department to confirm that it is allowed. I am required to put it 18" deep, regardless of material.

David Thomas   Overlooking Cook Inlet in Kenai, Alaska

David Thomas   Overlooking Cook Inlet in Kenai, Alaska

(post #109649, reply #13 of 19)

Like to thank everyone for their input, however I think I'm going in circles.

Checked into the polyethylene option, however it seems to be an expensive option. The tubing itself is pretty cheap, but they get you on the fittings ($17 for 1" tube, 50' long, $130 for the appropriate compression fittings at each end). (I should also mention that I live in the NYC area). When I balked at the price I asked about copper tubing, and the counter man said that it couldn't be used because the gas would cause it to corrode. I don't believe he's correct on the corrosion point, however it may be a local code violation to use copper (will have to check into that a little deeper). I then went to a local bar-b-que and fireplace store to see what they would suggest AND after telling me they never heard of polyethylene, they suggested galvanized (because that's what they always use).

So, unless I find a cheaper source for the poly, OR I find out it's OK to use the copper, I may go with the galvanized.

PS: For all the interested parties, I'm building a masonry counter to accept a drop in unit from DCS.

(post #109649, reply #14 of 19)

Was the $130 for them to install the fittings? They are around $20 apiece and very easy to install (compression type). Your supplier was correct about the copper and I stand by what I said about galvanized. What is everyone's opinion on the life expectancy of black pipe underground.


(post #109649, reply #16 of 19)

Black iron is the supply to my house meter unit and that is sure enough coming from underground. Not black anymore thore, more of a rustic looking orange. However, all the other stuff appears to be a jacketed flex pipe. Have to put some 'T' joints in the attic for HVAC unit and just can't wait! I hate working gas lines. It takes me three reads of the code and about three weeks of restless sleep and rechecking the work over and over before I believe it's done right.

(saw an exploded house in Tupelo, MS. Gas leak, lady came home and put key into door and the spark from the static set it off, blew her and the door almost to the street, took out the windows, some of the neighbors windows and darn near killed her)

(post #109649, reply #19 of 19)

Whether you can use copper or not depends on the chemicals in your local gas supply.  Ditto for galvanized.  Around here, galvanized is OK for above ground, often see galv fittings and black pipe.  Underground, it used to be the steel pipe with that green plastic coating, and plastic tape over the fittings.  Now it's that or all plastic.  The gas co. retrofits rusted service entrances by threading some kind of plastic tube thru the inside of the old rusted pipe.  But of course that's on the high pressure side of the regulator.  In your application it's important to size the pipe according to code, or you won't get enough gas coming through.  Taunton's "Code Check - Plumbing" explains how to do that pretty well.


-- J.S.




-- J.S.


(post #109649, reply #8 of 19)

Copper tubing. One continous piece with flare fittings at either end. Buried no less than 18".

(post #109649, reply #7 of 19)


Here's a better idea: Forget about cooking with gas and build an old fashioned brick bar-b-q pit, and use real charcoal? If ya' wanna cook with gas ya' can do that in the kitchen.

Ya' think those guys with switch blades and brass knuckles cook outside with gas? Heck no they make their own heat!




(post #109649, reply #10 of 19)


You could do something like this and still run gas to it.



brass_knucklesbbq1.jpg84.2 KB

(post #109649, reply #9 of 19)

I agree w/ David use plastic. Be sure to have a shutoff at the appliance that is easily accessable. What brand/type of grill are you putting in or are you building your own? As far as the galvanized is concerned you're correct on the flaking but it blocks the orifice of the valve not the burners. Splitting hairs. Post some pictures when you are done. Has anyone seen any interesting grill installations? There are probably some great ones out there especially in the warmer climates.

(post #109649, reply #12 of 19)

A year or so back, I plumbed my bbq into my house propane(hwh,stove) with 1/2" soft copper. I simply connected the regulator from the bbq to the line with 2 shutoffs (for emergency and seasonal removal). I ended up with a really low flame, and asked a couple of guys from Agway that do propane work all day what they thought.

They instructed me to remove the regulator at the bbq altogether(which makes sense since there's already one on the tank- but made me nervous before they told me to). It's much better now but still low. I think next spring I'll re-run the line and use larger bore valves, 1'2" pipe should be able to carry more than enough volume I would think, I used the same type of install for a ventfree fireplace and I could roast a pig over that thang! Maybe I should start grilling in the living room...

Anyway, lose the regulator at the bbq and use quality valves.

JMHO, Mike

We do Fast, Cheap, and Reliable work.

Just pick any two.

(post #109649, reply #15 of 19)

Better check to make sure you can run you own gas line. Out where we are all gas line installations have to be done by a licensed technician because of possibilities of leaks, fire hazzards etc. and if you do have a fire the home insurance guy may have something to say about it.


(post #109649, reply #17 of 19)


This is a local code issue. 

Perhaps some places allow copper or black pipe.  But from my experience, When I lived in S. Cal, Dave Thomas's  plastic pipe was required.

You see, the sulfites in the soil would actually cause the above mentioned plus galvanized to dissolve very quickly.  Seriously. 

In my remodel, I wanted a nicer appearing gas meter.  Called the Gas co. and they sent out the job frontrunner to ascertain the requirements.  When he saw the meter and the subsequent 1 1/2"black pipe teeing off and going into the ground to feed the pool heater, he red tagged the line.  Couldn't use the heater again until the line was changed to plastic.  When I objected, he dug down an inch or so around the pipe and showed me how the thing had been eaten away to paper thin.

Then as I was replacing the line, I came across galvanized electrical conduit leading from the pool subpanel to I really don't know where.  Really.  The conduit itself had dissolved completely where in contact with the soil and then the inside wires (single strand) eventually did also.  No idea where they went.  I believe they were replaced with another circuit after failing.

Check with your building department for the safe way to do it.

(post #109649, reply #18 of 19)

A small but overlooked point: Not all appliances use the correct orifices for natural gas. If you get a Ducane, they ask if you are using propane or natural gas. The BTU difference is notable unless corrected for by burner sizing and valving.