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Question DetailsAsked on 10/31/2017

installing a interior gas pipe for ac up against a wall thru ceilingg, is this safe

I am having a new ac/heating unit installed in my attic. I don't want the pro to remove the old floor heater so he says he will install the gas pipe up against the wall in the laundry room thru the ceiling to connect it.. Is this safe?

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Depends on local building code, but in most areas steel pipe can run exposed indoor or outdoor or in walls (suitably protected from potential damaflex or plastic pipe commonly cannot be run exposed in any user-accessible area or room but can be run through walls (usually no joints allowed in walls) or in crawlspaces and unfinished basement joists and such.

As far as "safe" - personal preference after seeing too many instances of leaking/ cracked/ damaged plastic, flex or copper (including corrosion in latter case with some gas sources which have not had the hydrogen sulfide gas totally removed at the source), I would require either regular black iron gas pipe or stainless tubing (I see no reason for stainless expense though). Whether he can legally run it exposed in the laundry room you would have to ask local building code inspector about if you don't trust the plumber to know the code - though would not be hard to run it up the corner and then block it out with drywall. Would be best if there is no fittings in the ceiling (or any in-room wall chase) - should continuous pipe from near the ceiling or lower in the laundry room up into the attic before there is another joint - just to minimize the risk of a leak in an enclosed space which could build up a lot of explosive gas before it is detected by smell. Black iron pipe is really tough (basically same as galavanized steel water pipe just different metallurgy which does not get attacked by the gas) and the joints, properly doped or teflon taped, very rarely leak.

I won't talk about the logic of having your central heating/air unit put in the attic - unless part of the conditioned space (finished attic), not a good place for a furnace in general, and a rotten place for an A/C because you are essentially putting your cooling system in the hottest part of the house in summer and at the same time putting the heating system in the coldest (winter) part of the house - making it work up to twice as hard to heat / cool. Plus then in addition wasting a lot of the energy put into the conditioned air because it is pre-heated (for A/C) or pre-cooled (in heating season) as it passes through ducts in the attic on the way to the rooms.

But, some houses these days they do not take the 30-40SF for a utility space like in the old days. I can sort of see it for apartments and apartment- condos where every square counts for a lot (though even then cutting into the balcony/deck or garage space a bit or such would free up room), but for a house unconditioned attic HVAC locations just makes no sense to me.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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