How To Install A Natural Gas Range and How To Add A Gas Supply Line

Are you considering installing a natural gas range in your home?

I did it myself and I have some great practical advice for installing a natural gas stove in your home. I also had to add onto the existing natural gas supply line in my home to make this work.

It’s been quite an ambitious learning experience for me but it’s also been a rewarding one, as well.
Why? Because it was easier than I thought and I saved a wad of cash.

We switched out our old electric coil range with a natural gas stove. If you’re thinking about doing the same or possibly want to extend your existing natural gas lines to a new outdoor grill, for instance, I invite you to get comfortable and heed my advice. The same principles will apply in dealing with cast iron pipe.

Put your common sense on overdrive and read on.

What I Had To Do To Install The Gas Range – Part 1

Disclaimer: I am NOT a licensed plumber and this is not a How-To website. I am simply sharing my experience with installing a gas range. Ask advice from professionals before considering this type of project and add my practical experience for good measure. If you have ANY reservations about attempting this type of project, call a professional to handle it for you. This is NOT a project to be taken lightly. Check with your homeowners’ insurance carrier for details on this project before attempting.

If you choose to follow the techniques, approaches and methods shown on this site, then you follow them at your own risk. In no way will the publishers of this website be held liable for any injuries or damages, direct or consequential, incurred by any person who attempts to follow the examples shown herein.

The information in this article assumes that you have natural gas previously available in your home.

 

  • Research brands and comparison shop.
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  • Pull out the old stove and measure the space for the newly chosen gas range. Most stoves are 30 inches wide. Our old range was a drop-in model so I needed my measurements to be accurate due to switching to a free-standing range. It was hard-wired also but that is saved for Part 3 of this series of posts.
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  • Retreat to headquarters (home), mull it over and make a decision (harass my wife into letting me have the stove I craved).
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  • With measuring tape and digital camera in hand, we went out and made the purchase. If the model you are purchasing is on the sales floor I suggest you take measurements and take photos of the range and where the gas connections are on the stove. Be sure to inquire about the gas connector and diameter. Also ask what type of electrical connection you will need to have available for the stove to operate on.
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  • One of the first things I did was locate the nip*le where I would be connecting the additional pipe and measured the outside diameter. Cast iron pipe that is 7/8″ outer diameter equals 1/2″ pipe in the store, meaning that they only go by the inside diameter. I took measurements from where it would connect all the way to where it would end up behind the stove.
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  • I read up on how to tap into the existing gas line in my home (here also) and saw that if I was careful and followed code and common sense I could save myself a bundle. I figured I saved somewhere between $250-$350 dollars based on conversations with a contractor and employees of Home Depot and Lowe’s. I spent just under $50 on materials including $20 on a new pipe wrench. Other supplies included: 2 elbows, 1 t-connect, 1 long piece of pipe and 3 short lengths (all cut to my measurements), cap, T2 pipe joint compound and the valve. I had the associate at Home Depot cut to length all 3 pieces. He cut them, reamed them and then threaded them, all on one machine. It took about 10-15 minutes due to the constant interruptions from other customers and Depot associates asking this guy questions. I obviously had one of the more experienced employees on site. That made me feel good about the advice I was given and confirmed what I had read on a couple of other websites.
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  • Once I had all of my supplies on hand and made an announcement to everyone in the house not to strike a match, etc., I shut off the gas at the meter on the outside of the house. It only takes a pair of pliers to accomplish this task. BE SURE TO LINE UP THE HOLE ON THE PART YOU ARE TURNING WITH THE STATIONARY HOLE ON THE METER. THEN PUT A PADLOCK THROUGH IT UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE JOB. You only need to turn it 1/4 of a turn. It’s a ball valve so it will turn either way indefinitely. Just line it up and put a lock on it.
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  • I pre-drilled 1 inch holes for the pipe in the floor behind the stove and through the floor joist for the 90 degree turn I had to make. I also made a temporary brace between the floor joists for the unattended end of the 90 inch pipe to rest on while I made the connection. In hind sight I should’ve waited to drill the hole through the joist until I had the pipe from the main line connected and was ready for my next move through the joist. Even better… I should have taken off about 3 inches from the 90 inch pipe to accurately align it towards the hole through the floor joist for the pipe. Why? Because by the time I was at the point of putting the pipe through the hole in the joist, I had added two 90 degree elbows (one from the existing gas line and one to turn towards the joist), thus adding about an inch+ per elbow due to the threads and the elbow itself. The result was that I ended up re-drilling another hole next to the originals. What can I say but live and learn.
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  • When I was finally ready to begin, the BIG moment was upon me. I eased the cap off of the nip*le to begin. Nothing herky-jerky here, folks. Nice and slow. In my case, it was a little tough to start turning the cap due to the old joint compound but it soon gave way. Be sure to open some windows to let the residual gas escape. It will smell for a little while but it soon dissipates. Feel free to take a short break.
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  • Joint compound was probably the single most important purchase. It acts as THE bonding agent between connections and prevents gas leaks from occurring. I basically just “painted it” onto the male threads thick enough to not be able to see the threads and that’s it. No gooping and layering. It’s not a cake! I went from connection to connection, putting the “pipe dope” only on the male threads. I tightened each connection firmly but didn’t over do it so I wouldn’t split or crack a pipe. Hercules need not apply!
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  • The final piece in the gas pipe installation puzzle was the gas valve. Simply follow the installation directions on the package.
  • The Gas Leak Test

    This part of the job is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. No shortcuts allowed here. When everything was completely connected, I turned the gas back on at the meter and mixed a concoction of half and half of dishwashing liquid and water in a small glass per the Home Depot guy and what I had read on do-it-yourself websites. I stirred it around and grabbed a rag. I then proceeded to dab the rag in the glass and dabbed it onto each and every connection looking for bubbles. You MUST give a 360 degree look on each connection. Otherwise, you’re rolling the dice with your life and your loved ones. If you don’t see ANY bubbles forming, you’re golden. GIVE THE BUBBLES TIME TO FORM. The bubbles may not form right away so take your time with this step…please!!! Then…wait a day, or two for the joint compound to cure and go back and cleanse each joint with clear water. This will prevent the compound from corroding over time.***An added bonus to installing a natural gas stove was this $200 rebate that we’ll get from Atlanta Gas Light Co. just for installing a new gas stove. Check with your gas provider for available rebates, if available.

     

    Preventing Problems with Combustion Equipment

    Use a properly sized range hood fan if you use a gas range.

    All kitchens should have exhaust ventilation to remove odors and excess moisture associated with cooking. While there are various ventilation strategies for kitchens, a range hood is the most common. When using a gas range, a range hood directly vented to the outside should be used to capture the combustion products. These range hoods should be sized correctly. For a typical kitchen range the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Home Ventilation Institute (HVI) recommend 100 cfm. Larger fans may need to have makeup air provided to avoid excessively depressurizing the house, causing backdrafting or other problems.

    After installation of combustion and/or ventilation equipment, combustion equipment should be tested to be sure that it functions properly.

    It is important that your installer conducts a worst-case depressurization test. This combustion safety test determines if any non-sealed combustion appliances will backdraft or spill combustion products into the living space. Tell your installer this test should use an established procedure such as Appendix D of the International Fuel and Gas Code or ASTM E1998 “Guide for Assessing Backdrafting and Spillage from Vented Combustion Appliances”.

    – the EPA on Indoor Air Quality in Homes/Residences

     

    Part 2 of this post will explain why we chose a natural gas stove vs electric.

    Part 3 of this post will contain the electric plug conversion and the actual delivery/installation of the gas range from Sears. I currently have a 220-240 volt (don’t know…that’s why I’m hiring an electrician) hardwired connection so the electrician will need to disconnect that and pull a new line from the panel or add on from the existing current within the kitchen line because the new range runs on a regular 120V line. We’ll just need to have a regular plug installed behind the stove.

    Resources: Hammerzone and DIY Network

    Randy Boerstler

    Writing a home building blog that chronicles new homes during different phases of construction from a consumers' point-of-view is rather unique and loads of fun. Basically, my tips are a collection of checklists for what I think should (and should not) go into building a quality home. So let's have fun seeing what's new in the housing market these days!

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    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shelley-Clark/1194604620 Shelley Clark

      Hi Randy, I recently had a gas line installed by a plumber from my service location, just outside the garage, then along the interior of the garage wall, up and over the entry way ceiling, and then into the kitchen via the ceiling and then down the wall where the gas stove will be installed. I’m on a slab, so there was no option to go under floorboards, and I didn’t feel comfortable running gas lines underground. I was very pleased with the whole thing until a handyman commented that the gas lines were going to be too close to the new ceiling once it goes back up. My plumber was really anal about testing the line and installing shut-offs in the garage, as well as a gas shut off valve at the service line for an earthquake of 5.2 or higher. But now I’m worried, and while the ceiling is still open, I want to fully think through the matter. (the gas line is run through notched lumber, with a metal strap underneath the gas line and the open notched section.

      • http://homebuilding.thefuntimesguide.com/ Randy

        Shelley…you might want to consider getting an inspector to look at your gas line project and let them tell you if there are any safety concerns. Nobody is in their pocket and you should get an honest assessment.

    • TXHDUltra07Low01

      Hi Randy, I live in San Antonio, TX I need to locate the gas pipe leading from the meter to my home and was wondering if you can tell me the standard depth the gas pipes are burried.

    • Luke

      Shouldn’t there be a valve accessible in the kitchen without having to move the stove to get to it?

      • http://homebuilding.thefuntimesguide.com/ Randy

        It’s perfectly acceptable practice to install the valve behind the stove and it was what I had been told was the correct thing to do by an HVAC/plumber contractor, two other people in the business and what I read on the internet from reputable sources. I’ve never seen a valve located anywhere other than on the meter, besides the one behind the stove.

        • Gwmanko

          The valve for my stove is under the floor (between the rafters in the basement) but if the basement is finished, a hatch would be necessary.

    • Geoffrey March

      Hi Randy, First of all thanks for the advise. I recently ran a 13′ gas pipe under the kitchen floor to bring gas to my stove. I drilled through a 4×6 plate from the garage to the kitchen. When I got to the point in the floor where the vertical pipe had to be connected I realized I with off about 15 inches. (Not short but off to the right. ) The pipe was flexible enough that I got push it to the whole but now that pipe is torque.
      I was able to thread in the vertical pipe but Im concerned about the torques pipe (not bent just torqued. What do you suggest? Redrill or reposition the hole or live with it? Is there any danger?
      Geoffrey geomarch@yahoo.com

      • http://homebuilding.thefuntimesguide.com/ Randy

        Geoffrey…if it were me, I would not be comfortable with the pipe being torqued like you have it. It could lead to a rupture or a leak. My advice would be to re-do it.

    • kkrambo

      Did you consider whether the 1/2 inch supply line would be able to supply enough gas to the range? If so, how did you determine that it was enough?

      • http://homebuilding.thefuntimesguide.com/ Randy

        @kkrambo…I had discussed the issue with a couple of HVAC tech’s and was told that it wouldn’t be an issue since there was an existing feed designed within the system. When we bought the house, we had a choice of whether we wanted the range to be heated by natural gas or electric. Those factors convinced me that it was good to go for an extension.

    • Woody7

      Randy,

      When and where is a union needed in the run of a gas line?

    • Azuwur94

      Can I put a 100# upright tank outside and run 1/2′ black iron pipe up the exterior brick wall, through the freeze board and across the ceiling to the wall that backs up to the range? Can the regulator go outside?

      • Bob

        No reason you couldnt, but make sure that the regulator is on a flexible hose, you dont want to have to fight lining that tank up exactly every time you change it. I live in alaska and our regulator is outside right at the tank.

    • Rick Warner

      How far from wall should I drill hole in floor to run gas pipe with shutoff valve, installing the valve to the pipe from the floor, leaving me enough room to put a shutoff valve (being able to turn valve to tighten to black pipe) between metal pipe and flex hose going to wall heater?

    • Kevinds

      I was looking at this, great read, actually had alot of the infomation I was looking for, before calling the professionals,  here, it has to be done with someone with tickets, or it will not pass inspection.
       
      The only thing I really wanted to comment on, was you said you called an electrician for the plug,

      I wanted to mention there is a product ment to plug into the electric range outlet, for the normal 120 volt output for a gas-range.   Google search  Gas Range Adapter brings it up, I am sure it has other names too though. 

      • http://homebuilding.thefuntimesguide.com/ Randy

        Thanks Kevin! Good luck with your project.

    • Mary

       can you come and install mine, I am a woman, it sounds easy, but does the gas company automatically shut off your gas, if its off for a while?

    • RandyD

      I am just starting my project to install a new gas line to the kitchen for a new gas range. The path comes from the meter to the gas water heater, branches to feed the heater then it goes under the house and Tee’s to feed the fireplace and to feed the furnace. Here it gets tricky because the pipe is hidden most of the way by duct work and insulation, ARGHH!  It then comes up a common wall to a Tee where one end goes into the garage about 2 feet for the first floor furnace and is terminated with a ball valve. The other end continues up to the second floor furnace. I plan to remove the short pipe feeding the lower furnace and add a second Tee to feed the new stove.
      My question is if I can run the pipe along the outside of that common wall (inside the garage) to the point where I have to go under the house to the kitchen.

    • Anonymous

      Being a gas tech…sounds like a good way to blow up you’re family. Not a project for a novice.

      • vh_5150

        All the guys in any professional industry say basically the say thing as you did, on any forum. Being careful and not making any mistakes will do no harm. You also improperly used the word “you’re.”  It’s “your.”

    • rak woman

      wow, I can tell you are the careful type.  Me too, but still I would not have attempted that.  Just going to install a new gas range myself, where an existing connection is.  Your saga does not specify what kind of pipe compound you used, but I trust it was the non-Teflon type, as I finally came across a site that told why not to use teflon based pipe paste — because gas causes it to deteriorate over time.  Going to continue reading on how you did the install.  Congratulations on running that new pipe, and if you do your research, take all the precautions advised and double test it all, (lots of IFs), I don’t see why a careful person cannot safely run new gas lines.  Less careful people, and you know who you are, should heed all the scare talk meant to keep them from blowing up.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/LZE6K72JZBEZTLJJ4XB5OE3VOQ TF

      Just had two plumbers quote $1900 & $2200 to install a new gas water heater, re-plumb a kitchen sink, replace a vanity faucet and tap into an existing gas line and run a new pipe less that 15′ to convert a electric range to a new gas range.  They both estimated it would take less than a day to complete all.  After the sticker shock i said forget about it..and did the work myself.  The water heater swap out took an hour, the kitchen sink took less, simply removed old and replace new including valves.  He was going to use compression fittings so i did as well, and not one drop of water.  The new gas line was a piece of cake and required less than $50  in materials, two valves, 3 elbows and pipe.    $450 for a 40 gal water heater was my biggest expense.  Don’t be intimated to tackle this job.  If you take your time, insure their are no leaks most any handy person should be able to tackle all of these jobs as well.  Planning and patience will save you a lot of grief and expense.   I don’t care how competent the plumbers were, this is not rocket science and after allowing for their parts and the water heater, which no doubt they would buy for less than i did, i could not justify a profit of  $1400 – $1700 for less than a days work!!!

    • Stevieanntaylor

      can we run a flex gas line though the ceiling then down though the wall to the gas stove new location

    • Billdokie

      It’s been about 8 years since I did this on a house I previously owned. It’s not difficult if you’re mechanically inclined and are meticulous about doing things correctly. I took me over a year to talk my wife into letting me do this. I can’t wait!