Originally Posted by ER_Hopeful
one section of the exterior gas pipe of my house(built in 1940's, in Calif)
is not under cement but under only 2, 3 inches of grass/dirt and it's got some amount of rust. I was wondering is it a good idea to bury it in cement? will this solve the problem for good or only offer little help because it's already rusted?
If not cement, what is a better solution?
Nope, cement won't stop the pipe from rusting, since the concrete will absorb water and hold it against the pipe (take a look at some rebar that has been in concrete for awhile--it is rusty.)
If you are willing to go to all the trouble of digging the pipe up to encase it in concrete, consider one of two other options:
- Dig a deeper trench and bury polyethylene piping that is aproved for use with natural gas (it is often yellow, flexible, and comes on a very big spool. It requires special fittings: This is a job for a plumber). The pipe will never rust, will probably never leak.
- Remove the iron pipe from underground and mount a new iron pipe above grade (usually affixed to the outside of your house with hangers). Paint the pipe with good quality epoxy paint, and it should last for many years. This is a good answer when the appearance of the new pipe won't be a problem for you. Again, this would be a job for a plumber. If you are the handy sort and can find an agreeable plumber, you could do most of the work yourself (install the hangers and iron pipe, then have a plumber come and do the hookup to the line and test everything).
- What brought this to your attention--is the gas leaking?
- I'd be surprised to learn that burying an iron pipe carrying natural gas a few inches under ground was ever within code. I'm sure it was never a good idea.
- Obviously be careful when working on this project. Turn off the gas, let the pressure out of the line, etc, etc. You can easily cause a leak and sparks when doing any excavation work. Getting blown up would seriously change your ER situation.