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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: Tee into propan line - advice?
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2006 16:09:58 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On 26 Nov 2006 09:41:53 -0800, "Sheldon" <> wrote:

>> The advice I am seeking is thus: I'm *not
>> confident* of my luck in being able to cut a
>> chunk out of the horizontal tubing the EXACT size
>> for a tee to be installed and to flare the ends,
>> etc. of two pieces of tubing that are buried and
>> not have it result in a potential leak. Since the
>> horizontal ends to be joined are buried and will
>> not move, it would be darn difficult to get this
>> cut just right.
>> I am thinking of adding a 360 degree loop of
>> tubing to one of the horizontal sides of the tee
>> and using a simple coupler to attach it to rest
>> of the buried line. I figure the loop will give
>> me the necessary play to make proper, tight
>> connections.
>> Assuming the loop is of the proper diameter, no
>> kinks, and will be buried, is there any reason
>> *NOT* to take this approach?

I don't see any reason not to.  In that situation I'd use a sweat
fitting and SilFos (a silver/phosphorus/copper brazing metal used in
refrigeration that requires no flux and little cleaning) rather than
trying to make two flares in tight quarters.  SilFos requires enough
heat to make the metal dull red.  Two MAPP gas torches do me for
anything up to 1".

If this is rigid copper (unusual) then you can't flare it.  It'll
crack first.  Even soft copper tubing hardens with age.   If you do
decide to flare, anneal each end by heating to red heat before
proceeding.  SilFos brazing is sooooo much easier and stronger that
I'd not even think of fooling with flaring in this situation.

Before you get started on this, have you evaluated the line and
upstream regulator's propane capacity to feed both your existing loads
and the generator?  You didn't say how long the 1/2" line is but if
there is any length at all involved, it probably won't handle both.

>Bare copper gas line should not be buried... it will develop pin
>holes... you wont even know until you begin to realize that your gas
>usage is appreciating considerably, or you blow up your house (when
>someone passes by with a lit cigarette).

That entirely depends on the soil conditions.  Direct burial is the
standard practice around here.  The propane companies do it and so do
contractors.  I have a buried line here at my cabin that's 30+ years
old and in perfect condition.


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