questionshow do i remove an old gas pipe from the…

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Is the pipe capped off at the supply end too? You don't want an exposed opening, even though it's not in service.

The proper way is to use a pipe wrench to remove the whole pipe itself, then plug it off at whatever fitting that pipe was screwed into. Depending on how your house was built, it may just be a few inches in at the wall. You may need to make a hole in the wall for access.

The less proper way, but undoubtedly easier, is to use an oscillating tool with a flush cut bi-metal blade to saw the pipe flush at the wall. Easy to control, you should have no or very little damage to the surrounding area and the floor. The open pipe should still be plugged/capped off, though.

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Are the walls drywall or the old wood slat paneling? not the cheap panel board that comes in sheets, I mean the real wood slat by slat paneling used in the mid 1800's to early 1920's. Some people call it beaded board. Drywall is easy, the paneling isn't. Since you said the home is old I'll go with paneling. You're safe to cut the pipe if you're sure its been disconnected. You don't need to worry about smells or gas leaking in as long as the pipe has been disconnected a while. Try to cut the pipe as deep into the wall as possible. if you can get it inside the wall then just cover up the hole and push the shelf against it, though it may be a good idea to cap the pipe just for good measure. As far as patching the paneling goes, good luck. You'd basically need to remove the length of the board effected and replace them. My parents home is made of that stuff and it is hell to find replacement pieces.

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@narfcake: If the house really is that old then making a hole in the wall could be creating more problems than it fixes.

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Do you have a crawlspace or basement? It's an easy fix if you do. If not, you're kind of stuck with sawing it flush against the wall like everyone said.

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I say just put on your big boy underware and go for it. What is the worst that can happen

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@getwyred: I take it you never seen the movie "The Money Pit"?

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@narfcake: I have no idea if the supply end was capped off. It bears looking into.

Thanks for the advice. If the pipe can be pulled out and there is a simple fitting or elbow I can probably just undo that end and cap it off. Providing it doesn't slip back into the wall first.

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This doesn't sound right..
Are they actual Gas service pipes or Steam pipes from the old heating system..
I don't recall ever seeing Gas pipes coming out of the walls except in kitchens for a stove and usually they came out of the floor.. It is possible there were gas space heaters in several locations of the house since different regions of the US used different heating set-ups..

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@nmchapma: The pipe in question comes out of the baseboard. And the wall above it is made from horizontally stacked one by fours or two by fours, not drywall. Yeah, my place was made back in the day when everything was overbuilt.

(The house is so old it was originally insured against fire, theft and dinosaur stampedes.)

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@zuiquan: The house is built on pier and beam, but the "crawlspace" is barely one foot high and there is nothing but bare ground underneath. My neighbor tried to shimmy under her house and wound up with little bugs burrowing into her skin. She needed special treatment to get rid of them.

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@getwyred: I do want to go for it, I just want to bring the house down around me when I do. This place is ninety years old. I'm not even sure there were building codes back when this home was built.

The original wiring was knob and tube, the phone lines installed used belong to AT&T from back in the day and were made of aluminum (not copper), every wall is so thick that they look like they are load bearing, the ceiling is nine feet high and all the windows are six feet tall with a top sash you could pull down to cool the house in summer.

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@moondrake: Yeah! That's about right, Moondrake.

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@hobbitss: No, these were gas pipes. The house was built in the 1920's and the gas pipes and connectors are present in every room. This place used to be heated by three ancient, cast iron radiators that you lit up every time you used them. Then smaller gas heaters could be connected in other rooms when it got too cold outside. (No insulation in the walls or ceiling).

Where I live a basement is impractical because the ground is too soft and shifts too much. Also, the summers are insanely hot every year and can cause the ground to dry out and crack. CPS repairmen are kept busy from May through September because the ground gets so dried out that it tears up the water lines.

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@thetexastwister: Oops, I meant I DON'T want to bring the house down around me. That's what I get for not checking my posts before hitting "submit."

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@hobbitss: The pipe in place was likely added long after the home was built (Still along time ago). Since fixing the existing pipe wouldn't meet code it was redone in the attic. The existing pipe would have supplied gas to a floor unit heater. While this does seem odd (I would have assumed this to be a water pipe that fed and old radiator) I'm assuming the OP knows her home.

@thetexastwister: Are you sure this pipe was gas? what size is the line? A pic would help. Not that it matters, if it was gas there is no way it's still tied to the gas main, Code wouldn't allow that either. If you can get to a fitting in the wall then thats the best way to take it apart. If not cut it and shove it in :-)

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Ah-ha... Some of this I have heard before...
In theory you should be able to remove the the short piece of pipe sticking out of the wall and put a plug in the open end of the pipe with-in the wall, Just match the pipe thread from the one you remove...
Then you will be able to patch the holes in the baseboard with wood plugs, sand smooth, prime and paint...
I would make sure that the contractors who did the conversion work disconnected the old abandoned gas lines from the supply line otherwise you will have serious issues possibly ending up with the image above...

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@nmchapma: The lines under the house are / were gas. They fed all of the old gas flame radiators, stove and water heater. I'm thinking that the line is probably an inch or so in diameter. There is already a cap on the end so I could probably just take that cap off and reapply it to the fitting inside the wall. Assuming that the fitting isn't another elbow. Getting inside the wall is a huge pain since the walls aren't thin paneling, but one by fours or two by fours.

(A couple of tiles have fallen off the wall in the bathroom and that is what was underneath. I'm assuming that was what was used all around the house.)

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@thetexastwister: Actually the worst that could happen isn't the house falling down, it's the people falling down. Discussions like this always bring to mind an unforgettable line from Spider Robinson's Callahan's Crosstime Saloon. A character explains why he is one of the tragic group of lost souls in the titular tavern; "I used to have a wife and daughter before I decided to install my own brakes. I saved thirty dollars, easy…" So the only advice I can offer is to be careful when messing with stuff that can kill you.

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@hobbitss: The abandoned line has been fully disconnected from the meter / supply. A new line had to be run through the attic according to modern code. I'm just not sure if is capped off or if they just left it open.

The last thing I need is another way for bugs to get into the house. I don't need anymore giant, Texas-Sized, flying cockroaches.

Thanks for the advice on how to remove the old line and plug the hole. I'll pull the pipe out and see if there is a fitting I can access and cap off. Otherwise I may just have to cut it and shove it back into the wall and plug the hole in the baseboard.

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@moondrake: The gas line is question is abandoned. One of the other pipes in the house sprung a leak and had to be replaced. Modern codes required all new lines be run through the attic so the old ones under the house were completely disconnected. No gas.

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@thetexastwister: Whats under the base board may be worth examining more closely. You should be able to see in the hole where the pipe is.

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@thetexastwister: If it were my house I'd get a full suit and crawl under the house and cut the pipe before it enters the wall, you should then be able to fish the pipe out easily and patch the wall. But that's me and I'm weird like that. I don't know if you've got any give in the pipe or not but if you do you could always pull it into the house as far as you can, cut it, cap it, push it back into the wall and repair your plaster. Either that or flush cut and plaster repair.

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@nmchapma: That's a great idea. I'll give it a look. Hopefully, there is a fitting I can use.

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@zuiquan: I wouldn't mind doing that, but I'm a little too big for the small amount of room down there. Also, the trap door used to access the underside of the house looks like it was made for little kids.

Considering that this house was built in the 1920's, I wouldn't be surprised if little kids were used for that kind of thing back then.

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@thetexastwister: LOL, I feel your pain. I'd have a tough time getting down there as well I'm sure. But I've got a skinny as a rail 15 year old that needs some hands-on experience doing some DIY so I'd just say it was a good learning opportunity.

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If the pipe is stable under the house your easiest way would be to use a pipe wrench to remove the cap and nipple. Get a pipe plug with a inside hex, coat it with a pipe sealant and use a ratchet with a proper size extension to insert it into the wall and thread it into the fitting in the wall so you don't have an open fitting in the wall. Some states building codes don't allow open pipes in walls weather they are in service or not.

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Even if your gas supply is shut off, make sure that the line is flushed out before you cut through the pipe. If there is any gas left in the line, you'll have an unpleasant surprise if you make any sparks.

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You haven't received much advice about plugging the hole in the baseboard:
1. Start with a board of the same kind of wood (probably oak?) and use a hole saw to cut a circular plug of slightly larger diameter than the hole in your baseboard.
2. Use a power sander to reduce the diameter to match the hole (especially if it's not circular) and bevel the edges slightly, so it will go in easily and then jam tight into the hole. Remember to match the grain of the plug to the grain of the baseboard.
3. Then apply a thin layer of wood glue to the sides of the plug, pound it into the hole as tightly as you can with a mallet, and use a belt sander and/or hand plane to remove any of the plug that sticks out of the hole.
4. If the hole was in part of the baseboard that isn't flat, use a small flat or rat-tail file and then sanding sponge to match the grooves of the baseboard or molding.
5. Finally, stain/paint/varnish to match.

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The thing is not even connected anymore. Do your wives all take care of these kind of tasks around the house. Geez

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@thetexastwister: From what I have heard houses were built stronger back in the day, I was only giving you a hard time. If the line is live don't mess with it if it is dead then the worst you should have to repair is a small hole in the wall. It will probably come loose by spinning counter clockwise with a pipe wrench.

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@moondrake: Gas line is no longer in use I doubt it will cause a tornado

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@johnson487682: It it is a small hole 1/2" to 1" you could also get away with bondo and paint I have seen carpenters do this occasionally on job sites

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@zapp brannigan: I have but I still would go for it.

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@getwyred: Bondo and paint is fine if the baseboards are plain painted boards, but the OP is talking about an older house, so I assume he has stained oak baseboards like my older house.

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@getwyred: Agreed. The idea that residual gas could possibly be present to cause an explosion is ridiculous.