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Reuben Saltzman

Gas Appliance Connectors

Gas appliance connectors aren’t the same as gas piping. Gas appliance connectors are devices that connect gas appliances to gas piping, kind of like a cord connects an electrical appliance to an outlet at the wall. Today I’ll discuss the stuff that I look for while inspecting gas appliance connectors. I’ll cover the most common installation defects, and I’ll go over the differences between new and old connectors. Here’s a video clip of the same: https://youtu.be/nVz6EXmxHAc

Gas Connectors are not a substitute for gas piping. To start, here’s a photo of a gas connector; it’s that corrugated yellow thingy.

Gas appliance connector

Most newer gas connectors look just like this one. A gas connector is used to get from the gas piping to the appliance, and that’s all. Gas connectors should never be used as a substitute for gas piping. This means that if you ever see two connectors joined together, it’s an improper installation. This material is not a flexible gas line. It’s a gas connector.

Gas Connectors should never disappear into a concealed location.  If a gas connector disappears into a wall, floor, ceiling, or cabinet of an appliance, it’s an improper installation.  Only proper gas piping should be run through walls, floors, cabinets, etc.

Gas Connector Through Floor

Old Gas Connectors should be replaced. The current standard for gas appliance connectors is ANSI Z21.24. I tried to get a copy of those standards so I could say what makes the newer connectors different, but it would have cost me $336 (get out of here), so I did something more interesting. I got my hands on a new gas connector and an old one, and I cut ’em open. Here’s what I found.

Gas Connectors Cut Open

As you can see, they’re made from different materials. The new gas connector, which complies with ASNI Z21.24, is made from stainless steel. The old connector obviously isn’t; it’s made from brass, or so I’ve been told. To quickly spot the difference between the old and new connectors, you can usually just look at the outside jacket. Old connectors will typically have a grey coating, like the one shown above left, a braided stainless steel jacket like the type shown below, or they’ll obviously be made of uncoated brass like the one shown far below.

Braided Jacket Gas Connector

Newer connectors are typically coated with yellow, like the one shown at the beginning of this blog, or will be plain stainless steel, like the one pictured at the bottom of the photo below.  If the connector has a grey coating or is made from uncoated brass, it’s old.

Gas Connector Comparisons

To know for sure, you can look closely at the nut, or sometimes at a ring that has been attached to the connector.  If it meets ANSI Z21.24, it will say so.

ANSI Z21.24

If a gas connector doesn’t meet this standard, it should be replaced. The older gas connectors are much more prone to leakage, making them a latent hazard. The Truth-In-Sale of Housing programs for Minneapolis, Bloomington, and several other cities require replacement of these old connectors. Click the following link for Bloomington’s position on old gas connectors.

Also, the Minnesota code standards for gas appliance connectors can be found in the Minnesota State Fuel Gas Code under section 411.1.3.

Don’t reuse gas connectors. Gas appliance connectors should never be reused.  When a gas appliance is replaced, the connector should be replaced at the same time. Oh, and one other thing – don’t confuse gas connectors with Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST). CSST is a relatively new type of gas piping that looks similar, but it’s not an appliance connector.

CSST vs Gas Connector

Author: Reuben SaltzmanStructure Tech Home Inspections

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No responses to “Gas Appliance Connectors”

  1. Bryan Torok
    September 17, 2018, 6:05 pm

    NIce video and info. Three comments/questions that you might consider for the future: 1) Gas appliance connectors have a BTU rating. One must be sure to use a large enough capacity for the appliance, like for example a hot water heater. 2) Limitations on what type of gas device these can be used on. They used to be frowned on for hot water heaters in the area (Northern Ohio) where I live, but now seem to be accepted. 3) The reason I came here is to find out if I can use one of these for my furnace?

  2. Reuben Saltzman
    September 18, 2018, 3:30 am

    Hi Bryan,

    Great commentary/questions. I blogged on this topic about 8 years ago, and I mentioned how the size of the appliance connector must meet the BTU rating for the appliance. Over the past 8 years, I can’t remember ever having called out an undersized gas appliance connector on a home inspection, so I decided to skip that part of the equation. But you’re certainly right.

    As for your second and third questions, there is no limitation for what type of appliances an appliance connector may be used with… at least not here in Minnesota, and not at the national level (that I’m aware of). The trouble that I can see with water heaters is that the gas piping coming down from the ceiling needs to be anchored, and an appliance connector won’t provide that.

    As for furnaces, no problem there either, but the instructions printed on the gas appliance connector will tell you that the connector shouldn’t pass through the cabinet of the furnace. That probably leaves you with having to run a small length of rigid gas piping through the cabinet of your furnace to get to the appliance connector, and now at this point, you’re technically not using the appliance connector to connect directly to your appliance. I have no problem with that, but a building official in your area might. In other words, you ought to ask them how they feel about this.

  3. Vince
    October 2, 2018, 7:31 am

    Can I reuse or reattach a gas connector or must I buy a new on each time? Also, Thanks, I didn’t know the grey ones were obsolete.

  4. Reuben Saltzman
    October 2, 2018, 8:26 am

    Hi Vince, you should buy a new one each time.

  5. James Fitzgerald
    November 4, 2018, 4:55 pm

    Csst needs to be grounded /bonded. Does an appliance connector as well

  6. Reuben Saltzman
    November 4, 2018, 6:25 pm

    No.

  7. Anthony
    November 21, 2018, 9:56 am

    I have gas stove where the flexible connector passes behind the refrigerator before connecting to the pipe that comes out of the floor. I read somewhere (on the internet) that this is not to code, but I can’t find anything to verify that. Is this true?

  8. Reuben Saltzman
    November 21, 2018, 10:00 am

    Hi Anthony,

    I can’t think of any reason why passing behind a refrigerator wouldn’t be to code.

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