Can Galvanized Pipe Be Used For Natural Gas?

Natural gas pipelines in the United States have evolved over the decades. Therefore, the type of pipe used to transfer natural gas through a specific region depends on when, where, and how the pipeline was installed.

A gas pipeline in rugged, mountainous terrain will probably be different from a gas pipeline in flat terrain. And a gas pipeline installed in the 21st century will be different from a gas pipeline installed in the 20th century. One of the oldest options is galvanized pipe.

You can use galvanized pipe for the transfer of natural gas. However, it is not the preferred option for 21st-century gas companies and consumers because it is cost ineffective and potentially destructive.

Read on to learn more about whether this type of piping would be beneficial for piping gas to your home or business.

Can You Use Galvanized Pipe For Gas?

Most experts will advise you against using galvanized pipes for gas, as this kind of pipe is more expensive and reactive with gas.

The American Gas Association promotes the use of plastic pipe in gas utility distribution systems because it is corrosion-resistant, flexible, easier to install, and cheaper to install than the galvanized pipe option. 

galvanized pipe natural gas

The primary concern with using galvanized pipe for the transmission of natural gas, especially into residential buildings, is that the zinc coating on the steel pipe deteriorates, jeopardizing everybody linked to that natural gas transmission. 

Not only is there evidence that the galvanized coating will break away and clog up pipe systems (albeit in the long term), but it will also fail to do what it was initially set out to do, which was to prevent corrosion of the steel pipe it was supposed to be protecting.

The speed of deterioration is usually determined by the environment in which the galvanized pipe has been installed. The wetter the climate, the more adverse the effect will be, especially if this installation is underground.

There are also long-term drawbacks associated with using galvanized pipe for natural gas, which potentially culminate in gas regulators and burner units clogging up. 

Meanwhile, the cost implication of the zinc coating used in galvanized pipe production is not something that major corporations and consumers can afford to ignore. Additional materials and extra labor are required for this kind of installation.

Does Galvanized Pipe React With Natural Gas?

Yes, galvanized pipe does react with natural gas. When low zinc coating standards are used for the galvanized pipe, the zinc coating and the metal base of the galvanized pipes will deteriorate.

When this corrosion happens, the natural gas pipes will become vulnerable to fluid and natural gas leaks, which can have fatal consequences. 

However, modern methods have significantly increased the quality of the zinc coating on galvanized pipes, which means that these pipes no longer present the same threat when exposed to natural gas.

The key is ensuring that galvanized standards are raised everywhere, not just in modern and developed communities.  

Can You Use Black Iron Pipe For Natural Gas?

Yes, you can use a black iron pipe for natural gas. In fact, the black iron pipe is commonly used for natural gas transmission in United States homes. However, they require regular maintenance from a professional.

As is sometimes the case with galvanized pipes, there is a long-term risk of corrosion when using black iron pipes for natural gas.

Inside galvanized pipe

What Type Of Pipe Do I Use For Natural Gas?

In addition to black iron and galvanized pipes, you can use PVC, HDPE, polyethylene, CSST, and copper pipes for natural gas transmission in both residential and commercial properties.

Galvanized and black iron pipes are suitable for both internal and external use. Both sets of lines are vulnerable to long-term corrosion, but they still remain the best two options on the market.

PVC and HDPE pipes are both the more affordable options for gas transmission to your home and community and probably provide the most value for your buck because they are durable and suitable for underground and exterior use.

Can You Mix Galvanized and Black Pipe For Natural Gas Piping?

Yes, you can mix galvanized pipe and black iron pipe for natural gas. There is scant evidence to support the common claim that combining the two will accelerate the corrosion of the lines for natural gas transmission.

Both sets of pipes are made from steel, with the only material difference being that galvanized pipe has a zinc coating on it. However, for all intents and purposes, these are the same product. 

You can mix galvanized pipe and black iron pipe by using some tape measure, a wire brush, penetrating oil, Teflon tape, and a pipe wrench.

Final Verdict: Galvanized Pipe for Gas Lines

If you are unsure about what pipe you should or should not use in your community, you clearly do not know enough about gas in general. 

Therefore, despite everything that you read and research online, your best bet is always to consult your local gas or propane supplier for more information on what options you should pursue.

Gas companies don’t really appreciate people interfering with their pipelines because rules on installation vary by region. Gas installation is generally more regulated than water or electrical installation, so try and find somebody licensed to perform the work.

Not knowing enough about gas also means that you should really be consulting a professional to do the actual work in your home. Applying some guesswork is not good enough for something as volatile as natural gas.