Should You Choose TracPipe® or Galvanized Pipe for Your Southern California Home gas Supply?
If you are completing a renovation in your LA or San Fernando Valley home, you may wonder about your choice of materials. While the old school technique is to use galvanized pipe for your gas supply, you may be offered the option of TracPipe®. Before you make a final decision, you should be aware of the advantages offered with this product and why it may be beneficial for your home.
The Flexibility of TracPipe®
TracPipe® is a flexible gas-piping product that was first introduced for propane and natural gas installations in 2004. This product has been used in both residential and commercial properties in Southern California for more than a decade as it offers a superior performance and is ideal in “earthquake prone” regions. TracPipe® can be used both above and underground, although it does require a watertight, non metallic conduit when it is buried. The piping is simple to use, requiring standard tubing cutters during installation, rather than any specialist tools. Additionally, your contractor will be able to size the materials in the same way as standard gas piping, using the TracPipe® sizing chart provided with the product. The fittings can also be concealed and still comply with regulations.
Why Choose TracPipe®?
If galvanized pipe has been used for years, you may wonder why you should choose a different product. The main reason is that TracPipe® is flexible. Unlike rigid galvanized pipe, in the event of a tremor or ground movement, the pipe will have sufficient movement to avoid breaking. This flexibility means that you won’t experience gas leaks after an earthquake or tremor, and the product will have a longer lifespan.
With over 2,000 tremors and earthquakes above 1.5 magnitude occurring in Southern California in an average year, this means that your home may experience movement, at least, five times a day. This frequency of movement creates a high potential for gas and water leaks due to rigid pipes moving or breaking. Since even a small gas leak can be highly dangerous, this can be extremely problematic. A gas leak requires immediate professional attention, and it is likely that you will need to leave your home until the leak is detected and corrected. This means that not only will you need to pay for a repair bill, but you will have a great deal of stress and inconvenience.
In the event of a tremor, TracPipe® has the flexibility to allow movement without placing a strain on connections or the pipe itself. This means that there will be no gas leaks, and it will keep your home and family safe.
While TracPipe® may have a slightly higher initial cost, compared to standard galvanized pipe, it is well worth considering in the context of the long term costs from a leak or a gas explosion after a quake. While galvanized pipe may appear to be the cheaper option, you are likely to be faced with repair bills and inconvenience when a tremor causes the pipe to move or break. With TracPipe®, this risk is mitigated, and you can have confidence that the pipe has the flexibility to move without breaking or cracking. This can provide priceless peace of mind for the safety of your home and your family.
By Giovanni Longo
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solutions.