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Gas Line and Piping Installations

Permit Requirements

  • A permit is required when installing new gas piping or when altering an existing gas line.
  • Permits are issued to either the owner or to a State-licensed contractor with a current City of San Jose Business License.
  • Permits are obtained at the San Jose Building Division Permit Center, or 24/7 by the Internet:
    • The Permit Center is located in City Hall at 200 East Santa Clara Street. Office hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
    • Online Permits
  • Plans are usually not required. However, gas-sizing calculations may be required to verify that the gas piping is sized per the minimum code requirements. [See Worksheet, page 3]
  • The calculations, if required, shall be made available at the time of inspection.

Installation Requirements

  • Unions [Inline Couplings] are not permitted in a gas piping system except as follows:
    • Unions are allowed downstream of [after] appliance shutoff valves, meter locations and immediately downstream of building shutoff valves.
    • The use of right/left couplings and nipples are required in lieu of unions in all other locations.
  • Metallic Gas Piping is not allowed outdoors in or within six inches of the ground.
    Exception: Only piping which has been factory coated with approved materials is acceptable for burial in the ground.
  • Appliances and UPC-approved flexible gas connectors from the gas pipe to the appliances shall be sized and installed in accordance with code requirements and manufacturer's specifications.
  • The gas pipe must be firecaulked tightly where the pipe penetrates the exterior surface of the fire chamber in a factory-built fireplace. Also, the interior void shall be filled with fiberglass insulation or mineral wool. It must also be firecaulked at any penetrations through a garage or any other fire-rated wall.
  • Shutoff valve requirements are as follows:
    1. Required in the gas piping system ahead of all gas appliances,
    2. Must be accessible and in the same room as the appliance,
    3. Must not leak,
    4. Shall be within three feet of the appliance, except as follows:
      • Shutoff valves may be within six feet of the gas dryer or freestanding oven,
      • Shutoff valves for log lighters to be within four feet of the fireplace opening.
  • Note: Fireplace shutoff valves must be installed outside the firebox.
  • Pipe support is based on the size of the pipe. Protect pipes from damage.

Inspection Requirements

  • All new piping shall be inspected prior to covering any portion of new piping.
  • The applicant must perform a gas test and have it witnessed by the inspector for all portions of new gas piping, after all nailing of covering sheetrock and any other concealing is complete.
  • The person doing the work is responsible for performing the gas test and calling for inspection.
  • Inspections may be scheduled by calling (408) 535-3555 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, or over the Internet. Any cancellations must be received by 2 p.m. the business day before the scheduled inspection.

Gas Test Requirements (UPC 319, UPC 1204.3.2)

  • The entire gas piping system shall be tested, with all appliances shut off at the valve or disconnected and capped. Caution: Some of the older wedge-type shut-off valves tend to leak and then the pressure test can damage the appliances; disconnection and pre-testing is recommended.
  • The inspection shall include an air pressure test. The gas piping shall stand a pressure of not less than (10) pounds per square inch gauge pressure. The test gauge must be accurate to 1/10 of one pound and have a pressure range of not more than twice the test pressure applied. The test must hold for at least 15 minutes with no perceptible drop in pressure while the Inspector waits. Welded piping and those pipes holding gas at over 14 inches water column pressure shall be tested at not less than 60 psi with a gauge with 1 psi increments for at least 30 minutes.

Note that the test gauge requirements have changed slightly from the prior requirements and policies.

A PDF handout version of this information is available on our Building Handouts and Forms page.