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Splitrock 09-24-2010 07:58 PM

Why gas connections rigid copper?
Why gas connections rigid copper?

My appliances are all supplied with gas by way of rigid copper between the shutoffs and the appliance connection points. I see the gas appliance connection sets available in "flexible" stainless steel at the home centers. This looks friendlier to install than snaking a piece of rigid copper the exact right length and getting a perfect flange the first try.

Is flexible stainless steel an option for travel trailers? Or does it have to be rigid copper connections?


purman 09-24-2010 09:04 PM

I think back in the day they didn't have the flexible stuff. I don't see how switching it would hurt. My fridge has been switched to a flexible hose.

Splitrock 09-24-2010 09:17 PM

Thanks Jason,

I looked through the old posts but I didn't see this topic. I'd guess I'm not the first one to wonder about using flexible gas lines. If there's a reason not to use flexible stainless steel, I didn't want to use it.

I suppose I could go up the hill and look at the white box trailers and see what they're doing.

I kind of like this forum and the good advise I get here.


MDSilverado 09-24-2010 09:24 PM

The material they use is actually soft copper tube. It does bend. I'm getting ready to replace mine and will re-do it just the way it was. I prefer to have fewer joints in the trailer. Just my opinion fwiw.

triplenet 09-24-2010 09:54 PM


My RV mechanic used soft copper to the Fridge. I didn't yet have the cook top, so he left a plug in the connector for me to hook my gas line to.

I bought a flex connector, got home and saw the warning label that it is not to be used in marine and RV uses.

May be the vibration issue. I hooked up cook top with soft copper.


JamieEllis 09-24-2010 10:18 PM

Flex gas connectors have been around a long time. They seem to break after repeated bending. If you only need to bend them one time (initial installation) and promise never to move or jiggle them, they have their uses.

barts 09-24-2010 10:19 PM

The key thing about soft copper is that it needs to be fastened down so it doesn't vibrate... otherwise it will work harden and can crack.

- Bart

r carl 09-25-2010 07:43 AM

Yes copper lines can crack from vibration, thats why they use steel tubing for gasoline lines in cars and trucks.

raveson 09-25-2010 08:14 AM

Great info, never would have thought the vibration would cause failure on a flex line!

HowieE 09-25-2010 08:27 AM

All materials will fail after a given number of flexures. Design consideration determine which material will be used in which case. In a home there is minimal chance of vibration thus the use of lighter and more flexible gas lines. In a trailer subject to frequent vibration from the road soft copper is the design choice. You are running a higher risk of failure if you use flex line in a trailer.

Yes soft copper will harden after repeated bending but that number of flexes is above that which should be encountered during installation and the angular degree of flexing to cause hardening is much greater.

Gene 09-25-2010 08:34 AM

The flexible lines used in houses warn you not to use them over again once you disconnect them. Same with flexible water lines used under sinks and to toilets, although people do use them over again.


Splitrock 09-25-2010 08:38 AM

Thanks for the posts. I'll re-install everything I have out with soft copper as it was.


Jammer 09-29-2010 01:32 PM

I'm not sure there's actually a difference in performance although I guess it's plausible to think that the stainless steel connectors would work harden in circumstances where copper would not.

I suspect that it's more a matter of no one in the industry having been willing to pay for the testing and analysis necessary to get the approvals given the relatively small market size.

Splitrock 09-29-2010 01:51 PM

Now I see some Airstream owners installing gas heaters with rubber gas hose inside the coach. That would be the ultimate easy fixture hookup material. I don't have a problem working with the copper.


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