Ugh! Gas pipe is preventing Wolf range install!

calypsochickAugust 31, 2010

We have a problem with our range being flush against the wall. Right now it is sitting forward 4 inches.

We have a gas pipe that is coming out of the wall, going through our cabinets, making a U-turn, and ending at the shut-off valve. Both the pipe and the valve are preventing the range from sitting flush up against the wall. What is the remedy here?! We think the plumber may be able to move the shut off valve over to be inside the cabinet to the left of the range. That will gain us an inch. But then the pipe that is coming out of the wall is there, still blocking! Someone had mentioned removing the backing to the Wolf range and gaining more space that way. But that sounds incredibly scary and wrong to me. Has anyone encountered this problem? We are in a NYC co-op building from the 50s. And I can't believe no one saw this coming. But that's another story. Thanks!!

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weissman

You most likely will need to have the plumber reroute the gas pipe through the wall behind the range or under the floor beneath the range.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 7:20PM
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calypsochick

What do you mean by reroute behind the range? And what requires it to be re-routed under the floor? Would this be considered moving the gas line?

We can't move the gas line because we live in a co-op, and we would have to apply for special permits from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to do this, and also get it approved by our co-op board. We wanted to avoid all of this because it would also be pretty expensive and take a long time. I don't know why no one noticed this problem earlier but it sucks now!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 8:04PM
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weissman

Rerouting it behind the range means opening up the wall and moving the gas pipe behind the wall and then having it come out of the wall where it needs to for the range. Similarly rerouting it under the floor means moving it so that it runs under the floor and then comes up where it needs to for the range.

Another option I just thought of is to shorten the gas pipe so that it ends with the shutoff valve in the cabinet to the side of the range and then just have the flexible hose go behind the range to where it needs to connect. This might be possible and enable you to move the range a bit farther back. I don't know if shortening the gas pipe would require coop board approval - hopefully not.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 8:59PM
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cassity

Do not remove the back panel of the range--it is there to prevent heat from conducting from the range into flammable areas behind it.

You stated, "We can't move the gas line because we live in a co-op..."

That leaves moving the range to where the cabinet on the left is (or if you have one on the right) and cutting away the cabinet to allow clearance for the gas supply and shut off. If there's no room for the range on the right or left, consider relocating the range and getting new cabinetry which can be cut to accommodate the supply and shut off--there's probably less regulations/permits to do that.

Before that; however, contact your range manufacturer and/or dealer and ask them about viable solutions to your problem.

If that fails find another manufacturer or dealer that can solve your problem.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 9:12PM
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calypsochick

Hi, all. Okay, we're definitely not going to remove the back of the range. No worries there and that never sounded like a good idea in the first place! Unfortunately, even if we moved the range to the left, we would still be in the same problem. The shut-off valve has to be moved and the pipe is still in the way. We can't move the range to the right, because the dishwasher is there. I made a crude drawing of the situation as it is now. The dotted lines on the left show the 8-inch base cabinet to the left of the range. The back of the cabinet has holes cut out to make way for that U-turn of the gas pipe.

Right now, the shut off valve, which is at the bottom of the range, is not in the correct spot because it is blocked (it always was!) and it is preventing the range from being flush with the wall. The pipe is also preventing it from being flush. The plumber most likely will be able to move the shut-off valve over to the left and put it inside the cabinet. But that only gains an inch. The pipe is still in the way. Can the wall be recessed and the pipe just pushed in a little into a "bed"?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 9:21PM
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weissman

Whether you open the wall or cut a groove in it, you'll still have to "move" the pipe. I think you may have missed my suggestion above about shortening the pipe so it ends in the cabinet and just the flexible hose runs behind the range. With just the flexible hose there, you should be able to move the range back a bit more. I can understand needing coop board approval for moving the pipe but I don't understand why that an issue for the Landmarks Preservation Committee.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 9:28PM
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mojavean

What you are showing appears to be some plumber or homeowner's prior efforts to match the routing of the gas valve to a previous gas range. There is nothing landmarky about it. It is a complete kludge. The wall needs to be opened up, the gas line routed to the proper location according to the Wolf specifications in the install documents, and then buttoned up. That loop of gas pipe through your cabinet is not worthy of historical preservation unless we are talking about the Lazy Gas Fitter's Hall of Shame.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:04PM
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marthavila

You do not need to get permits from the LPC for rerouting a gas line . . . unless the reroute somehow alters the visible, exterior facade of the building. Not. What you need for the reroute, though, is a permit from DOB (Department of Buildings). And, yes, rerouting will be somewhat of a big deal for you since you will likely need to do a gas shut-off to the whole building, not just your unit. And, yes, you'll probably need board approval and will probably piss off your some of your neighbors for a temporary gas shut-off, to be sure. Still, what are you going to do? Return the stove? Not complete your kitchen reno? Double NOT! Pissed off co-op boards and co-op neighbors or not, there is a reasonable answer to your problem. And a really experienced, very competent, licensed master plumber knows exactly what to do. Yet, it sounds like you are getting into a tizzy over this before having your plumber weigh in with a proposed solution. What does your plumber say?
And, is he licensed? If not, now is the time to get some competitive bids (from licensed plumbers) for this problem. Not only will you get some "expert" feedback on your problem, but also, you will also have a much better sense of just how expensive the fix really is. Lotsa hugs and good luck!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:22PM
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calypsochick

You're right. I'm totally going crazy! (Part of it is a whole saga with our contractor and not having any one look after things and be on top of it. That's another story.) And no, I don't need Landmarks permission. I feel like everything I talk to my managing agent about entails Landmarks permission! But that was work unrelated to the kitchen.

Anyway, I'll see what the plumber says and go from there. Thanks everyone for listening to my crazy freakouts! I just wanted to know what I was getting into and what were the options.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 11:18PM
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amcook

wait. If your plumber says he can move the valve then why can't he knock out a bit of drywall and get a recessed valve box for the gas line. Moving the valve would require him to shut off the gas so I don't see why moving the valve is any easier than cutting the pipe off at/inside the wall and terminating in a recessed box.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 4:26AM
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thusie

I feel your pain! While we don't live in a co-op with those issues, we have our own issues like really wide stone foundation keeping the line 6" from the wall, brick walls with about 1" of plaster. It had to be moved and he had to get creative.

The big, big secret is a good plumber don't try and call the shots, tempting I know:-) I showed ours a picture of the back of the range, we don't have it yet, and told him make it work. As long as gas line is safe, secure and will pass code I really don't care what it looks like, he got the job done. FYI I trust this guy 100%. No it isn't pretty:-)

My motto, which keeps me from going nuts, is all thing are possible with the right folks on the job. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 8:10AM
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paul_bunyan

I totally agree with the other posters who suggest handing the whole situation off to the right plumber. I did the same thing when I had to re-route a gas line in anticipation of delivery of a new range and it was much cheaper and easier than I feared.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 1:07PM
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JoshCT

Just another idea, but may be too late in your renovation to seriously consider... When I lived in a prewar building and could not move my gas line, my carpenter installed the cabinets about 3 inches out from the walls, with a chase behind them to route all the plumbing and electrical services through which could not be pushed back into the wall. The counter top was then made to be three inches deeper than usual, covering the whole thing. We used a slide in range so it all looked very tidy and created some useful space at the rear of the countertop. If you have not installed countertops yet, this may be cheaper than trying to work out moving the gas line.

Josh

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 8:14PM
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calypsochick

We talked to our super and he said this was an easy fix, no problem. ?!? He said the plumber will reroute the gas, move the shut-off valve to higher up where the pipe is coming out of the wall, and the plumber will do it all while the gas is on. He said it's done all the time. I feel RELIEF! Sort of.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:51PM
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thusie

calpsochick,

Do feel relief:-) Gas lines like that are moved all the time and I'm sure you co-op in that building isn't the only one that had a funky gas line. Or a high end range:-)

Let them handle it, breath deep and smile.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 10:34AM
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