Do Gas Pipes Need To Be Sleeved? (Explained)

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Gas pipes need to be sleeved as it is a general plumbing requirement implemented by the government. It is also necessary to sleeve a pipe to protect the pipes from corrosion and fire.

Row of natural gas meters with yellow pipes on building brick wall

What are gas pipe sleeve regulations?

According to the 2018 International Residential Code’s Chapter 26 – General Plumbing Requirements, a pipe sleeve shall be built into the foundation wall. The regular also impose the proper size where a sleeve must be two pipe sizes bigger than the main pipe.

Other requirements must be implemented for annular or round spaces. According to the regulation, a sealant is required for annular spaces. On the other hand, a gasket system may be used as an alternative to the sealant.

One reason a sleeve is imposed is because of the possibility that gas can escape from a leaking pipe. With the use of a sleeve pipe, the gas will be contained inside the sleeve and will not escape to the environment. Another reason is to prevent the corrosion of the pipe, which may fill the wall cavity with gas.

This is why the common materials for sleeve pipes include copper, steel, and PVC.

Do gas pipes need to be sleeved?

It is not necessary to sleeve a gas pipe but it helps in the long run. If it is required in your city, then you must comply with it. Pipe sleeve has many benefits such as length extension, insulation, and corrosion prevention. Yet, there is a lot more to know about pipe sleeves for gas.

Reduce thermal expansion and vibration

Pipes tend to expand or contract when exposed to a certain temperature. The thermal change may cause damage to the pipe when the expansion and contraction often happens. Using a sleeve-fitting protects the gas pipes from such change. The sleeve, particularly the rubber sleeve, absorbs the expansion of the pipe.

If the rubber sleeve is placed at both ends of the pipe, it contracts. Yet when the pipe contracts, the rubber sleeve expands to compensate for the loss of length.

On the other hand, a rubber sleeve can also absorb vibrational waves coming from equipment such as heat pumps. It can also absorb the sounds produced by the equipment.

Concrete on pipes

Sleeve pipes are essential for making cavities on concrete walls and floors. Using sleeve pipes is economical and practical to use because you can easily access the hole for replacement or maintenance. On the other hand, if you pour the concrete into the actual pipe, you must break the concrete to access the pipe. This process is expensive. So many contractors advise using sleeve pipes when you will use concrete.

Barrier on pipe and concrete

Sleeve pipe serves as protection during flooding. It is during this instance when concrete absorbs the water. Unfortunately, steel pipes absorb the water too, which leads to corrosion. With the installation of sleeve pipes, it will be difficult for the water to penetrate the steel pipes. The common sleeve pipes are made from PVC, which is corrosion-resistant.

Another type of sleeve pipe is the heat-shrinkable sleeve. This type of sleeve has a three-layer corrosion protective system. It protects the pipes’ vital area and it is ideal to use on repair sites because it is easy to install.

Insulation is another benefit of a sleeve pipe. When the temperature of the liquid running in the pipe is hot, your hands will be protected.

Fire safety

Gas that runs in the pipe is highly flammable. To keep the environment free from fire, a pipe sleeve is important. The fitting disrupts the flow path of the gas, which helps in reducing the pressure of the fluid in the pipe. There are high melting point fittings that you can use if the facility is high-risk for safety concerns.

How do you put a sleeve on a gas line?

Sleeve installation for gas line pipes can be installed within five minutes for small projects and longer for the bigger ones. It also depends on the type of pipe sleeve you are using. In general, there are two types of pipe sleeves — the single pipe sleeve and the double pipe sleeve.

The single pipe sleeve is used for pipes that carry different liquid substances such as water, gas, and oil. On the other hand, the double pipe sleeve is used for surface radiator circuits.

Because each type is different, the way they are installed is different too. So to give you a clear picture of how you put sleeves on a gas line, I will discuss each type of pipe sleeve available in the market.

Pipe repair sleeves

Pipe repair sleeves come in half-sole units with axial joints. This type of sleeve is attached to the damaged main pipe then welded to the main pipe to strengthen it. Closing clamps are used to support the sleeve before it is welded to the main pipe.

Rubber foam pipe insulation

A rubber foam pipe insulation comes with a self-sealing strip. This type of pipe seal follows the shape of the pipe. It can cover a 90-degree elbow pipe and a tee pipe.

To use it, measure the pipe you are sealing, then cut the foam to the desired size. You need to use a very sharp knife for a clean cut. Put the sleeve around the pipe, then peel the self-sealing strips. Apply pressure to seal the sleeve. If you are sealing the elbow, you can do the roll method.

If you are sealing a tee, you will need two rubber foams. Measure the horizontal bar and the vertical bar. Cut a hole in the middle of the rubber foam that will be wrapped on the horizontal bar, then seal the pipe. For the vertical bar, cut the end of one of the foam’s ends to fit the middle hole, then seal the pipe.

OverSleeve fire stop

OverSleeve fire stop is a product created by Tenmat. The sleeve is made of an intumescent material that you wrap to the pipe. The part of the pipe with the intumescent material is placed inside the cavity of the wall where the pipe passes through. When the pipe catches fire, the intumescent material expands crushing and sealing off the insulation.

In effect, the pipe on the other side of the wall is not affected because the intumescent material has already blocked and extinguished the fire on the other end.

Multiple commercial Gas meters

How much does it cost to sleeve a gas line?

Pipe sleeve costs from $4 to $15 or more per foot, per piece, or per set. It depends on the retailer you are purchasing. If you are buying for bulk orders, the price gets lower. It is recommended to buy in bulk if you are a professional gas fitter or planning for a huge project.

But plumbing regulations does not allow a non-professional to install a gas pipe, so hiring a professional gas fitter is an option. A gas fitter service can range from $50 per hour and up. However, it can go to $2000 or more for indoor gas installation and it may go higher for the outdoor setup.

The cost varies because the installation depends on the location, the number of the appliancse to be hooked to the main gas line.

Yet, the cost of pipe sleeve installation is vague. Most gas fitters advertise the rate of gas piping installation, but not the rate of pipe sleeve installation. It is better to ask the professional gas fitter about the cost to get a good estimate.


Installing a gas pipeline is professional work. Hiring a professional gas fitter is necessary to guide you on the installation. However, it helps if you know the pipe types and the options available. Yet, it is still advisable to never start a gas piping-related project without the help of a professional. Never risk your family’s safety.