This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
This is an eminently simple operation, capable of being performed by any one who has had any practice in soldering joints (see p. 114). It consists merely in making connections between a series of iron and "compo" pipes and the "burners," as well as fixing the latter. The ordinary arrangement of the gas supply of a house is as follows. An inlet pipe of iron brings the gas from the street main to the meter. This litter belongs to the Gas Company, and is of a size to supply a certain number of burners. It is placed in an out-of-the-way situation, generally a cellar, as near the street as may be. From it an iron pipe passes up to the level of the first floor requiring a supply of gas; here branch pipes are led off to the various rooms, while the principal pipe is continued upwards through the other stories as far as desired.
The mode of procedure is first to fix the burner in place, and then to lead a pipe from it to the nearest point on the supply pipe, and there to make a joint. Burners may be broadly classed in two divisions, brackets and pendants; the former are placed against a wall, the latter hang from a ceiling. In choosing a situation for a bracket, care must be taken that it does not reach any movable article of an inflammable nature, e. g. curtains, cupboard-doors, etc.; in the case of a pendant, the chief care will be to let it bo out of the way of persons occupying the room: of course there is a great variety in both brackets and pendants, but this has no influence on the mode of fixing, except in the case of the chandelier with universal joint.
Commencing with a bracket, as being simplest, a spot on a wall having been chosen for its site, the first step is to prepare the wall for its reception. The pipe to supply the bracket should be carried as directly and as secretly as possible to the main supply, which may be in the ceiling above the room or in the floor beneath it, or in the wall of an adjoining room or passage. Secrecy is secured by chiselling out a small recess in the brick wall sufficient to admit the pipe, carrying it behind skirting-boards, or in angles where it can be papered over, and in other ways that suggest themselves according to the circumstances of the case. Everything being ready for laying the new pipe, one end of it is " blown on " (see Soldering, p. 114) to an "elbow nose-piece" or piece of 3/8-in. brass tube, bent at right angles, tinned ready for soldering at one end and having a screw-thread on the other, as shown in Fig. 1383, a being the elbow nose-piece and b the blown joint.
Whilst the pipe is held securely in place, the mahogany block c is slipped over the nose-piece and nailed, screwed, or plugged to the wall f, leaving the thread end of the nose-piece projecting.
Having well luted the thread with white-lead, proceed to screw on the bracket d till its flange e is tight against the mahogany block, when it is fastened there by 3 screws. Be very careful that the joint between the bracket and the nose-piece is a good sound one. The burner being fixed, it only remains to lead the pipe away to the main supply, and " blow " it on by means of a union suited to the case.
In hanging a pendant, the supply pipe is brought between the joists of the ceiling of the room, as in Fig. 1384, where a are the joists; b, the floor of the room above; c, the ceiling; d, a piece of board nailed to the joists a for supporting the mahogany block e; f, the supply pipe; g, a straight nose-piece carrying a thread on which the pendant is screwed as before. The pendant may either be a stationary one incapable of being moved in any direction, or one having a swing joint to permit its being hitched up out of the way flat against the ceiling. Care must be taken during the fixing of the pendant that it does not rest its unsupported weight on the nose-piece g, or there is danger of straining the blown joint between f and g.
Chandeliers being much heavier are attached to iron pipe instead of the weak compo tubing used in other cases, and this iron pipe is allowed to rest across 2 joists, in notches cut for the purpose. A short section of iron pipe, attached to the supply by a T-piece, comes sufficiently far through the ceiling for the cup and ball of the chandelier to screw on to it.
Plugs for stopping the ends of pipes, bends, T-pieces, equal sockets, elbow sockets, diminished sockets for joining pipes of unequal sizes, can easily be procured of standard dimensions. The only tools required are the gas tongs shown in Fig. 1385 for screwing the joints tight. Iron piping required should be bought ready cut to length and with the necessary threads cut on the ends, unless the operator is possessed of a set of thread cutting tools, as described on p. 60. Patent gas tongs are shown in Fig. 1386.