McKINNEY, Texas — The challenge of installing gas piping in a luxury apartment complex with 12 buildings of 24 units each was recently met by a Texas plumbing contractor who used Gastite flexible corrugated stainless steel tubing for the project.

Robert Garza, president of R-Ram Plumbing, Corinth, Texas, said that his challenge was to keep labor costs low while using quality materials. “Putting in black iron pipe takes up to four times as long as flexible gas tubing — maybe longer, depending on the size of the project,” said Garza. “I saved about $25 per hour per unit in labor costs at [apartment complex] Tuscany-Wilson Creek.

“That adds up when you consider there were some 288 units in all.”

It took two installers, and sometimes one, to run the 20,000 feet of Gastite tubing to all 288 units in only 16 hours.

“I’ve used Gastite on a number of other projects because it’s such a big competitive advantage when you’re bidding on jobs,” added Garza. “Bottom line, I figure we save about 10 percent on overall labor costs on any job where we use flexible gas tubing instead of black iron pipe.”

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Publication date: 01/20/2003