Gas Shut Off Valve

The main Natural Gas Shut Off Valve is a part of the pipes that bring natural gas into our homes, measure the gas usage, and regulate pressure. Not every home has natural gas, but if yours does – it is important to know how to shut off the gas for safety. DISCLAIMER: If you suspect a leak or other emergency, GET OUTSIDE and call your natural gas provider or emergency services immediately. I am not recommending that anyone risk their lives to shut off gas in the case of a gas leak – check with your local utility provider what they recommend. I am writing for the general knowledge of homeowners in non-emergency situations. These include having your furnace or water heater serviced by a licensed technician or having a licensed plumber modify your gas pipes, etc. They will want to know where your gas shut off valve is located to safely disconnect gas before attempting certain activities.

Gas meter and shut off valves are often on the sides or in the back of a house. In some cases, they may be in front of the house, buried, or inside a building – though those are less common. You will typically be looking for a pipe that comes out of the ground, connects to a gray cylinder, and then a pipe that enters the house. You may see a wire twisted around the pipe that goes to the ground – this is a tracer wire for locator services and should be left alone for future access to the pipes. In this area, you will usually find a small valve which doesn’t stand out much from the other components. The valve can be turned with an adjustable wrench so that it is perpendicular to the pipe.

Only your gas service provider or a licensed professional should turn gas back on after it is shut off, never the homeowner. Avista specifically warns that buried meters should not be operated by anyone other than their crew.

Too long, didn’t read version: look for the big gas meter box and pipes around your home to learn where the main gas shut off valve may be located for emergency preparedness.

-Marshall Tramp, CPI, RMP

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Marshall Tramp, CPI, RMP
Author: Marshall Tramp, CPI, RMP
Top Notch Inspection Services llc
Serving Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho