There is a lot to keep track of when you own property. As of 2020, property owners in NYC have yet another requirement: Local Law 152 which requires the “periodic inspection of gas piping systems.”
The law is part of a larger effort by the NYC Department of Buildings to ensure properties are safe, but what does this law mean for you as a property owner or property manager? What does an inspection entail? When is the deadline? And what happens if you don’t get it done on time?
Empire Plumbing has created this guide to Local Law 152 to help break down the requirements and steps you need to follow to keep any buildings you own compliant with the regulations. The good news is that once you are familiar with the terms of the law, the effort involved in inspections on your part is minimal. Our guide is a great place to start for an easy to understand, in depth overview of LL 152.
As a leading New York City plumbing company, Empire Plumbing has dedicated ourselves to helping local property owners stay compliant with this law, and any others that impact NYC residents. We want to take a proactive approach to get you the knowledge and service that lets you manage your properties effectively and without confusion.
Read through our guide to determine if your property is included in the new regulations for Local Law 152, when you need to schedule an inspection, and how the process will work. Then, if you have any questions or would like to schedule your inspection, our licensed master plumbers and knowledgeable staff are here to help.
Call us at 718.494.7301 to keep your property in compliance, or to learn more about Local Law 152.
What is Local Law 152?
Local Law 152 of 2016 added a “Periodic Inspection of Gas Piping Systems” to the city’s local code. At its most core, this law requires that properties in all of New York City (Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island) receive regular inspections of their gas systems every few years to determine if there are any hazards.
The law explains that almost every building in NYC must have an inspection of the gas piping system conducted once every 4 years by a Licensed Master Plumber. It also outlines the process for the inspections, as well as what to do if an inspection shows a problem on your property.
Other details of Local Law 152 include the property and building types required to participate in inspections and which are considered exceptions. Fees and penalties for violation, instructions for submitting your report, and the timeline are also covered by 152 and the RNYC §103-10 supporting documentation the NYC Department of Buildings released.
The purpose of the law is to keep buildings and the people who live and work in them safe from dangerous leaks or explosions that are often caused from a dated, failing system or from connections that are not up to code. In fact, it was a 2015 gas explosion that resulted from a pipe illegally connected to the gas main - and inspections that showed similar situations in the following months - that prompted the passage of Local Law 152.
NYC passed this regulation in 2016 with the deadline for some properties’ first inspections in 2020. This timeline leaves the remaining properties facing their first inspections this year or in the coming years. As you prepare for your gas pipe inspection service – or if you are wondering if this law applies to your buildings - this guide can help you navigate the law and meet the requirements with little hassle.
What Are the Fines for Non-Compliance?
First, let’s talk about penalties. This is not like other fines from the city, and definitely not a regulation you want to take lightly or ignore if you own buildings in NYC. Failing to comply with Local Law 152 is considered a major violation, and can be an expensive mistake.
Building owners are required to submit their Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection Certification through the DOB website before the deadline. Those who do not get an inspection or miss the deadline could face a $10,000 civil penalty.
It is possible to appeal the penalty if you are able to submit proof of your certification within 30 days from the violation. Since the certifications are generally due on the last day of the year, this would require you to submit proof in writing by January 30 following the deadline.
About Our Local Law 152 Services at Empire Plumbing in NYC
As a Licensed Master Plumber in New York City, Empire Plumbing is qualified to provide all the services you need to comply with Local Law 152. Our years of experience and extensive knowledge of this particular law makes us your number one choice when you need an inspector.
Not only can you rely on our work for an accurate and timely inspection, but you can also turn to Empire Plumbing for assistance in understanding how LL 152 applies to you.
We are a full service plumbing company in NYC offering installation and repair for residential and commercial properties. We handle additions to a plumbing system, repairs to damaged or deteriorated systems, and repairs in response to violations of city building codes. This background makes us uniquely qualified to provide Local Law 152 services that include:
- Gas Pipe System Inspections - The foundation of Local Law 152 is an inspection of the gas pipe system in your property by a Licensed Master Plumber. Our professional team is trained to conduct this kind of inspection, report on our findings, and certify the inspection, all according to the standards outlined in the law. Our inspections are fast, thorough, and designed to make compliance with LL 152 as easy as we can for you.
- Gas Pipe System Repairs - For LL 152 reports that do reveal an issue, we are trained plumbers. Whether we conducted your inspection ourselves or you had it done by another company, we can move quickly to make the necessary corrections before the law’s deadline. Our work always meets NYC construction codes and is in line with utility company requirements. It also provides professional and long lasting results so you do not have to worry about additional repairs later on.
We will cover requirements, schedule, and what to expect during an inspection later on in our guide, but we are also able to answer your questions now or go ahead and schedule your LL 152 inspection if you call us at 718.494.7301.
Who is Required to Comply with Local Law 152?
LL 152 applies to buildings in all 5 boroughs of NYC - Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Residential properties, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities are all included in the law with some exceptions for residential buildings.
Properties of all ages are subject to inspection requirements, although you may be on a slightly different schedule if you own a newer, post-2019 building. These newer buildings have a limited grace period before they must receive the periodic inspections.
The only buildings not required to receive inspections are buildings with an R-3 occupancy classification. Per the DOB, this includes:
- Single Family Homes
- 2 Family Homes
- Buildings with 1 or 2 Dwelling Units
- Convents and Monasteries
- Group Homes
Also in this list, the number of people living in the building must also be fewer than 20 in order to be exempt from inspections.
This means that homeowners are generally excused from inspections, as are those who manage properties with only 1 or 2 apartments. If you are not sure what occupancy classification applies to your building, your original Occupancy Certification will have it listed. Looking at those records will confirm whether or not you will need to schedule an inspection for your building.
Do Properties Without Gas Lines Need an Inspection?
Just because your property does not have a gas pipe system does not mean you can ignore LL 152 altogether. Since there are no gas pipes, you will not need an inspection from a plumber. But you will still need to submit a Certification form completed by a Registered Design Professional that confirms there is no gas piping system on your property.
The certification is due at the same time as inspections for buildings in your community district. You must also recertify every 4 years on the same schedule as the buildings with gas pipe systems
What Community Districts Need Local Law 152 Inspections and When?
Law 152 outlined an inspection schedule based on each building’s location in NYC over a four year period from 2020 to 2023. During that time, all buildings required to have a gas piping system inspection should have it completed during the designated year.
The schedule goes by community district number. Every district of the same number in each borough will have their inspection during the same year. What that means is that if you live in District 2 of Manhattan, your inspection is the same year as District 2 of Brooklyn, District 2 of Queens, etc. This gives us a timeline that looks like this:
- January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021 - Districts 2, 5, 7, 13, and 18 in every borough.
- January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022 - Districts 4, 6, 8, 9, and 16 in every borough.
- January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023 - Districts 11, 12, 14, 15, and 17 in every borough.
The inspection deadline for districts 1, 3, and 10 has already passed. Originally it was due by December 31, 2020, but it was extended to June 30, 2021 in response to the Covid pandemic. If you are in one of these districts and have not yet gotten the inspection for your buildings, it is important that you call Empire Plumbing as soon as possible in order to complete the inspection and avoid fines.
To determine what district your buildings are in, we recommend this resource from the Department of City Planning. You can use their map to locate your district number in the borough in which your building(s) is located.
After the initial testing timeline is completed in 2023, the cycle resets. This means that if your building was scheduled to be inspected in 2020, you must get another inspection in 2024 between January 1 and December 31. For districts due in 2021, the next inspection should be in 2025, and so on. The result is that your building will need an inspection every fourth year.
Any new buildings - those that receive their certificate of occupancy after December 31, 2019 - have an exception. They must have their gas system inspection 10 years after the DOB certifies the building. After that, these new buildings are on the same schedule as described above with an inspection once every 4 years.
Keeping current on your Local Law 152 gas line inspections is important in order to avoid fines, but we know keeping the dates straight over the years can be difficult. Our team can help you determine when it is time for your next inspection and, if this is your year, get you on the schedule.
What to Expect at Your Inspection
An inspection for Local Law 152 will not be much different from any other type of inspection you may receive on your property. We at Empire Plumbing send out one of our NYC Licensed Master Plumbers who are trained in the requirements for this law. They search for issues or violations and write up a report in accordance with the law’s standards.
You can choose when to schedule your inspection any time within the year for your community district. This inspection will cover all public spaces, entryways, hallways, corridors, boiler rooms, and basements. All of these areas will need to be accessible to the inspector, so be sure you have keys and access on the day of the inspection. Any inaccessible areas will require us to mark the inspection as incomplete. Tenant living spaces are not included in the inspection per LL 152.
The first part of the gas pipe system inspection is the visual inspection. An experienced plumber will look over the different parts of the system including:
- Exposed Gas Piping - We inspect all pipes that are in the open from the point where the gas pipes enter the property to where they terminate or move into tenant spaces. LL 152 does not require us to inspect buried pipes, pipes in a drop ceiling, or pipes behind an access door.
- Gas Appliances - We will inspect stoves, water heaters, heat pumps, air conditioners, fireplaces, and other appliances that are powered by gas and located outside of tenant dwelling spaces.
- Service Meter - We look over the service meter to ensure that connections are stable and in compliance with ConEd or National Grid standards.
- Additional Equipment - This can include all other parts of the piping system such as regulator vents, pressure regulators, sleeves, valves, and more. Essentially, if it is part of your gas pipe system within your property but not including tenant spaces, we will inspect it.
We will also conduct leak tests in the same areas where the visual inspection occurs. For this process, we use a combustible gas detector. This technology samples the surrounding air for any concentration of gas that is higher than is safe.
During both the visual inspection and the leak test, licensed master plumbers are looking for:
- Gas Leaks
- Illegal Connections
- Installations Not to Code
- Worn or Corroded System Components
- Broken Venting Systems
- Other Immediate Dangers
We then compile our findings into a report. Local Law 152 has standard forms for reports, and we’ll be using the Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection Report to report on any problems we notice. In accordance with the law, we give our customers this report within 30 days of the inspection.
The other form you will receive from us is the Gas Piping System Period Inspection Certification. This certifies that a licensed master plumber conducted your inspection. It also clarifies what we found - no problems, problems that are already fixed, or issues that you will need to fix.
The Inspection Certification is the form you need to submit to the DOB within 60 days of your inspection. You will submit it through the online portal, which you can find here. In addition to submitting the certification form, you should also keep a copy of both the report and certification on file for the next 10 years.
If the inspection revealed any problems, you should begin fixing them as soon as possible. The majority of issues have a 120 day deadline after the initial inspection before they have to be corrected. A second inspection from a licensed master plumber will confirm that the issues were fixed, and you will submit another certification form that the gas pipe system is functioning correctly.
In cases where the inspection showed problems that cannot be fixed within 120 days, you can also request an extension for 180 days. Your plumber will mark this on your initial certification form if necessary. Like the 120 day timeline, you will need a second inspection to verify all corrections have been made so that you can submit an Inspection Certification showing your building meets all requirements.
Why Choose Empire Plumbing?
Local Law 152 is an obligation for the properties you own and manage. Almost every property in NYC is going to need to partner with an NYC Licensed Master Plumber over the next 4 years - and beyond - to meet the regulatory requirements of this law.
Empire Plumbing is the company to call for your LL 152 inspection. We have years of experience and a friendly, professional team that shows up on time and never cuts corners in our work.
LL 152 applies to all boroughs of New York City and Empire Plumbing is here to partner with you throughout the New York City area. We provide:
- Licensed, Bonded, and Insured Service - Empire Plumbing is an NYC Licensed Master Plumber, making us eligible to certify your gas pipe system inspection and to give you peace of mind in knowing our services are reliable.
- Gas Line Repair Services - We are a full service repair company. If our inspection turns up any issues, our trained plumbers can move directly to fixing the damages or violations. We make it easy to work with a single company to complete all of the requirements for LL 152.
- Competitive Prices - If you are putting off bringing your building into compliance with LL 152 because of the cost of an inspection and any repairs, we strive to make the process as affordable as possible with fair pricing.
We are also a local plumbing company that is here to help you as a property owner. We know that understanding and meeting the new requirements for LL 152 can be a challenge when you are already busy as a property manager or running your business.
At Empire Plumbing, we have taken the time to become experts in Local Law 152 and can answer your questions or address your concerns. We can work with you to make sure you are getting your inspection done at the right time and when we perform your gas line inspection, we deliver a straightforward and timely report that clearly outlines any changes.
Our goal is to be your partner in inspections by getting them done as quickly and with as little stress as possible.
Call Empire Plumbing for Gas Line Inspections
If your buildings are due for gas pipe system inspection - or if you just want to find out more about how this new law applies to your properties - contact our team at Empire Plumbing. With the right resources, Local Law 152 does not have to be a headache for you. We can help you stay in compliance, navigate timeline and reporting, and complete inspections and repairs at an affordable rate.
Reach us at 718.494.7301 to get started with a NYC gas pipe system inspection from our skilled and professional team.
Frequently Asked Questions About Local Law 152
Q: Does My Property Need a Gas Piping System Inspection?
A: The majority of buildings in NYC now need inspections at some point. The main expectations are 1 or 2 family homes, apartment buildings with fewer than 2 units, and group housing with no more than 20 occupants. If your building does not fall into those categories, it is very likely you will need an inspection.
Q: When Should I Have My Inspection Done?
A: The first consideration with timing is to determine which year the inspections for your community district are due. Every property has a year to complete the inspection and submit the certification. Keep in mind that once the inspection is done, there is a timeline you need to follow for submitting the Inspection Certification and finishing any corrections. For this reason, we recommend planning the inspection for a time of the year when you will have time to also schedule repairs.
Q: Will the Inspectors Need to Access Tenants’ Apartments or Offices?
A: No. Tenant living spaces are exempt from LL 152. This includes pipes, appliances, boiler rooms, and other equipment that can only be accessed through a dwelling space. We’ll perform a leak test in dwelling entryways, but there is no need for us to enter the dwelling itself.
Q: What If the Inspector Finds a Problem that Needs Immediate Attention?
A: It’s rare, but some inspections will reveal an issue that is a significant and immediate danger. These are called Class A conditions, and include problems like leaks, carbon monoxide, or broken venting systems. If we find a Class A condition on your property, we must immediately notify you, the utility company, and the DOB and you will need to take steps to correct the issue.
Q: How Much Does a Gas Piping Inspection Cost?
A: Our prices are some of the fairest in New York City, but many factors go into determining an exact price. Please give us a call and we are happy to discuss pricing for your property.
Q: Can Empire Plumbing Help Repair Problems Found During the Inspection?
A: Of course. As a full service plumbing company, we can also follow up with repair services. Because we handled your report, we already know what needs to be fixed and can take care of the issues promptly.