Can Natural Gas Lines Become Clogged?

Properties with natural gas and NYC receive gas through a series of pipes inside that connect with the appliances they power. As with any pipes, such as water pipes and sewer pipes, it is possible for a gas pipe to become clogged, blocking the gas from getting through and potentially causing damage elsewhere in your gas piping system.

Here is how this damage can happen and what to do if you suspect a gas pipe blockage.

Causes of Gas Pipe Clogs

A gas piping system is a closed system, so it is relatively rare for material to get into the pipes and block them, but not impossible. Damage to the pipes can also cause a clog. The most frequent causes of a blockage in the natural gas line are:

  • Dirt and Debris – A small crack or loose joint will let in dust that can collect in the pipe until it blocks it.
  • Water – Gas cannot pass through water if more than a few inches of water have collected in the pipe. Water can also lead to rusting that will make a leak more likely.
  • Tree Roots – For pipes that run underground, nearby tree roots can grow into them. This is likely to cause a leak but can also block the pipe.
  • Dented Pipes – When a pipe sustains enough physical damage to dent, this will significantly decrease the circumference of the pipe and the amount of space for gas to pass through.

The most obvious sign of a clogged pipe, and usually what prompts homeowners to contact a plumber, is that appliances are not getting enough fuel. For instance, if you have a gas range, you may have the burner turned to the highest level but only get a small flame since the unit is not getting enough gas.

But a clog can also cause a leak as the pressure of gas behind the clog builds up, forcing gas to instead move outward via a loose joint or rupture the pipe at a weak spot. This could leave you with a dangerous problem.

When you have either of these issues – appliances not getting enough gas or a gas leak – you will need a licensed master plumber in NYC. Empire Plumbing can diagnose the cause of the clog and determine the best way of clearing the blockage, sometimes by inserting a tool into the piping to knock debris loose or by replacing the effective pipe. We can also repair any gas leaks that may have resulted from the blockage to be sure the entire system is functioning efficiently again. 

When you notice these or other issues with a gas piping system, contact Empire Plumbing to schedule a visit with NYC’s best master plumber.

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