Knowing where natural gas lines are if they exist on your property, is worthwhile when you own a commercial or residential property in NYC. Even when you do not have gas powered appliances in operation in your building, there may still be gas lines that were installed by a previous owner.
The location and condition of these gas lines are important facts to know if you ever want to utilize gas appliances in the future, as well as managing any risks from damaged gas pipes and meeting your responsibilities as an NYC property owner.
How to Determine Where Gas Lines are on Your Property
If you are not sure where gas lines might be – or if you have them at all – a gas meter is always a good indicator that is usually easy to find. The gas meter marks the place where the utility gas pipe, called the service line, connects with the house or building line. The utility gas line delivers gas to various properties, while the house line takes the final step to bring gas to your appliances, with the meter measuring how much gas transfers from the service line into your home for billing.
When there is a meter present, but you do not currently operate appliances that use gas, the meter is likely turned off. But its presence can still tell you where a line is.
NYC also has a rigorous permitting system for any work that concerns a gas line. Records for recent changes are very likely on file and you or a gas contractor may be able to determine from engineering documents where service lines and house lines for gas run around your property.
One thing you should not do to find where a gas line runs is dig without the proper precautions. Any digging project risks striking a gas pipe or another underground pipe and causing damage. Before digging, you should call 811 to have all pipelines marked for safety.
Another option is to work with an experienced gas contractor in NYC who has the knowledge and equipment to precisely locate gas pipes. A master plumber is also the only person authorized to do any work you may need to be done on a natural gas piping system once you find it, such as:
- Gas Pipe Inspection – Local Law 152 inspections for multifamily residential and commercial properties are required inspections of active gas lines. If you have an existing gas line that is not in use, a licensed master plumber or building engineer can sign off on that to meet the requirements for the inspection process. Gas pipe inspections to meet other requirements must also be handled by an LMP.
- Repair to Gas Pipes – If a leak develops in a gas pipe past the meter, the property owner is responsible for repairing the damage and paying for any gas used before the repair is made.
- Knowing Where Your Gas Pipe is Outside – If you currently have natural gas service in NYC, locating where your gas pipes are outside can help you know what areas to watch in order to detect leaks. Areas above a buried gas line may experience dying plants or have a rotten egg odor if a pipe nearby is leaking.
- New Gas Pipe Installation – If you want to restart gas service and install a gas powered appliance at your home, you will first need to be able to connect your house to the service line. If a service line already runs nearby, such as when other properties in your building or a neighboring building are receiving gas service, the installation process will be far more affordable than if you have to pay to run a longer line up to your property.
- Restarting Gas Service – If a previous property owner used gas power, reinstalling gas appliances now can often be far more affordable. After an assessment to determine the quality of existing lines and any necessary repairs, you will likely be able to use existing lines for your new gas appliances.
If you have these or other concerns about natural gas lines at your property, Empire Plumbing Inc is a licensed master plumber in NYC. We can determine where gas pipes are located and manage all of the services you might need for gas line repair, inspection, and installations. To get assistance locating existing gas pipes before your gas pipe installation or inspection, call Empire Plumbing today.