For those of you who have natural gas in your home, then automatically you have a main gas shut off valve. All gas-powered homes have it and it’s important to know where it is, since this can be lifesaving if accidents happen.
Unlike what most people may assume, turning off the main gas valve is more than just switching a switch. There are several safety precautions and steps that you’ll need to take to ensure everything is done right.
Well, no need to worry anymore, here is a detailed guide on how to go about this!
Find the Valve
The location of the main gas valve varies a lot depending on two main factors. First, the location of your home is a huge determinant.
Secondly, the valve location will also depend on how old the home is. A traditional home has two main shut off valves. The first one is known as the house-side valve, and this one is purposefully installed for the homeowner to use at his or her own discretion.
The second one is the street side valve and it’s owned by the utility company. This valve is normally not supposed to be touched by the homeowner.
The street side valve is found right before your gas meter and should only be used if and only if the house-side gas valve isn’t working or isn’t accessible for whatever reason.
Turn Off the Gas
Before we get further down the article, it’s important to note that turning off the main gas valve should only be done in emergency situations. This is because the utility company will need to visit your home before the gas is turned back on and this can take time.
So, only turn the main gas regulator valve off if it’s a matter of safety and nothing else.
But how do you do it? Well, simply move the lever of the house-side shut off valve so that it’s in a perfect right angle to the pipe. This will shut off the flow of gas into your home immediately. In case your house-side valve isn’t working, then you will have no choice but to turn off the street side valve.
Now, unlike the house-side valve, the street side valve is harder to turn off and requires a 12-inch wrench for the job. Simply turn the valve a quarter turn on either side until it sits crosswise to the pipe.
Check Again if the Gas is Off
Once you have completed the steps above, it’s still important to be 100 percent sure that the gas is actually turned off. Start by listening to gas flow across the pipes. If the gas is off, then you shouldn’t be able to hear anything.
There are some gas appliances that have indicators of whether the gas is on or not. Check and see what they are saying.
However, if you can’t be sure whether the gas is off or not, don’t take any chance. Call the gas company as fast as you can.
Don’t Turn It On
The moment you turn the main natural gas shut off valve, you should never turn it back on.
This is because there are safety precautions that need to be taken before the gas is back and this can only be done by the gas company. You will, therefore, need to wait an hour or two for them to respond and arrive in your property.
The gas company simply comes to make sure that there’s nothing wrong with your system. And remember we highlighted above that you only turn your main valve off if and only if you have a safety emergency.
If it’s just an appliance related problem, turn off the specific valve supplying gas to that appliance and leave the rest of the gas flowing in your home.
Need to move the gas line or simply repair your system? Request a free quote for the service!