shut off valve for gas line

Every homeowner should know how to find the shut-off valve for their gas line. It not only saves time during repairs but, in an emergency, it could also save your life. Unfortunately, gas valves are not always easy to find. Their location varies depending on the age of your home, local building codes, and where you live. If you don’t know how to find your shut-off valve, here’s where to look.

  • Street Side Valve. Street side valves are located in front of your gas meter. Most gas meters are located outside, on the rear or side of your house. To shield them from the elements builders sometimes install them in a recessed cabinet instead, or in the basement, facing a window near the spot where the gas line enters your home. Look for a rectangular nub attached to a lever. In most cases, street side valves can’t be operated by hand, only with a wrench.
  • House Side Valve. House side valves are located inside, either where the gas pipe first enters your home or a little further down the line, but always before it splits off to other parts of the house.
  • High Pressure Valve. Older gas lines are made of iron, which gives them a dark and distinctive appearance, in contrast to water pipes, which are gray and galvanized. Modern homes increasingly use high-pressure valves, which are fed by copper piping. High pressure lines run from your gas meter and their valves are normally located near your furnace or water heater.
  • Individual Gas Valves. While street side, house side, and high pressure valves shut off the gas to your entire home, individual valves let you shut off gas to specific appliances, such as your furnace, stove, or water heater. They’re typically located within six feet of the appliance.

How to Shut Off Your Gas

Most gas lines are controlled by single lever ball valves. As long as the lever is parallel to the pipe, gas is flowing. To shut it off, turn the lever ninety degrees until it’s perpendicular to the pipe. Knowing the location of the shut-off valve is crucial during a gas leak. If you detect a leak, turn off the gas immediately and open all the doors and windows. Then evacuate and call the gas company or the fire department.

Keep in mind that after shutting off the gas to your home, you’ll probably need a gas company technician to reactivate it. Shutting off the gas to individual appliances won’t require the help of a technician, but if the device uses a pilot light, you’ll have to reignite it.

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