Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
PLUMBING SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
AGE of PLUMBING MATERIALS & FIXTURES
AGE of CHIMNEYS & FIREPLACES
AGE of AIR CONDITIONERS & HEAT PUMPS
AGE of HEATERS, BOILERS, FURNACES
AGE of PIPING
AGE of WATER HEATERS
AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS, FIXTURES
AIR INLET VALVE, WATER TANK
AIR VOLUME CONTROLS, WATER TANK
ANTI SCALD VALVES
ANODES & DIP TUBES on WATER HEATERS
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
AQUASTAT CONTROL Functions
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BACKFLOW PREVENTER VALVE, HEATING SYS
BACKFLOW PREVENTER, HEATER WATER FEEDER
BACKUP PREVENTION, SEPTIC
BACKUP PREVENTION, SEWER LINE
BACKWATER VALVES, SEWER LINE
BOD WASTEWATER TEST
BLOCKED DRAIN REPAIR METHODS
BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CHECK VALVES, WATER SUPPLY
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CHLORINE IN DRINKING WATER
CHLORINE IN SEPTIC WASTEWATER
CLEANOUTS, PLUMBING DRAIN
CLOGGED DRAIN DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPES, DIAGNOSIS
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPES, REPAIR
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPES, HOT WATER
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
CROSS CONNECTIONS, PLUMBING
DEBRIS in WATER SUPPLY, Water Heater
DEPTH of DRAIN & SEWER PIPES
DEPTH of SEPTIC TANK
DIAELECTRIC PIPE FITTINGS
DRAIN & SEWER PIPING
DRAIN LINE DEPTH
DRAIN a WATER HEATER TANK
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOODED HEATING EQUIPMENT REPAIR
FLOODED SEPTIC SYSTEMS, REPAIR
FLOODED WATER HEATER REPAIR
FLOOR DRAIN / TRAP ODORS
FLUSHOMETER VALVES for TOILETS URINALS
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAS FIRED WATER HEATERS
GAS LP & Natural Gas Safety Hazards
GAS LP & Natural Gas Pressures
GAS PIPING, VALVES, CONTROLS
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GALVANIZED STEEL PIPING
HARD WATER - SOFTENERS
HEAT TAPES, Heat, Insulation prevent Freeze-Up
KITCHEN VENTILATION DESIGN
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEAK TYPES, Water Supply/Drain Pipe
MANUALS & PARTS GUIDES - HVAC
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MIXING / ANTI-SCALD VALVES
MIX VALVE SCALD PROTECTION, Best Practices
MUNICIPAL WATER PRESSURE IMPROVEMENTS
MOLD INFORMATION CENTER
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
NOISE CONTROL for HEATING SYSTEMS
NOISE CONTROL for PLUMBING
NOISE, PLUMBING DRAIN DIAGNOSIS
NOISE, PLUMBING DRAIN REPAIR
NOISE, PLUMBING CHECKLIST
NOISE, WATER HEATER
NOISES, WATER PUMP
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS IN WATER
ODORS, SEPTIC or SEWER
ODORS SEWER GAS in COLD WEATHER
ODORS, SULPHUR SMELL SOURCES
ANIMAL or URINE ODOR SOURCE DETECTION
OIL FIRED WATER HEATERS
OIL-FIRED BOILERS, HEATING
OIL FUEL TYPES & CHARACTERISTICS
OIL TANK PIPING & PIPING DEFECTS
OUTHOUSES & LATRINES
PIPING IN buildings, Clogs Leaks Types
PLASTIC PIPING ABS CPVC PB PEX PVC
PLASTIC PIPE INSTALLATION ERRORS
PLASTIC PIPE LEAK CAUSES
PLUMBING FIXTURES, KITCHEN, BATH
Plumbing Materials & Fixtures, Age, Types
PLUMBING NOISE CONTROL
PLUMBING VENT DEFINITIONS & CODES
PLUMBING VENT DEFECTS & NOISES
PUMPS, SEPTIC PUMPS
PUMPS, SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
PUMPS, SUMP PUMPS
PUMPS, WATER PUMPS
PUMPS, WATER REPAIR
RELIEF VALVE LEAKS
REPAIR BURST LEAKY PIPES
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE LEAKS & ODORS
SEWAGE BACKUP, WHAT TO DO
SEWER BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWAGE & SEPTIC CONTAMINANTS
SEWAGE CONTAMINATION in buildings
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWAGE PATHOGENS in SEPTIC SLUDGE
SEWAGE PUMP CLOG DAMAGE
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SHUTOFF VALVE LOCATION, USE
SOUND CONTROL for PLUMBING
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
SUMP PUMPS GUIDE
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
TANK TYPES: WATER, OIL, EXPANSION, ALL
TANKLESS WATER HEATERS
Temperature Pressure Relief Valves - Water Heaters
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
TOILET FLUSHOMETER VALVES
TOILET INSTALLATION PROCEDURE
TOILET OVERFLOW EMERGENCY
TOILET PLUGS, SEWER BACKUP
TOILET REPAIR GUIDE
TOILET TISSUE CHOICES
Toilet Types, Flush Methods
TOILETS, DON'T FLUSH LIST
TRANSITE PIPE WATER SUPPLY PIPING
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
WATER CONTAMINANT LEVELS
WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE
WATER HEATER SCALE - De-Liming Procedure
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PIPES, Clogs Leaks Types
WATER PRESSURE & FLOW MEASUREMENT
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE
WATER PRESSURE PUMP REPAIR GUIDE
WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE
WATER QUALITY TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER QUANTITY IMPROVEMENT
WATER SHUTOFF VALVE LOCATION, USE
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SOURCE ALTERNATIVES
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTING
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TESTING ADVICE
WATER TEST CHOICES & WATER TEST FEES
WATER TEST INTERPRETATION
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes the common locations of and inspection of LP or Natural Gas shutoff valves at heating appliances, stoves, and clothes dryers. A gas shutoff is a manual valve that can be closed to stop the supply of natural gas or LP gas to a heating appliance or to a building. We distinguish between a gas shutoff valve and a gas regulator, which may also be called a gas valve but which has the job of controlling gas flow into a heating appliance automatically in response to a call for heat. Gas regulators are discussed at Gas Appliance Regulator Defects.
Our page top photo shows a gas shutoff located at an outdoor gas meter - the valve is on the leftmost of the two vertical gas pipes at the top of (this improperly installed) gas meter.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Main Building gas shutoff valve located at the gas meter
An additional shutoff valve may be located in the street or sidewalk outside of the building - a device that cannot be readily seen nor used by a building owner.
We can see that the gas valve is in the "open" position because the movable lever is in the "down" position and parallel to the gas pipe.
Most gas companies advise their customers not to touch this valve. They worry that you'll damage the valve and cause a more serious gas leak than ever.
Call your local gas company for assistance with the valve or the meter. Usually, because serious safety concerns apply, the gas company will respond immediately.
General safety warning: improper installation and even improper inspection and testing methods involving natural or "LP" gas can involve dangerous conditions and risk fire or explosion. If you smell gas you should leave the building immediately and should do so without doing anything that could create a spark such as operating a light switch or telephone.
From a safe location, call your gas company's emergency line and/or your fire department. The text provided here is a working draft and may be incomplete or inaccurate. Contact us to suggest text changes and additions and, if you wish, to receive online listing and credit for that contribution.
Also see How to Report Defects in Oil Piping. NOTICE: while example report language is provided here, reproduction of this or any of our web pages or their contents at other websites or in printed documents for sale is prohibited.
Our photo (above left) shows the shutoff valve on an outdoor LP gas tank. The direction to turn the valve to "close" it is marked by an arrow on the valve.
You should find an document the location of the main shutoff gas valve (usually located at the gas meter or if the meter is outdoors, a main valve may be installed inside the building close to where the gas pipe enters the structure.
The LP gas tank shutoff control (photo at left) is the gray knob at the right side of the picture.
Gas shutoff valves at individual gas-fired appliances
Next you should find and document the location of individual gas shutoff valves at each appliance in the building that uses gas. Building codes require that a gas shutoff be located at each appliance and outside of the jacket or cover of the appliance.
Our photos show a natural gas shutoff valve installed at a gas-fired water heater (above left) and a gas shutoff valve installed at a gas-fired warm air furnace (above right).
Typical gas fired appliances that would each have its own gas shutoff valve include gas fired boilers or furnaces, clothes dryers, water heaters, and gas fired cook stoves or range tops.
In some cases such as where a damaged or corroded flexible gas connector line joins the appliance to the building gas piping, moving the appliance could start a dangerous gas leak.
In these cases, such as a range top, gas stove or clothes dryer which may be pushed against a building wall, we like to see an additional gas shutoff valve for such appliances located in a more accessible location.
This permits the user or repair technician to turn off the gas supply without moving the appliance.
Our photo (left) shows a shutoff valve in an LP gas line that supplies a gas fired range top in a building where there was no other readily accessible location to provide a shutoff valve close to the appliance.
The range top was installed over an oven. An additional shutoff valve was installed inside the building but could not be readily accessed without lifting the range top or removing the oven below.
Visual Signs of LP Gas Leakage at an Appliance Gas Valve
Even if the natural gas or LP Gas is shut off or no longer supplying an appliance, stains at the gas piping such as we show below this little LP gas shutoff at a water heater (in a city in Mexico) may indicate a history of leaks at the gas pipe connections.
In this case we found that a damaged, grooved mating face on a flare fitting had caused many years of slow gas leakage at this valve. T
he black stains at the flare fitting and copper tubing at the left side of the valve (photo at left) were pointed-to by the gas delivery driver as evidence of a history of gas leaks.
The repair required replacement of a flare fitting and re-making the joint.
Gas shutoff valves located inside of heating appliance covers and jackets
If your building has gas fired appliances that lack an accessible gas shutoff valve you should ask a licensed professional plumber or heating technician to install one.
Safety Recommendation: If you see that the local manual gas line shutoff valve at a gas-fired appliance has been installed only inside the jacket or cover, this is an unsafe condition: the valve could be difficult to reach in an emergency.
Check with your local building code inspectors. Relocation of such valves is usually a minor expense and can be handled by most licensed plumbers or heating service technicians.
Abandoned gas shutoff valves may be very dangerous
Gas valves may be left in place when an appliance has been removed.
Our photo (left) shows a "live" natural gas line in an old house in Newburgh, New York.
Someone who doesn't know better might open this valve, causing a serious or potentially fatal explosion in the building.
Gas surprises: Gas light and gas fireplace lines and valves may be "live" in older homes which used natural gas to supply energy to gas fireplaces or even to gas lights.
Never assume that an old gaslight fixture (photo at left) is safe and that the piping does not contain gas.
Often these fixtures were converted to electricity, having wires run conveniently through existing gas piping.
But an old gas fixture that has not been electrified may still release dangerously explosive gas into a building.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Use the search box below to ask a question or to search the InspectApedia.com website.
Ask a Question or Enter Search Terms in the InspectApedia search box just below.
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.