NYC Gas Line Safety for Homeowners
What's The Deal?
When it comes to natural gas piping in New York City properties, things have changed a lot over the last several years. The regulatory measures signed into law in 2016 by Mayor Bill de Blasio aim to increase natural gas safety to the benefit of all New Yorkers. They do, however, make homeowners more accountable for keeping their homes and rental properties safe. Here’s what every Brooklyn and Manhattan homeowner should know to ensure gas line safety.
Where’s The Line?
It may come as a surprise (if so — sorry!), but as a homeowner, you’re responsible for everything closer to your house than the meter, as well as the section of pipeline that runs from the mainline to your meter. You’ve probably been checking your appliances for gas leaks a few times a year, but you should also be taking a closer look at the natural gas pipelines that run through your house and property.
Know what to watch out for.
As you inspect your home’s gas piping, look for these common problems:
Be Ready For A Formal Inspection
In addition to your own inspection, the New York State Public Service Commission (via Task 87) now requires that gas utilities perform periodic leak surveys and corrosion inspections on all meters. If your gas meter is indoors, you’ll have to provide access to your property so the inspector can examine your meter, pipes, fittings, and wires. If you haven’t already heard from your utility company, you can schedule an inspection time that works best for you. Con Edison customers should call Precision Pipeline Solutions at 1-888-617-0510, and National Grid customers can reach them at 1-844-749-8898.
If You Smell Gas, Get Out
Then Call Your Gas Company
When there’s a gas-related incident, it’s common for a homeowner or neighbor to mention after the fact that they thought they smelled gas but didn’t notify anyone. Any time you smell natural gas or notice signs of leakage, leave the property, and make the call to your utility company. In addition to the well-known sulfur (or rotten egg) smell, red flags associated with a gas leak include hissing or whistling sounds, mist or fog, and bubbles in standing water. If you encounter any of these signs, do not try to troubleshoot the problem yourself. Evacuate the area and call an experienced professional.
Know Before You Dig
You’ve surely seen this campaign, but maybe you didn’t realize it was meant for you. If you or anyone else will be digging on your property, it’s your job to find out where the pipes and power lines are buried first. Notify your utility operators by calling 811 at least two whole working days in advance of starting your project. They’ll dispatch all the affected utility operators, who will mark your utility lines for free. Then you’ll need to respect the lines, leaving them intact and digging with hand tools (if you must) anywhere within two feet of them.
Hire A Qualified Professional
No homeowner wants an inexperienced person touching their home’s gas piping system, but specific qualifications are also legally required to perform gas work in New York City. More importantly, as of January 1, 2020, any gas work outside of an inspection can only be done by a professional with an NYC Master Plumber License or a Gas Work Qualification. Some people think first to call an appliance or HVAC specialist, but an NYC Licensed Master Plumber is qualified to address all your natural-gas-related issues!
Do Your Part
When systems are properly maintained, natural gas is a safe and reliable energy source. These new regulations call more people to task for keeping those systems working properly. As a homeowner, you have the power to keep your property safe. For an added layer of proactive protection, consider installing carbon monoxide and natural gas detectors in your home. And if you do run into a problem with your home’s gas lines, call A Good Plumber at (718) 648-6838. We have the expertise and integrity to repair issues properly, notify you of potential code violations, and make sure everything is working safely.