Taking Care of Your Gas Line
That time of year has arrived when we’re turning up the heat. And if your heat depends on natural gas, knowing if you need gas line repairs is important. A gas line will become corroded and deteriorate over time whether they are above or underground. A recommended proactive step is to schedule a professional plumbing inspection of your gas lines just before winter.
With that inspection, if you need any gas line repairs, you can have them complete before winter arrives and you need heat. As a homeowner, you want to remain alert for any indications of gas leaks even with an annual inspection. Some indicators to be aware of are:
- Dead Plants: If you have dead bushes, flowers, or grass outside, you could have a gas pipe leak underground. In this case, call a professional plumber. Inside your home, if you’re noticing your household plants are dying, you need to check your appliances for gas leak. You can do this by mixing a spray bottle with a little dish liquid in water and spraying the mixture on gas connections. If you see bubbles, tighten the connection and test again. If you still see bubbles, call a plumber for gas line repair service.
- Hissing Sounds: You should not hear any hissing sounds coming from your gas lines, so if you need, you need professional gas line repair service. If the hissing sound is coming from your HVAC system, it could be a freon leak. In this case, you’ll want to call a professional HVAC service. If they discover a leaking gas line to the heater portion, they can usually do any gas line repair needed.
- Rotten Egg Smell: Natural gas and propane gas are both odorless. At the distribution center, they add mercaptan, a chemical that gives gas a distinctive odor for safety purposes. If you’re smelling anything like rotten eggs, sewage, or sulfur, check all the knobs and appliances, make sure nothing is turned on. Open all the windows and evacuate the property. Once everyone is safe, call the gas company or 911 .
- White Mist or Fog: If there is an unusual white cloud, mist, or fog around your home, this could be from a gas line. Call the gas company or 911 immediately after evacuating the area.
Who is responsible for gas line repair?
As a homeowner, gas line repairs should be left to the professionals that know how to repair gas lines. The gas company will often only come to do gas line repairs when it is on their side, but in this case, they are the ones you need to call. If the gas leak is on your side or within your appliances, you need to call a professional plumber that does gas line repair and installations. Most plumbers are versed in gas lines, but not all offer gas line repair services.
Where do gas lines run?
Main gas line piping can be located in the parkway, street, or right of way and is typically marked with yellow paint where the gas lines are running underground. They typically run between the street and to the house going into the gas meter.
Natural gas lines will have a main shutoff valve at the gas meter. This rectangular nub shaped valve is referred to as the street-side valve. When the nub’s long side is parallel to the incoming line, it is open, allowing the gas to flow. Knowing where this is located and how it works will allow you to shut the gas off in case of a gas line repair or appliance installation.
How long does it take to repair a gas line?
This can depend on where the leak is located. An underground gas line repair can take a few hours, whereas a gas line repair above ground can usually be fixed within an hour.
How much does it cost to repair a gas line?
The average cost nationally for gas line repair is around $400. However, the price can range from as low as $150 and reach up to $700 depending on the size of the damaged gas pipe section. The materials used for the gas line repair can affect the overall cost too.
Can a homeowner install a gas line?
Gas line repairs and installation are different from repairs and installations of water lines, and while there are multitudes of instructional videos online, all with step-by-step processes, it isn’t recommended. Gas line repair and installation should only be done by a professional licensed plumber that is certified for gas line service. There are risks that can be not only expensive but deadly. Unlike water line installation and repairs, working on a gas line is dangerous.
Do you need a permit for a gas line?
Yes, you will need to request a permit for installing a gas line, or your contractor will. However, gas line repairs typically do not require a permit. Once a permit is issued, there will need to be a gas line inspection performed by local authorities.
In Conclusion – How much does it cost to install a gas line?
It can vary from area to area, with an average cost between $355 to $800 for basic install jobs. A more complex gas line installation can cost up to $1000 or more. The materials, like the pipe itself, are charged by the linear foot, but it’s important to remember there are other parts and labor that will need to be paid for.