If your house has natural gas, you have a main shut off valve. Learning the location of your shut off valve could save your life.
If your house has natural gas, you have a main shut off valve. And learning the location of your shut off valve could save your life. It’s not as simple as just flipping a switch, there are careful safety precautions to consider. With this article, we’re going to walk you through the process of finding and identifying your valves. We’ll also cover some important safety essentials, so be sure to read through all the way!
It’s not always safe to turn these valves off in an emergency. If you’re dealing with a gas leak and the gas hasn’t been leaking long, shut off the valve and get out. Not sure how long the gas has been leaking? The same rule applies - clear everyone out and call the gas company or fire department. When dealing with a gas leak, it’s always wise to exercise a copious amount of caution.
Location of Gas Valves
Gas valves aren’t conversation pieces. You’re not going to find them in prominent, high traffic areas of your house. Additionally, gas valves can vary in location, shape, and number depending on the age of your house. Legal codes and your location can also play a role in where they are found. We’re going to walk you through the process so you will know how to safely and securely shut off your gas.
Types of Gas Valves
Street Side Valve
Your main shut off valve is located just before the gas meter. This is called your “street side valve”.
House Side Valve
On the inside of your house, where the pipe enters your house, you can find your “house side valve.” This ball valve is attached to a black iron pipe. Note: you may also see a gray galvanized pipe located nearby, this is your water pipe.
If you have a newer home, you will find a flexible copper pipe running from the meter to your utility room – this is an indicator that you have a higher pressure gas system. If this is the case, your main shutoff valve is more than likely located near your water heater or furnace.
Label Your Valves
Okay, now that you’ve tracked down your valves – label them. This goes for all of your valves, not just your main shutoff. In the event of repairs, installations or emergencies, you want to be able to stop the flow of gas to your appliances quickly.
How to Shut Off Your Gas Valve
So now that you know where your valves are located, and you’ve labeled them, let's talk about shutting them off. The long side of your handle is parallel to the incoming gas line, which means your gas in on and flowing. By turning the handle perpendicular to the incoming pipe, you are closing the valve and shutting off the gas. The same applies to single-lever ball valves with the handle parallel to the line meaning that gas is flowing.
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Become More Familiar with your Gas Appliances
Now that you’re more knowledgeable about your gas valves and how to shut them down, why not learn more about your gas appliances? Home Matters features a treasure trove of helpful articles on everything from central heat systems to water heaters. Learn how to identify issues or even upgrade your system! And while you’re looking into possible upgrades, learn how you can help protect your appliances and systems with an American Home Shield® Home Warranty.