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As everyone learns in life, being prepared goes a long way. This is especially true for emergency situations. Isn’t it better to know where all those crucial components are in your home ahead of time such as that gas shutoff valve? When you have the in-laws over for dinner and the unmistakable smell of gas fills your kitchen, it is not really the ideal time to be frantically running around and searching for your shutoff valve. If you want to avoid these potentially disastrous situations, you should make sure you know where your shutoff valve is and that it always remains easily accessible.

What You Need to Know About Your Home’s Gas System

If your house is supplied with natural gas, it will come equipped with a main shutoff valve. This is known as the street-side valve. You can identify it by a rectangle-shaped nob that controls the supply of gas. Gas is flowing when the handle of the valve is parallel to the pipe. Turn the valve a quarter in either direction to stop the supply of gas. Once the valve head is perpendicular to the pipe, the gas supply will be cut off.

However, gas companies would you rather not touch this valve if you can help it. Instead, they suggest that you use what is called the house side valve. This valve is commonly located where the gas line first enters your house. If you are not already sure where this valve is, the best way to find it is by inspecting the lines near the first appliance in your home. The same rule applies for this valve—when the handle is parallel to the line, gas is on when it is perpendicular the gas is off.

Making Your Family’s Safety a Priority

It is critical that you know where your gas lines are located and how to shut them off in an emergency. However, it is not always safe to turn off the valve on your own. Furthermore, simply turning off the supply of gas does not mean that you are automatically safe. If the gas is allowed to reach a certain concentration in a room or a house, the tiniest spark could set off a huge explosion. This can be caused by a match or even simply the static from your clothing. If you are certain of the location of the leak and know that the gas has not been leaking for too long, then it is most likely safe to turn off the valve.

If you smell gas in your house and do not know where the leak is coming from, it is imperative that you immediately move your family out of the house and call your gas supplier. If you have questions about your gas supply or suspect there is a leak, do not hesitate to reach out to a certified Austin home service technician from Excalibur plumbing today!