How to Find Gas Lines in Your Yard

Begin by requesting temporary markings. The markings are in biodegradable paint.  The red color is used for electric lines. Yellow for gas lines.

While the orange is for cable TV lines. Bluewater lines and green sewage lines.

Do this at least 2 working days before digging. This is how you avoid popping the gas line. To cause an explosion.

Therefore anything involving gas, contact a professional first. You will save yourself inconveniences, fines, or injuries.

Simple projects like planting a tree or putting in a mailbox. It can easily tamper with the gas lines. Even building a path or installing sprinklers.

Some properties provide visual clues of where the gas lines are located. For example, warning signs and curb markings.

Other physical clues include access chambers, pits, valves, and marker pots. Even footpath impressions may indicate the presence of utility pipes below.

Gas comes in through the street of its natural gas. At a particular amount of pressure. In a home, the size of a gas pipe is an inch and a ΒΌ of an inch.

This usually depends on the furnace’s size, the water heater, and the dryer. If the pipe is not the right size, there will be incomplete combustion.

There are two main techniques for the gas pipe location. Electromagnetic induction. Which uses a transmitter to energize the pipe with a current. Thus setting up a detectable electromagnetic field.

The other technique is ground-penetrating radar. It uses radar pulses emitted into the ground. When these pulses strike a charge in the subsurface of the pipe. It is reflected to the radar unit to be interpreted.

One of the keys to getting a good signal is applying the proper frequency. When the conditions are good. Good conductor, connections, and soil conditions. The current will travel further at the lowest frequency.

As a rule, always start with the lowest frequency possible. Then increase as it’s needed. Keep in mind that higher frequencies will leak to the ground quicker. Which may impact your ability to locate accurately.

This equipment is usually calibrated to detect all types of pipes. The gas pipe is usually polypropylene which is plastic. Which is very strong. Or steel or iron.

However, it can easily pop when the end of the shovel hits it. The shovel should be curved at the edges. Also, put little pressure on the foot when cutting through the soil.

Excavate alongside the pipe rather than directly above it. At least 2 feet away from the gas lines. Pointing toward the location of the markings.

Once you find the location of the gas line. Dig a pilot hole to identify how lines run underground. The standard depth of the gas line is 14- 18 inches.

Sometimes there is usually caution tape across the top. About 6 inches above the pipe. Or a yellow locating pipe.

Once you see them, you should tread more carefully. Use a smaller shovel if need be because you are close. 

Use your hands to clear away any excess dirt when the gas line is exposed. There are laws in some states that require hand digging within some distance of a marked line.

In case you have a gas leak. Begin by sniffing around. At the meter. To see where it smells from. Do not at any point use fire to find a leak. It’s not very smart.

What you can do is get a spray bottle. Put a little bit of liquid soap at the bottom. Then some water. Go out and spray it around. If you get a bubble somewhere, that will tell you where the leak is.

If it’s right on top of the meter. Use a wrench to snug it up a little bit. When you stop it from leaking, you are fine. 

You can also use the liquid soap liquid to detect gas leaks in the house. Start by putting pressure into the gas meter to about 5 psi. Using an air compressor on the regulated side.

Check at the wall with an edge just across the meter and continue building from there. Spray the liquid soap on all the connectors to check for bubbles in the house. Whenever you see them tighten up the valve a little bit.

Sometimes the 5psi system may not be under enough pressure to detect leaks. Therefore add some more, perhaps to 15, then check for bubbles. 

Apart from tightening the valves. Some cleaning up may be required at the joints. As well as replacing any parts with wear and tear.

Apart from the liquid soap, electronic equipment has a gas sniffer. Which sniffs out high explosive fumes.

How can you turn off the gas line? Using a wrench on the valve on the inlet side of the meter. This is a good thing whenever you think you might have a leak. Just shut the gas off.

The consequence of failing to locate underground gas lines is a service outage. Property damage and even injury to you and your family.

So how would you know if you have hit a gas line? Through feeling the shovel strike. Seeing a bare line. Hearing a hissing sound. Or smelling a rotten-egg scent.

The precautionary measures to take would be to move away from the site. Extinguishing any flames, including cigarettes. Then calling for help. At this point, you should have shut off the gas meter.

This is the case if the gas pipe is made of plastic. With the older installations, the gas line was either steel or iron. Both can be damaged during excavation.

Oftentimes the steel or iron pipes may be buried for a long time. Hence weakened by corrosion both internally and externally. You will require an expert to replace the wear and tear.

A gas line can be found in the backyard with a pool shed. Or a place for barbeque. Or a fish pond. These are perfect examples of private lines. Usually installed by private contracts.

This is because, generally, underground utilities are not installed or run in the backyard.

However, having natural gas lines in your backyard can offer the benefits of convenience and warmth for your outdoor space. Thus extending outdoor activities even during the cooler seasons.

In case you have an exposed gas line. This could be a huge problem. Because it’s a flammable gas. And even a lit cigarette can cause a fire.

Gas lines should always be covered up by dirt. As well as wrapped in a special tape.

In conclusion, if you don’t know anything about gas. Contact a professional. For safety purposes. As well as to avoid getting a fine. In most cases, it’s brutal.

On the other hand, if you are looking to install. It should be done professionally. This way, you will adhere to safety and building codes. As well as ensure efficient operation and longevity of the pipe.

Moreover, plan your working area. The gas lines may be shallower than you think. Especially with soil erosion. Also, avoid digging within one meter of either side.