Natural Gas Shutoff Valves – The Two Different Types

There are two main types of natural gas shutoff valves. One is manual, one is not, it is automatic.

Manual valve – There is a shut-off valve running parallel with the pipe, usually located about 6 to 8 inches above the ground. Take a 12-inch or larger adjustable wrench, and turn the valve 1/4 turn in either direction, until the valve is crosswise to the pipe. Here is a good way to turn off your gas in an emergency. Every gas meter has this type of valve.

Automatic earthquake shutoff valve – An earthquake shut-off valve automatically shuts off the gas flow to your property when triggered by a large earthquake. There are two types of earthquake shut-off valves: 1-Natural gas seismic shut-off valve – shuts off your gas service at the valve location, and this is what most homes have. 2-Excess flow valve – automatically shuts off your gas when a significant gas leak or overpressure surge occurs at a pipe or appliance beyond the valve. These are usually located on commercial properties. This valve is also called a SGSOV – Seismic Gas Shut Off Valve – in plumber lingo.

The automatic earthquake shut off valve is usually located on the right side of the gas meter, in this photo it is RED

Get to know where your shut off valves are located on your property, and how and when to turn off the gas if needed. Some automatic earthquake shut off valves have a way to turn off the gas to your home manually in case of emergency or need.

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