How to Use a Gas Shut-Off Valve

Close-Up Of Radiator Valve At Home
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Installing or repairing new gas appliances will require turning your supply valve on and off. Here’s a quick guide to help you safely control your home’s gas supply.

Locating your supply valve

Gas valves are located in three areas of your home:

  1. Street-side valves. Street-side gas valves are located on the outside of your home near your gas meter. Most street-side valves have a rectangular handle that controls the flow of gas. If the handle is parallel to the line, gas is flowing. If the handle is perpendicular with the incoming line, the pipe is closed. Many fire departments and gas companies prefer a pro to turn street-side valves on or off. Incorrectly adjusting your valves can result in leaks and other major problems.
  2. House-side valves. Most house-side valves are located indoors near an appliance. Look for a black iron pipe if you’re unsure where yours is located. Some newer homes have high-pressure house-side pipes. These are usually copper pipe and located in your utility room. Shut-off valves for high-pressure systems are located near your water heater and furnace.
  3. Local shut-off valves. All gas appliances have local shut-off valves. Local valves are located near your appliances and allow you to control your gas on an appliance-to-appliance basis. 

    Turning off your gas

    Most home-wide projects will require an entirely gas-free home. Shutting off the gas to your whole home means turning off your street- or home-side gas main. Smaller, appliance-specific jobs only need a localized gas shut off. You can shut off gas to specific parts of your home with the local valves. Here’s how to turn off local and main gas valves:

    1. Street-side valves. Street-side valves have square handles that open and close the valve. Most street-side valves require a special wrench to activate the shut-off handle. It’s best to have pros turn off your street-side valve.
    2. House-side valves. Most house-side valves have black or yellow handles on the top or side of the pipe. Turn the handle perpendicular with the pipe to close the valve and parallel to open the valve.
    3. Local shut-off valves. Local shut-off valves have handles that limit the flow of gas to your appliances. Turn the handle perpendicular with the pipe to close the valve and parallel to open the valve.

    Gas leaks

    Stopping to turn off your gas in the event of a gas leak can result in asphyxiation and possible explosions. Instead, vacate your home and immediately call your fire department and gas company. Professionals will ensure that your leak is managed in a safe and prompt manner.