Shutting off utilities, such as your home’s water supply is fairly common—something you do whenever making a repair or upgrade.
Call if You Smell Gas
If there is a strong gas smell in your home, leave the house immediately and call the utility company from outside or from a neighbor’s house. Do not attempt to shut off the gas supply at the meter or anywhere else.
Reasons for Shutting Off the Gas
The main shutoff valve controlling your home’s natural gas supply may come into play during major construction or renovation involving gas lines or when closing up or shuttering a home, to prevent possible flood damage. In rare instances, you may need to shut off the gas supply in the event of a natural disaster.
Once the valve is turned off, do not turn it back on by yourself. It must be turned on by a gas company technician. The gas company will likely perform a pressure test on the system and relight all pilot lights in the house as part of turning the gas back on.
Location of the Main Shutoff Valve
The main gas shutoff valve is located near the gas meter supplied by your utility company. Your gas meter may be located outside your home on an exterior wall, or it may be found inside your home on an outside wall—often in a basement or utility area, such as a garage or the mechanical room where the furnace or water heater are located.
Typically, the valve is located on the supply pipe that rises from the ground and ultimately connects to the meter. The valve appears in the line before the meter so that the gas can be shut off before it reaches the meter. There also may be a second shutoff valve after the meter, between the meter and the house. The correct valve to shut off is the one before the meter.
How to Shut Off the Main Gas Valve
The shutoff valve has a rectangular (or flat-sided) tab that is about 1/2 inch thick; this is what you turn to shut off the gas. When the tab is parallel to the gas pipe, the valve is open and the gas is on. When it is fully perpendicular to the pipe, the valve is closed and the gas is off.
To close the valve, use an adjustable wrench adjusted to fit snugly over the valve tab. You can also use clamping pliers or an open-end wrench. Turn the tab so it is fully perpendicular (90 degrees) to the gas line. It will take only a quarter-turn.