If you are experiencing problems with your gas line, and would prefer to shut it off while you wait for advice, you may be looking at the gas pipes connecting to your home, and wondering which one of them is the right one to turn off. Many people feel that if people close off their gas supplies on their own, they should at least know which valve is the correct one. If you are experiencing a slight smell of gas, hearing it leak, are making a repair, or can see very obvious damage, you should follow these few simple steps to help you shut off your gas.
Step 1 - Be Prepared
If you are the homeowner, you should already know where the gas meter for your home can be found. You should be taking care of your meter, and that includes keeping it clean, and preventing it from being overwhelmed by bushes and grass. Make sure your meter is easy to reach from the house because you do not want to be struggling to reach it while gas is leaking around you.
Step 2 - Examine the Meter
While there, look at the meter and pipes. From an amateur point of view, it seems very complicated, and most people have no idea what they are seeing or how to locate the valve. In most cases, the valve is not on the meter, but is close by, actually located on another pipe. It looks rather like the pipe has two arms, one either side of a body. The shut off valve you will need is usually found soon after the pipe comes up from the ground, and before the pipes reach the pressure regulator. Look around that area to locate it.
Step 3 - Turn off the Valve
In the usual situation, the shut-off valve will be found in the "on" position. The valve knob on the side will be lined up with the pipe, forming a bar which is running in the same direction as the pipe on which it sits. Check that this is the case, and then proceed. Take the knob in the grip of your wrench or pliers, and twist to the right. You should find the knob moves with ease, and soon forms a straight bar running left-to-right. Don't pull the bar too hard, as you can snap it off and lose control of the valve.
Step 4 - Only a Quarter Turn, That's it
The turn you have performed on the gas valve is only a one quarter turn, and this should be enough to stop the gas from flowing into your home. Don't be tempted to move the knob anymore, as this quarter turn is enough for your purposes. It is vital not to move the knob too much as you turn it because you may end up re-opening the gas line. Aim to be perpendicular to the pipe, and that will shut off the gas.