SoCalGas - Natural gas pipeline safety warning
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Natural gas pipeline safety warning

Plumbing Alert: Natural gas pipelines may be present in clogged sewer lines outside of the home

A blockage in an exterior sewer line may be caused by a natural gas pipeline. There is a rare chance that a natural gas pipeline may have penetrated the sewer line when it was installed. If this occurred, an auger “snake” could cause damage to the gas line when clearing the sewer line, which may result in a gas leak.
.Illustration of house and pipes.
If you need to clear an exterior sewer line located outside of a structure using mechanical equipment and suspect blockage may be caused by a natural gas pipeline, call SoCalGas at 1-800-427-2200 before you attempt to clear the line. We will respond by phone or visit the site to determine if a natural gas pipeline is clogging the sewer line at no charge to you.

Safety Steps for Clearing a Blockage

When clearing a blockage in any exterior sewer line, remember to follow these important safety steps:

  • Always use a cleanout outside of the structure to auger the sewer line, if one is available. Using an exterior cleanout will lessen the chance of natural gas entering into the structure in the event that a gas line is damaged while clearing the blockage.
  • Exercise caution when using a power-driven tool to clear the blockage. Any spark-producing device may cause ignition if natural gas is present.

Putting safety first

  • How to recognize and respond to a natural gas leak
    It is important to keep in mind that natural gas is flammable and that a simple spark can serve as an ignition source. For your safety and for the safety of those around you, be aware of the signs of a natural gas leak. If any signs of a gas leak are present, immediately stop what you are doing and follow these steps.
  • Call 811 Before You Dig. It's Free.
    Call 811 at least two days before digging. Pipelines can be anywhere, sometimes just inches below the ground. Excavation, demolition and other forms of digging are major causes of pipeline damage.
Click to watch a video on sewer line safety for homeowners.

Sewer Line Safety for Homeowners

There is a rare chance that a natural gas pipeline may have penetrated the sewer line when it was installed. Be safe and call us at 1-800-427-2200 before you attempt to clear the line.

» Watch Video 

Click to watch a video on sewer line safety for plumbers.

Sewer Line Safety for Plumbers

If you need to clear an exterior sewer line located outside of a structure using mechanical equipment and suspect the blockage may be caused by a natural gas pipeline, call us at 1-800-427-2200 before you attempt to clear the line.

» Watch Video 

Report Any Pipe Damage

Evacuate the area and from a safe location, call SoCalGas at

1-800-427-2200

to report any pipeline damage. No damage is too small to report.