SoCalGas - Earthquake Shut-off Valves and Excess Flow Valves
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Earthquake Shut-off Valves and Excess Flow Valves

About Natural Gas Earthquake/Seismic Shut-off and Excess Flow Valves

A natural gas seismic shut-off valve automatically shuts off your gas service when an earthquake of a sufficient magnitude occurs at your home's location. An excess flow valve automatically shuts off your gas service when a significant gas leak or overpressure surge occurs at a pipe or appliance located beyond the point where the valve is installed.

If an earthquake or other significant event causes your seismic shut-off or excess flow valve to close, you may follow the manufacturer's instructions for resetting the valve so that gas flows again. However, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) recommends that you contact a licensed, qualified professional or SoCalGas to reset the valve, and to verify that no gas leaks exist, to perform a safety check of your gas appliances before they are placed back in operation and to re-light your pilot lights. Remember that following a major emergency it may take many days or even weeks before someone can come to your location. (SoCalGas charges a fee to reset valves and re-light pilot lights when your seismic shut-off valve has closed due to a non-seismic occurrence.)

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Seismic and Excess Flow Valve Installation Requirements

If you choose to have a seismic gas shut-off or excess flow valve installed, or are mandated to have one by your insurance company or the local Department of Building and Safety, the valve must be installed on the customer’s houseline. If installation requires gas service closure, you must contact SoCalGas to shut-off the service and restore service when installation is completed.

Under the regulations of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), General Order 112-E, only SoCalGas or its certified contractors are authorized to operate the gas service shut-off valve.

Gas service shut-off and restoration of service orders can be scheduled by contacting us at 1-800-427-2200.

See picture:   

Diagram of a gas meter, that helps customers understand the difference between company side of the meter and customer side of the meter. 

NOTE: When you hire a licensed, qualified professional to install your seismic or excess flow valve, you must ensure that the valve is installed on your houseline, not on SoCalGas's facilities. SoCalGas's facilities include all of the pipe fittings installed and maintained by SoCalGas, up to and including the last elbow or tee connecting to your houseline. All unauthorized valve installations found on SoCalGas's facilities will be removed. In addition, Seismic or excess flow valves are not permitted in utility curb meter vaults.

If you have any questions about your insurance company requirements, contact your insurance company or agent.

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CPUC Decision on the Installation of Seismic Valves (Decision 01-11-068)

Effective February 10, 2002, California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) Decision 01-11-068, prohibits installation of a seismic valve on SoCalGas's facilities. In addition, SoCalGas no longer installs seismic shut-off valves for its customers, and does not allow any customer owned equipment, including excess flow valves, be installed on SoCalGas's facilities.

If you have a seismic valve that was installed by SoCalGas or one of its authorized contractors on or before the February 10, 2002 cutoff date, that is located on SoCalGas's facilities, with proper documentation your installation may be allowed to remain in place. Authorized contractors are those who participated in SoCalGas's seismic program and were trained by SoCalGas to work on their facilities.

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Building and Safety Ordinances Regarding Earthquake Preparedness

Your local Department of Building and Safety may require the installation of an automatic seismic gas shut-off valve or excess flow valve. Contact your local Department of Building and Safety for their seismic requirements.

Updated 12/2011

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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.