How to Shut Off Your Natural Gas in an Emergency

Learn how to locate and shut off your natural gas meter in case of an emergency.

Step 1: Locate Your Natural Gas Meter

It's important to know exactly where your natural gas meter is so you can find it in case of an emergency. The following diagram shows four possible natural gas meter locations:

Diagram A

Meter Location

NOTE: DO NOT turn off your meter unless you smell natural gas, hear the sound of gas escaping or see other signs of a leak--and ONLY if it's safe to do so. For more information, learn how to recognize and respond to a natural gas leak.

COVID-19 may cause a temporary loss of smell that could make it more difficult to detect the odorant that is added to natural gas to help make leaks easier to detect.

Step 2: Find the Natural Gas Shut-off Valve

As you face the meter, you'll see a pipe running from the ground to the meter. There is a shut-off valve running parallel with the pipe, usually located about 6 to 8 inches above the ground. Take a 12-inch or larger adjustable wrench, and turn the valve 1/4 turn in either direction, until the valve is crosswise to the pipe. (See Diagram B)

TIP: Keep a 12-inch or larger adjustable wrench with your emergency supplies, or next to your valve. Do not store the wrench on the meter or other natural gas piping or related equipment.

Diagram B

Gas shut-off valve at meter

CAUTION: If you turn off your natural gas at the meter, leave it off. Do not turn it back on yourself. Contact us to turn the meter back on and relight the pilots.

Natural Gas Shut-off Valves

For safety, a shut-off valve should be installed at every natural gas appliance. If a leak happens at a specific appliance, the valve allows you to turn off the natural gas at the appliance rather than shutting off all of your natural gas service. Some valves require a wrench to turn them.

Gas shut-off valve at appliance

Electric Bonding or Grounding

Do not use SoCalGas'® natural gas meter, natural gas piping, natural gas risers or related equipment for electrical bonding or grounding because it's not safe or permitted. Use caution when touching natural gas meters, risers, valves and attached components. Faulty household appliances or faulty household electrical wiring could inadvertently introduce electricity to natural gas facilities that can cause an electric shock.


NOTE: Once you have shut off the natural gas at the meter, do not try to turn it back on yourself. If the natural gas service shutoff valve is closed, SoCalGas or another qualified professional should perform a safety inspection before the natural gas service is restored and appliance pilots are relit.