Follow these important steps before you start a project:
MarkMark out your proposed excavation area. Use white paint or provide other markings.
ContactSubmit a request online or call 811 to submit a location request at least two business days before digging. SoCalGas® will be contacted, as well as other utility owners, to mark the location of all utility-owned lines for FREE.
Do not dig until we either mark our natural gas pipelines or you are advised that the area is clear.
Confirm the utilities have marked the proposed work area. Natural gas is indicated in yellow. If no natural gas facilities are in your work area you may get a call, email, or see writing on the ground that indicates “no conflict” or “no natural gas.”
Hand ToolsUse only hand tools within 24 inches on each side of marked utilities to carefully expose the exact locations.
SoCalGas does not mark customer-owned natural gas lines, which typically run from the meter to the customer’s natural gas equipment. To have customer-owned lines located and marked before a project, contact a qualified pipe-locating professional.
Recognize a Natural Gas Leak
Be aware of signs you may see, hear or smell when there is a leak.
LookIf you see a damaged connection to a natural gas appliance, dirt/water blowing into the air, a dry patch of grass, fire or an explosion near a pipeline.
ListenIf you hear unusual sounds like hissing or whistling.
SmellIf you smell the distinctive odor of natural gas.
 Some persons may not be able to smell the odor because they have a diminished sense of smell, olfactory fatigue (normal, temporary inability to distinguish an odor after prolonged exposure to it), a temporary loss of smell due to COVID-19, or because the odor is being masked or hidden by other odors that are present, such as cooking, damp, musty or chemical odors. In addition, certain pipeline and soil conditions can cause odor fade (the loss of odorant so that it is not detectable by smell).
Report a Natural Gas Leak
If you suspect a natural gas leak or pipe damage that may endanger life, cause bodily harm, or property damage, immediately evacuate the area, and from a safe location call 911 and SoCalGas at 1-800-427-2200.
- Do not smoke or light a flame; or turn electrical appliances or and lights on or off.
- Do not use any device that could cause a spark.
- Do not attempt to control the leak or repair damaged pipe or meter. Natural gas leaking from a plastic pipe can create static electricity that can ignite the natural gas.
Sometimes physical and/or chemical processes can cause a loss of odorant in natural gas, making it undetectable by smell. Odor fade is more likely to occur in the following situations:
- In new, steel pipe that has been recently manufactured or hasn’t been used for odorized natural gas before
- In natural gas piping systems using higher gas pressure, and when natural gas flow is limited or intermittent
- In the presence of rust, mill scale, moisture, air, cutting oil, pipe thread compound, liquids, condensates and other substances
Because of the possibility of odor fade, it's important to not rely only on your sense of smell to be alerted to a natural gas leak.
For a printable copy about odor fade and safe purging practices, see our Safety Brochures and Materials.
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding pipe conditioning or odor fade, call us at 1-800-427-2200 or contact a licensed, qualified professional.