Hit a gas line this afternoon :-(

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by integrityman, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713


    Was digging holes for planting some really nice Thuja Nigra's. As always had the yard marked for utilities AND had the homeowner advise of possible line locations.

    All going very well and running ahead of schedule.

    As I was (hand) digging one of the holes all of a sudden SSSSSSSSSSSSSS followed by wonderful smell of rotten eggs.

    OH $hit!!!!! followed by various other expletives. a closer inspection revealed a 1/2" hdpe black plastic pipe.

    Realizing this was not the main gas line, I found a small shut off valve. Turns out line was for an out door NG grill.
  2. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    Unless you were planting those arborvities really deep that gas line should have been a lot deeper for just the reason you found. There are codes for it which leads me to think hack job. I wouldn't worry about it, not your fault.
  3. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    yeah, hack job, and anyone who plumbs gas in anything but metal(in home and around) is crazy imo.

    i hate working on irrigation that is made of poly, shovel nicks it way too easy and it is black which makes it hard to see
  4. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    It was down about 15 inches. The arbs are large 7' with large b&b rootballs so have to go down a ways.

    Always have customers sign a liability release- but still feel bad. Black and covered in dirt looked a lot like another tree root.

    The customer disclosed to me she has cut it at least twice putting flowers and other small stuff in. Tells me this was a clown that did the work intially.
  5. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    So what is happening with the line? Are you off the job until the customer moves the line and has it replaced at proper depth? Or are you moving the plant around the line?

    I would offer to contact a plumber and get it put right for her. You can dig it out and dig the new trench for extra money for you and then have a licensed plumber make the connections to help her out.
  6. Impressions Landscaping

    Impressions Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    Around here gas companies and anyone with half a brain that does utlities work generally marks dangerous underground utilities such as gas and electricity with sand around the utilities. Also they put "caution" tape along the utility so if your digging and you see sand in the ground, you know your close to a gas line. Same goes for the caution tape.
  7. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    I advised the customer on a couple licensed practioners. I only need the line moved a couple feet. Until then I wont do a thing. Have lots and lots and lots of other work to do. Per a friend in the plumbing biz, these are a dime a dozen fix and no need to take out the whole line. Besides, the yard looks like a menagerie of yellow, blue, orange, red lines of other utilities. Hell no Im not trenching that $hit.

    Per the nitwits at the gas company, there is no per se "proper depth" for burial of take off lines. "we can make recommendations, (depth and pipe type) but its up to the homeowners and contractors discrection, any time the gas is turned on or off the line has to be pressure tested, that is our only requirement."

    The line was only a 1/2 inch OD most likely 3/8" ID. Just amazes me though how explosive this stuff is.

  8. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,277

    In Florida we have the popular above ground line. They put a tank near the front (sometimes behind bushes) then run black iron along the house back to the pool heater,bbq. Looks like hell but at least you know where it is. Residential NG is getting more popular around here and its all poly pipe from the street.
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