Hit my first gas line

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by TuffWork, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I have found a couple properties like this in the last couple years. The worse I have found though was a property that had the main mounted at the main house. The line then went into the basement and was Tee'd off. One of the lines went back outside to feed the two garages and six rental cottages. The line that went outside was Tee'd underground to go to each of the eight buildings. After a day of potholing and not getting any further ahead, we decided it was cheaper & quicker to have a plumper just disconnect the outside line, if we hit anything we would pull new lines for him. Thankfully we somehow made it trough the whole job without hitting a single line.
  2. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,291

  3. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    I dig across about 6ft over utility markings, scared to death of hitting something.glad ur ok. No one asked if u called for locates, but gave u grief for not! So, did u call?
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  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,530

  5. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,291

    Re Read my post. The OP has enough trouble, no need to beat him up. He needs to be educated not horse whipped.
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  6. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    30" pipeline leak and explosion destroyed 38 homes and took 8 lives in 2010.


    PG & E has since sent residents near their pipelines postcards with a url for access to maps online. I found out I'm less than 50 yards one direction and about 100 in the other from two pipes this size that interesect down at the corner of the next block.
  7. TuffWork

    TuffWork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    I did call for a locate. They don't locate anything in private property most of the time and they sure as hell don't tell you how deep it is. The locate guy came out again to check it out after I already had it contained. It wasn't his fault. It was mine and I'm man enough to admit it. However, here's some more details: This pipe ran in a direction away from the house (probably a curved trench), and had no wire for location anyway.

    I fixed it with a compression fitting (not PVC, the metal one that the plumbing supply gave me for $40). Then turned the gas back on and sprayed it with windex to test for leaks. I then wrapped it with 10 mil tape to make it up to code. Last, I went in and turned back on the pilot to the water heater for my customer.

    As for how I turned it off. I just left it flowing all night.... there's a shut off at the gas meter in the alley. That's the first thing I did. The guys working with me looked at me in horror as they saw me running, but what they didn't realize is that I was running for a pair of channel locks to turn it off with. As I ran by I said,"don't light any cigarettes!!!!"

    What I learned: an extra 30 min. of hand digging can save me three hours and $40. Also, I did not realize how easy it is to knick this pipe even with a shovel until I worked with it. That stuff is soft!
  8. TuffWork

    TuffWork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    I am learning, and that's why I have enough humility to admit when I make a mistake and hope that others will provide me with advice other than the obvious as to how to prevent something like that from happening again.
  9. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    I have hit them before too. A 1/2" service line is not going to kill anyone. Not a big deal, glad you fixed it. That compression fitting is nice, might want to keep one on your truck and it will save you three hours.

    If it isnt located and homeowner doesnt know where it is... I am plowing through it.
  10. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,291

    There aren't too many ways to tell you how to avoid obsticals that aren't energized or have a trace wire except. Learn to dowse, it isn't hard to learn and the voodoo sticks are easy to make. My 10 yo grandson dowses well and i think he has the juice to be a lot better than i am at it.

    I don't agree with you fixing the damage because you are now married to that repair forever. That's a fact and not an opinion.

    The reason i asked how you shut it off was, many times, before the meter i have seen pipe bent and vice gripped shut. This can be a fatal choice as any spark can cause an explosion. Gas shut off tools are usually brass for that reason.
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