Hit my first gas line

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

  1. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,816

    Gas is yellow. Orange is communications.
  2. stebs

    stebs LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    I caught the orange color as well... OP, Did you smell gas when you hit it? I'm wondering if you didnt hit an empty communications conduit instead of a gas line...
  3. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,148

    Out west, at least, yellow is "gas,oil, steam,petroleum or gaseous materials."
    Orange is " communication, alarm or signal lines, cables or conduit."
    We've hit poly and sch 40 white pvc that were used for wire runs. :hammerhead:
  4. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    I think u should post a video of that!

    I really really try not to hit things, but sometimes an electrical splice is less man hours than hand digging for hours.

    And i can understand hitting a 2" gas main is deadly, bit not so sure a 1/2" main is deadly. They only have like 30 lbs of pressure and when you spark your stove, it doesnt explode.
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  5. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,289

    no need to prove anything or embarrass anyone



    Natural gas is delivered though 5 different types of pipeline conveyance.
    1). flow lines @250psi
    2). gathering lines @ between 250 and 960 psi
    3). transmission lines @ between 200 and 1200 psi
    4). distribution lines @ up to 200 psi
    5). service lines @ 1 to 6 psi

    once reduced at the meter the gas flows @ about 1/4 psi

    the gas has to be pressurized to move it from one place to another, that's why lines of the same size may have different pressures. sometimes its where you hit it that makes the difference.

    the whole point of the one call system is to protect the facility property and the public from damage or injury, in this case the OP hit an unmarked line that was on the consumer side of the meter and he was able to shut the gas off at the meter.

    if the OP had hit the line before the meter (which should have been marked) he could have been involved in a real tight spot. years ago a crew i was working on hit a distribution line with the backhoe and the machine ran away (70K down the drain) but there was no fire or explosion, we were lucky.

    personally, we have hit only 2 lines but were able to get them shut down quickly.

    we have no business repairing damaged utilities, they do not belong to us, they belong to either the customer or the facility. the smart man calls the facility, pays for the repair and moves on. this is not debatable and if one is in disagreement, it's more a statement about oneself.
  6. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    So you can locate a water line with dowsing rods?

    How do you get good at it? I mean isn't the magnetic forces supposed to do their thing?
  7. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,289

    yes i can, i take my voodoo sticks everywhere as a backup. :)
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,385

    the old gas line scare was to hit a steel house supply line with a backhoe and have it tear loose from the basement gas meter, with fire and/or explosion to follow
  9. TuffWork

    TuffWork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    There is a bit of a trick to it. We call it witching. The trick is to able to let the rods sit loosely enough in your hands that they do it on their own. Also, it's really hard to not slightly move your hands especially when your subconscious is trying to tell you that the line is one place when it really isn't.

    As for what someone said about gas being yellow - It wasn't in this case. Yes I smelled gas. I was quite sure of what I hit. I first realized it by the dirt being blown in the air after the trencher kicked a little.
  10. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    As small as a one inch line? What are the sticks made of? Copper?

    Or are you just trying to make my clients think i have lost my mind?

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