How to Find Gas Lines in Your Yard

Like with any major undertaking relating to your utilities, digging for gas lines has the potential to cause damage that can impact not only you, but the community around you, as well. For that reason, it’s crucial to follow these guidelines as you embark on your project.

Call 811

As with any other project that includes digging on your property, it’s extremely important to call 811 before you dig. 811 is a national call number that allows you to contact local utility companies before you begin your project. This is important for practical, safety, and legal reasons:

Consult Property Records

Your property's blueprints or as-built drawings may contain information about the location of gas lines. These documents are often available through your local government offices or the builder of your home. In the event that you are able to contact the previous owner of the home, or a contractor who previously worked on your property, they too may have access to these records, or have other valuable information that could help you.

Look for Visible Signs

Gas lines are often marked with above-ground indicators such as valve boxes, meter assemblies, or vent pipes. Take a walk around your yard and look for these telltale signs. Valve boxes are typically small, rectangular covers set flush with the ground, while meter assemblies may be housed in protective enclosures along the side of your house.

There may also be visible signs in the lawn itself, as gas leaks can cause changes in vegetation. Keep an eye out for patches of dead grass, or unusually thriving grass in patches of your yard.

Use a Metal Detector

Metal detectors can be a handy tool for locating buried metal pipes, including gas lines. Simply sweep the detector over the ground in areas where you suspect the presence of gas lines. However, keep in mind that not all metal detectors are created equal. Some metal detectors, such as those used for looking for washed up treasures on beaches, only penetrate 10 to 16 inches, whereas gas lines are likely to be buried at a depth of around 18 to 24 inches. You will need a more specialized type of metal detector for it to be useful in this case.

Enlist the Help of a Professional

Due to the practical, safety, and legal considerations with tackling a project like gas line location, it’s worth considering enlisting help. Our utility location professionals are trained to identify utility lines, as well as any other obstacles that you might encounter while digging. Learn more about our utility location services here.