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How Does the Gas Company Turn on the Gas?

Steve Sloane

Every residence, whether single family or multiple family (such as multiplex). has at least one gas meter, and multiple family units can have a row of gas meters, correlating to the number of living units in the building. These meters are usually in front or at the side of the building and are fairly easy to spot.

Where To Find Your Gas Meter

Turning the Tang

If you follow the gas pipe (coming from underground) you will see a shut-off/turn-on valve that is the shape of a rectangle or cuboid (known as the tang). The gas pipe commences from the tang to the gas meter, from which the gas pipe goes into the dwelling to connect to the water heater, gas stove and other appliances. The gas company turns on the gas by placing an adjustable pipe wrench onto the tang and moving it from its horizontal (closed) position a quarter turn (usually either direction), so that the tang is now vertical. Turning off the gas is as easy as turning the tang with the wrench back to the horizontal position.

Leave It to the Gas Company

The gas company usually requests that residents not turn their gas on or off, except in the case of an emergency. If not an emergency, the gas company requests a phone call for it to travel out and turn on/off the gas. Some tangs have locks that the gas company places on them to stop the gas being turned on or off between tenants/owners. However, these locks are usually removed when tenants/owners reside in the building.