Your PG&E manual shut-off valve at your gas meter is probably “frozen.”
When I check the valve during my QuakeConsult, about 75% of the time it is FROZEN in its open position.
This is very important, whether you have an automatic gas shut-off valve or not! If you do not have an automatic gas shut-off valve and you smell gas after a big quake, you need to be able to go out to your meter and turn the gas off at the manual valve.
The photo shows an arrow pointing at the manual shut-off valve, “NW natural riser valve.”
If you do have an automatic gas shut-off valve, after a big quake, you can re-set your valve, allowing gas to flow again. (For directions to reset the Little Firefighter valve, email me).
Then you do what PG&E suggests: walk through your house (especially by the gas appliances), and, if you don’t smell gas, re-light any pilots on gas appliances. If you do smell gas, you need to go back out and turn off your gas at the PG&E manual valve.
You should check your manual valve NOW to make sure it will easily move just a little when you turn it with an ordinary crescent wrench or a gas shut-off tool. You should NOT have to use a plumber’s pipe wrench. When testing, DO NOT turn your gas off – just barely make the valve move. Turn the valve 1/4 of a circle (45°) to turn off.
If your valve is frozen and won’t easily move, call PG&E at 800-743-5000, choose option #3, then #4, and then say “speak to someone” until they transfer you. Tell them their manual valve isn’t operable. This cannot be done on-line.
Haven’t had your in-home EQ preparedness consultation yet? My “QuakeConsult”
I check to see if your retrofit is adequate – will it stay on the foundation after a big quake?
We go through the house and I point out the safest place to be when a big quake hits, as well as what should be secured and how to do it. And much more.
In most locations, it’s $345 for about 2 hours of helpful information to get you prepared.