Gas main, where art thou?

In case of leak, shutoff is imperative

Q: I live in San Francisco and I have old gas lines that are still very, very live. How can I locate the main line coming from the street? The blueprints for this building are long gone, since City Hall and most of the city burned down after the 1906 earthquake and fire. Is there any way of locating it?

A: The blueprints in the old City Hall wouldn’t help in locating gas lines even if they had not gone up in smoke in 1906.

The regional utility company, PG&E, has the most up-to-date information about gas mains and services. As we’ve mentioned before, Kevin spent three summers repairing and replacing gas lines for a section of Oakland’s PG&E division in the 1970s. Beginning in the 1970s, and extending to the present day, PG&E has been systematically replacing antiquated gas lines. The useful life of iron pipes was about 50 years — after that, they began to rust through and leak.