UtilitieS : natural gas : faqs

Frequently Asked Questions

I Think I Have A Natural Gas Leak. How Can I Be Sure?
Natural gas on its own has no detectable odor. A chemical called Mercaptan is added to give it a distinctive odor of rotten eggs. This chemical is very concentrated and is easily detectable in a small leak. “Scratch and Sniff” pamphlets are available to give you an idea of what it smells like. It may be something as simple as a pilot light that has gone out or can be something worse. Be safe. Call 911 if you have any doubts. We have staff available 24/7 for immediate response to any Natural Gas emergency.

Can I Paint My Gas Meter?
The City of Shelby (COS) Gas Department is responsible for painting the gas meters. We have sections to be painted on our schedule. Our meter readers let us know if we need to paint a particular meter. The color we use is “Battleship Gray”. Sometimes customers want the color to match their trim. We request that if you choose to paint your meter a different color that it will be neat in appearance and that it will not cover the glass or the meter number. You are responsible for painting your gas piping. Your piping starts at the outlet side of the meter. If you believe that your meter needs to be painted, please give us a call.

Can I Turn Off My Gas Meter?
We request that you, the general public, do not turn off the gas meter with our cut off. If you want to have a plumber to install a cut off on your gas piping, that will be ok.
Fire or Police personnel may cut off the gas meter in an emergency situation. Once the meter has been shut off, do not turn it back on until your piping and gas appliances have been checked by a qualified service technician. If a gas meter is turned off, it has to be locked with a COS lock for compliance with regulations.

Can I Use The Natural Gas Service As An Electrical Ground?
Absolutely not. We have to maintain our gas system to meet strict Federal Regulations. This action will interfere with our compliance.

Does The COS Gas Department Relight Pilots?
The gas department will relight pilots for the following conditions only:

  • If the meter has been changed out.
  • Routine maintenance has been performed on the meter set.
  • Routine maintenance has been performed on the gas lines.
  • Any other time you will need to contact you heating / AC service person.

When the meter has been cut off due to a leak on the customer piping, the gas department is not responsible for turning the gas back on and relighting the pilots after the leak has been repaired.

Does The COS Gas Department Install Gas Appliances?
No, you will need to get a licensed contractor or plumber to install gas appliances and any house piping needed. We will not recommend a specific contractor.

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