Protect Your Meter and Natural Gas Appliances From Flood Damage
What to Do in the Event of a Flood
- Turn off electrical power to each appliance and leave it off.
- Shut off the natural gas valve at each natural gas appliance.
- Do not change the valve settings on the natural gas meter or piping to the meter setting.
If You Smell a Strong "Rotten Eggs" Gas Odor After a Flood
- If you notice a strong gas odor (similar to rotten eggs), or if there is other evidence of a natural gas leak, do not enter the building or area.
- If you smell the "rotten egg" odor of natural gas inside your home, leave immediately.
- Avoid open flames or anything that could spark ignition, including but not limited to cell phones, lights, garage doors, motor vehicles, power tools, electrical equipment, etc.
- From a safe place, call 911 and Columbia Gas at 1-800-544-5606.
- Stay nearby until a gas company representative arrives, or leave a note on you door stating where you can be reached.
- Don't return until you receive an all-clear indication that all is safe.
What to Do After a Flood
After returning home, customers who believe their natural gas appliances have been damaged by water must have the equipment inspected and serviced by a qualified contractor before Columbia Gas of Virginia can restore your natural gas service. Do not attempt to place natural gas appliances back in service yourself. A licensed plumber or contractor will check, clean, repair and pressure test all gas pipes, which have been clogged with mud or debris.
If water levels were enough to cover the natural gas meter, call the gas company at 1.800.543.8911 to check your meter and regulator before using yournatural gas system. Flood waters may have shifted your home or caused other stresses to the gas piping, possibly resulting in a natural gas leak.
As wet electrical wiring is extremely hazardous, ensure the main electrical supply is shut off. The appropriate jurisdictional inspector must inspect all electrical wiring in buildings that have been partially or fully covered by floodwater before being put into service again. Any loose wires should be considered "live" and a definite hazard.
Columbia Gas of Virginia employees or qualified contractors are the only approved technicians to work on the natural gas meter or the meter setting which connects to the natural gas service line. Contact Columbia Gas of Virginia at 1.800.543.8911 to schedule a safety inspection after a flood.
Fallen Trees Can Damage Underground Utilities
We remind our customers to take care when removing fallen trees or grinding tree stumps. Fallen trees can damage buried underground utilities creating a dangerous situation. Virginia law requires everyone to always call Virginia 811 before beginning any excavation or demolition project including stump grinding.