About your responsibility to repair

We conduct routine surveys of the natural gas distribution system throughout our service territory. Occasionally, we may discover an abnormal operating condition (AOC) related to the natural gas service line and/or equipment that you may own. 

If you are the owner of the line and/or equipment, you are responsible for repairing the identified AOC in compliance with the National Fuel Gas Code and the Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania Tariff. Failure to comply with a request to repair the AOC could result in interruption of your natural gas service.

Examples of AOCs include:

  • Riser not sleeved
  • Exposed service line
  • Atmospheric corrosion
  • Buried meter inlet riser
  • Damaged coating
Many repairs must be made by a Department of Transportation (DOT) Operator Qualified (OQ) professional plumber.

A DOT OQ professional plumber should ensure that all customer-owned natural gas facilities at your residence are compliant with the National Fuel Gas Code. You can find a list of DOT Qualified Plumbers in your area on our website. You can also call us at 1-888-460-4332.

If this work requires a contractor to dig, the contractor must notify PA One Call calling 811 at least three working days prior to any work taking place. This will allow utility operators to locate and mark any underground facilities serving your property. Each utility can be identified by their specific temporary paint markings and are required to respond within 72 hours of the notification.

If you have additional questions, call us at 1-888-460-4332.

Get answers

Here are frequently asked questions we receive about abnormal operating conditions.

How do I know if I need a DOT qualified plumber?
If the identified abnormal operating condition (AOC) is a riser not sleeved or an exposed service line, you will need to contact a Department of Transportation (DOT) operator qualified (OQ) plumber. A list of qualified plumbing contractors in your area can be found on our website.

If the identified AOC is atmospheric corrosion, buried meter inlet riser or damaged coating, you may not need to employ the services of a DOT qualified plumber. Please call us at 1-888-460-4332, and we can help you to get answers to any questions you may have.
What is damaged coating?
Coating (painting) reduces corrosion. Corrosion degrades pipe or equipment and increases the risk of leaks and the release of natural gas. Risers, manifolds and exposed service lines must be adequately coated (painted to specification) to prevent atmospheric corrosion. If we have determined that coating on customer owned equipment and/or service lines has been damaged, you are responsible for correcting this condition as soon as possible.
What is atmospheric corrosion?
Atmospheric corrosion is the deterioration of the material making up the service line or the equipment. If a service line or the equipment is corroded, it increases the risk of a release of natural gas. This condition needs to be corrected as soon as possible.
Is my property unsafe?

While the service line and/or equipment supplying natural gas to your home is currently safe, we ask that you make repairs as quickly as possible in order to avoid any unsafe situation in the future. As always, if you have concerns about your service or if you see, smell or hear natural gas:

  • Stop what you’re doing. Don’t light a match, don’t turn any light switches on or off, and don’t or operate anything that could cause a spark. Don’t open the windows.
  • Leave the area immediately. If you’re inside, get out immediately. If you’re outside, leave the area quickly.
  • Call 911 and us from a safe location at 1-888-460-4332. Wait for crews to arrive.
Why aren’t you making the repairs?

In certain areas of Pennsylvania, including where you live, service lines are owned by the customers. This means that you are responsible for the repair of those facilities. More information can be found in the Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania Tariff at Regulatory Information.

What is an abnormal operating condition?
An abnormal operating condition is a condition identified by the operator that may indicate a malfunction of a component or deviation from normal operations that may:

(a) Indicate a condition exceeding design limits; or
(b) Result in a hazard(s) to persons, property, or the environment
What is a riser not sleeved?
Risers are used to transition from below-ground pipe to above ground metallic pipe. Risers are customer-owned equipment. Riser sleeves provide ventilation in the event of gas loss. Riser sleeves also prevent corrosion on metallic risers. Metal piping can corrode when in contact with concrete. If a riser is not sleeved, the potential for corrosion is considered to be an abnormal operating condition.
What is an exposed service line?
An exposed service line is a line that has become uncovered. If a service line is no longer buried in the ground, this can lead to an increased risk of damage to the line, resulting in a release of natural gas. This condition needs to be corrected as soon as possible.
What is a buried meter inlet riser?
A meter must be installed so that it does not touch the ground. The riser to meter valve transition point must be located above-ground in order to be accessible or operable in an emergency. You are responsible for correcting this condition as soon as possible.
How long do I have to make the repairs?

Repairs should be made as soon as possible by a Department of Transportation (DOT) Operator Qualified (OQ) professional plumber, if applicable. The DOT OQ professional plumber should ensure that all customer-owned natural gas facilities at your residence are compliant with the National Fuel Gas Code. Access a list of DOT Qualified Plumbers.

Have an emergency?

If you smell gas, think you have a gas leak, have carbon monoxide symptoms or have some other emergency situation, go outside and call 911 and then call us at 1-888-460-4332.