What should I do if I smell gas?
If you smell gas, LEAVE THE PREMISES IMMEDIATELY. Once you're safe and away from the area call 911 or 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) to report the leak.* Do not light matches, start your car or use any electronic appliances that could spark and start a fire. (This includes telephones, ovens, household appliances, and even flashlights.)
*National Grid customers should call 911 or 1-718-643-4050.
Why do gas leaks happen?
A gas leak can occur for many reasons.
Outside leaks can be caused by pipe corrosion or cracks resulting from weather related events, harsh winters, or water main breaks. Leaks can also occur as the result of accidental damage caused by excavators or contractors during construction and/or street work.
Indoor leaks can be caused by faulty appliances, leaky pipe fittings, corroded or cracked pipes or as the result of construction. It is not always easy to pinpoint the cause of a leak, and you should NOT investigate a suspected leak on your own. Our employees are trained and qualified in gas leak investigation and repair; they will respond quickly and make the area safe.
If I have a gas leak on my street, is it safe to start my car?
No. If you smell gas outside, get away from the area. DO NOT start your car or do anything that could create a spark. Report the odor right away by calling 911 or 1-800-75 CONED (6633).
If you don't smell gas outside, but you saw a reported leak on the gas map, you can assume that we've made the area safe and are taking appropriate steps to repair and monitor the status of the problem.
What happens when you call to report a suspected gas leak?
Whether you report an odor to 911 or 1-800-75-CONED, Con Edison will respond and make the area safe. Your safety is our first priority. We have mechanics working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with an average response time of 22 minutes. Our mechanics will be able to further advise you upon responding to the leak. If the leak is in your home or business we will make it safe. If the problem lies in your privately owned gas or piping equipment, we will turn off the gas until you can have a plumber or technician make the necessary repairs.
How does Con Edison make a gas leak safe?
In all situations Con Edison crews will be dispatched to the affected area to ensure safety. In the instance of an indoor leak, we will turn off the gas until the necessary repairs can be made. For a natural gas leak, the danger lies in the accumulation of natural gas in a confined space. Outdoor leaks often evaporate into the outside air; posing less of a safety hazard. Con Edison crews check the condition of all gas leaks and determine which need to be repaired immediately and which need to be monitored depending on the situation, severity of the leak and proximity to buildings.
If I have a gas leak on my street, is it safe to start my car?
In accordance with both state and federal guidelines, we inspect all gas mains on an average of once a month, and all streets within our service territory on a yearly basis. We also employ a mobile leak-detection vehicle to conduct 12 additional surveys covering all 4,300 miles of our distribution mains.
What does the gas leak map show?
The Gas Leak Map plots all reported, outdoor gas leaks within Con Edison's service territory. This includes leaks reported by the public as well as those reported by a Con Edison employee or identified during a gas leak patrol. The map is updated every 24 hours, and reflects all confirmed leaks currently under repair and/or monitoring.
What if the gas leak map shows a leak outside my home or business?
If you smell gas or suspect a leak, leave the area immediately and call 991 or 1-800-75-CONED to report it. If you notice a leak on the map, but don't smell gas, you can check the details in the Gas Leak Map to see when the leak was last inspected. If it appears on the map, we are aware of it and will continue to inspect the cause and monitor its status in order to ensure safety.
What is the difference between Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3 leaks?
TYPE 1: Leak requires continuous attention until the leak is made safe, and daily inspection until permanent repairs are completed.
TYPE 2: Leak poses no immediate threat to people or property. Frequency of further inspection is dependent on the amount of gas and the location of the leak. Repairs must be made within 6 months to a year.
TYPE 3: Leak poses no hazard to people or property. Inspection must occur annually to ensure safety, but no repairs are required.
Why are there more gas leaks in winter than in summer?
Extensive freezing and thawing of the ground can affect our pipes, especially in harsher winters. Though we respond immediately to ensure that the leak is made safe and closely monitored as per state and federal mandates, we often wait until the weather is warmer to schedule work on permanent repairs. Extensive repairs are more difficult in winter months due to the cold weather, frozen ground and the necessity for heat (we do our best to keep gas on during winter months so as not to inconvenience our customers). As the weather gets warmer and we catch up on repairs, you'll start to notice fewer leaks on the map.
I found a leak that's been there a long time. Why?
We prioritize leaks based on severity, location and potential hazard. We address Type 1 and 2 leaks (represented on the map by a blue dot) before Type 3 leaks (represented on the map by a green dot). If you notice that a leak has been there for a while this is likely because the leak is very minor and in a location where it causes no public safety threat. We continually monitor and inspect these leaks, but often try to bundle their repair with pipe replacements and other planned work so that we are working as quickly and efficiently as possible.
When will leaks be permanently repaired?
We work hard to repair leaks as quickly as possible. Often times, temporary repairs are made to ensure safety until we are able to make more permanent repairs. Because we must turn off the gas to make a permanent repair, we try to wait until the warmer months when gas system demand is lower and people aren't as reliant on heat and hot water. If the permanent repair is part of a larger gas main replacement, we may have to secure the proper permits before work can begin. Please be assured that we address all leaks immediately to ensure public safety. Although the leak is typically made safe within the first few hours of our initial response, it will not be removed from the map until a permanent repair has been made.
How often do you inspect leaks once they are reported?
Type 1 and 2 leaks (represented on the map by a blue dot) are inspected, monitored and made safe frequently, and all repairs are made as quickly as possible. Type 3 leaks (represented on the map by a green dot) do not present a safety hazard and are inspected once a year. To find out the last inspection date of a specific leak, visit our gas leak map to view information on specific leak locations.
How old are the gas pipes underneath NYC streets?
Age alone is not an indicator of the safety of a pipe. Size, thickness, material and ground conditions are all factors in pipe durability. Like much of NYC's underground infrastructure, our gas mains are a mix of old and new, but we spend over $200 million dollars a year replacing old pipes and updating our infrastructure.
What are you doing to keep infrastructure up to date?
We currently replace an average of 65 miles of gas piping per year at the annual cost of $200 million. Going forward into 2016, we are looking to increase the pace of gas main replacement by working closely with regulators and other parties.
How can I avoid damaging underground gas pipes?
There are over 4300 miles of underground gas pipes in our service territory. To avoid inadvertently damaging a pipe during an excavation or home improvement project, call 811 2 to 10 days before you break ground. After you call, utility companies will mark the approximate location of all lines at no cost to you.
What is the environmental impact of gas leaks?
While the leaks indicated on the map do not present a public safety risk, there is need for environmental concern. The primary ingredient in natural gas is methane; a considerable greenhouse gas. We have been working to reduce methane emissions from our natural gas distribution system by repairing leaks and replacing gas mains throughout our service territory. We have seen a 27.5 percent reduction in methane emissions since 2005. We are also engaged in studies with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and other experts to improve methods for quantifying methane emissions from gas leaks and prioritize repairs with the goal of accelerating the pace of methane emission reductions on our system. For more information on methane emissions and our work with EDF, view Con Edison's sustainability report and visit www.edf.org/climate/methanemaps for more information.