If you want to learn about gas shutoff valve code requirements, you are in the right place!
What You Need To Know About Gas Shutoff Valve Code Requirements?
Gas shutoff valves are important devices to keep your home safe.
In the event of a natural disaster, you can shutoff gas to the home to prevent a fire.
Gas stop valves also make it safe and easy to replace an appliance. All you will have to do is shutoff gas to the appliance, and then turn it back on once the installation is complete.
Probably the most important code is related to how every appliance needs a shutoff valve, and it should be within 6-feet of each appliance. The shutoff valve also needs to be within easy reach and clearly visible.
Can I Install A Gas Shutoff Valve Myself?
It is also important for homeowners to know that most cities and counties in the U.S. require gas shutoff valve installations to be performed by a licensed plumber.
International Residential Code
This guide is meant to be a rough explainer on building code, and it uses the International Residential Code (Chapter 24 Section G2420) as a foundation.
The IRC is known as a model code and has been adopted by many U.S. states and foreign countries. Your local city or county will always take precedence over the IRC and you will need to verify any code with your local building department.
Keep reading to see the 11 code requirements for gas shutoff valves as well as frequently asked questions!
11 Gas Shutoff Valve Code Requirements (2022 Code List)
- Shutoff Valve Needs To Be A Compatible Material With Pipe (Avoid Galvanic Corrosion Etc.)
- The Shutoff Valve Should Meet Requirements For Gas Pressure
- The Shutoff Needs To Have Easy Access For Emergencies
- Shutoff Valves Should Be Protected From Damage
- The Gas Meter Must Include A Shutoff Valve On The Supply Side
- Gas Stop Valves Installed In Flexible Gas Piping Should Be Secured
- Gas Stop Valves Are Required At Meter In Multi-Building Systems
- Every Gas Appliance Needs A Shutoff Valve
- Portable Appliances Are Permitted To Have Gas Stop Valves Behind Them
- Gas Shutoff Valves Are Allowed In Other Rooms Or Areas For Decorative Appliances
- Gas Shutoffs Installed On Manifolds Must Be Within 50-Feet Of Appliance
Code 1 – Shutoff Valve Needs To Be A Compatible Material With Pipe (Avoid Galvanic Corrosion Etc.)
The shutoff valve needs to be made out of a material that is compatible with the gas piping.
Galvanic corrosion happens when two different metals or alloys are touching each other such as when a brass shutoff valve is connected to a black iron pipe.
If corrosion occurs, it can eventually lead to a dangerous gas leak inside the home.
Code 2 – The Shutoff Valve Should Meet Requirements For Gas Pressure
The shutoff valve needs to meet a minimum requirement for handling gas pressure.
You can see the table below for shutoff valve standards and what type of gas pressure it can handle.
Code 3 – The Shutoff Needs To Have Easy Access For Emergencies
The gas shutoff valve needs to be within easy reach and visible so it can be shutoff in emergencies.
The last thing you want during an emergency such as fire or gas leak it to have trouble finding where the shutoff valve is located.
And if you are changing an appliance, the shutoff valve should be easily visible so the appliance can be safely replaced.
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Code 4 – Shutoff Valves Should Be Protected From Damage
If the shutoff valve is located in a garage or in a place where damage may occur—it needs to be protected.
The code also applies really to any type of gas piping, gas stop valves, or gas meter… it must be protected from damage and gas leaks.
Code 5 – The Gas Meter Must Include A Shutoff Valve On The Supply Side
Your home’s gas meter always needs a shutoff valve upstream of the meter.
If the gas meter is malfunctioning, a shutoff valve makes it significantly easier to replace the unit. And an emergency gas shutoff will allow you to shutoff gas to the entire home.
This shutoff valve is usually installed by your local gas utility.
Code 6 – Gas Stop Valves Installed In Flexible Gas Piping Should Be Secured
A gas safety shutoff valve installed on a flex gas system such as CSST must be secured so it won’t move.
Since CSST is flexible, this piping may move during earthquakes or other type of movement, but the gas stop valve should be rigidly attached to a joist or other structural member.
If you live in an earthquake-prone area, the shutoff valve at the meter also needs to be rated as a seismic valve. These valves turn off it detects movement of 5.4 on the Richter scale.
There may also be other local emergency gas shut-off valve code requirements for your county.
Read Also >> What Are The Flexible Gas Line (CSST) Code Requirements?
Code 7 – Gas Stop Valves Are Required At Meter In Multi-Building Systems
If the gas piping system runs through multiple homes or buildings such as in a duplex, there needs to be a main gas shutoff ahead of each gas pressure regulator at the meter.
This allows each individual owner the ability to shutoff gas to just their unit.
Code 8 – Every Gas Appliance Needs A Shutoff Valve
Every home gas appliance needs at least one gas safety shutoff valve.
The shutoff valve should be in the same room as the appliance (there are certain exceptions) and not farther than 6-feet of the appliance. The shutoff valve should also be upstream of any union, connector, or quick disconnect.
Code 9 – Portable Appliances Are Permitted To Have Gas Stop Valves Behind Them
A portable appliance such as a gas dryer is allowed to have the shutoff valve behind it even though it makes it invisible and harder to reach.
The theory is that since it is a portable appliance, the unit can be quickly pulled back in order to reach the shutoff valve.
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Code 10 – Gas Shutoff Valves Are Allowed In Other Rooms Or Areas For Decorative Appliances
A decorative fireplace or room heater is allowed to have the shutoff valve in another room or even outside.
The shutoff valve still should be within 6-feet of the appliance, and it needs to have a permanent tag that states what appliance it is for.
Code 11 – Gas Shutoffs Installed On Manifolds Must Be Within 50-Feet Of Appliance
If you have a gas shutoff that is installed on a manifold, it must be within 50-feet of the appliance it serves.
A gas manifold is a device that has multiple shutoffs in one location. But each valve needs to be within 50-feet of the appliance it is serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Gas Shutoffs Do I Need?
At least one gas shutoff valve needs to be installed for every gas appliance in the home. There also needs to be a main house shutoff which is installed upstream of the house gas meter and regulator.
Read Also >> What Are The Residential Stair Code Requirements?
Does My Gas Appliance Need A Shutoff Valve?
All gas appliances are required to have a shutoff valve for safety reasons.
If there is an emergency like a natural disaster, it is important to shutoff the gas. Gas shutoff valves also make it safe to replace an appliance.
Does The Gas Valve Have A Height Requirement?
A gas water heater with a shutoff valve will need to be installed at least 18-inches off the floor. This requirement is in place to prevent any type of spilled oil, gas, or flammable vapor from getting ignited by the bottom of the water heater.
When Are They Required?
Gas shutoff valves are required by all U.S. states so homes can safely use natural or propane gas. Since gas is combustible and toxic if breathed, every appliance needs at least one gas safety shutoff valve.
If you are in an earthquake-prone area, a gas emergency shutoff may also be required which are known as seismic valves.