Natural gas is a colorless, odorless gas until we add mercaptan, a rotten egg odor to help detect leaks. If you smell natural gas or have a natural gas emergency, leave immediately and call
Natural gas is safe when properly used. Follow these tips to prevent accidents:
Make sure your appliance connectors are safe. Older connectors made from brass may crack, break or deteriorate. Even newer connectors made from stainless steel should be replaced every 10 years. Have a qualified HVAC or plumbing professional inspect your gas appliances. Do not attempt to move or inspect natural gas appliances on your own.
More information on natural gas appliance connectors
Natural gas distribution networks are subject to rigorous inspection, maintenance and oversight within our company and by state and federal government. We maintain about 20,000 miles of natural gas distribution mains and 530 miles of natural gas transmission pipelines throughout Wisconsin. We also maintain the pipes that connect the mains to individual homes and businesses.
Typically, we are responsible for the natural gas facilities up to the outlet of your meter. Maintenance of additional buried natural gas pipes on your property is your responsibility. Examples include pipes to mobile homes, detached garages, workshops, pools, spas and lighting. According to federal rules, you are responsible to inspect buried piping on your property for leaks and corrosion. Any unsafe conditions must be repaired or removed.
For security reasons, we do not provide maps containing exact locations of pipelines. You can find the pipelines in your community by visiting the National Pipeline Mapping System. Every other year, we send out a communication to all customers within 1,000 feet of a transmission pipeline.
Most incidents involving natural gas pipelines involve a contractor or homeowner digging into buried distribution lines. To avoid such situations, be sure to call 811, a national hotline for underground facility location and marking — at least three days prior to digging. Using flags and paint, the free service marks any underground facilities that should be avoided when digging.
Corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) is a flexible tube sometimes used to supply natural gas in homes and businesses. Used since 1990, CSST may have been used for natural gas piping in your home if you added a new natural gas appliance such as a stove or furnace.
Danger: Improperly bonded and grounded CSST can result in natural gas leaks or fires in buildings struck by lightning. Learn about our CSST policy requirements (PDF). CSST is often coated in yellow or black. Photo
Do not confuse CSST with natural gas appliance flexible connectors. Flexible connectors typically attach directly to natural gas appliances from a floor or wall appliance shut-off valve. CSST is typically routed beneath, through or along side floor joists in the basement, inside interior wall cavities and on top of ceiling joists in attic spaces.
In Wisconsin, all CSST, regardless of manufacturer exemptions, must be bonded and grounded. First generation CSST must be bonded to the structure’s electrical system in accordance with NFPA 70 - National Electrical Code (NEC), and NFPA 54 - National Fuel Gas Code, using bonding clamp(s) and wire sized appropriately per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Inspect: If you have CSST installed at your home or business, contact a licensed electrician to verify proper bonding. If not, the electrician can install the proper bonding. If you’re not sure if you have CSST, contact the company that installed the natural gas piping in your home or business and ask for an inspection.
Learn more: For information on a settled class action lawsuit with CSST manufacturers, visit CSST Settlement.