SDG&E has begun to shut off service for items that are not necessarily within the scope of a home inspection. These are items that pose a hazard to the occupants of the home. Hazards may include fire, Carbon Monoxide, or electrical problems. If SDG&E “red-tags” one or more of your appliances, they may shut off the gas (and lock the meter) or simply disconnect an appliance. This can be quite a nuisance if it is a water heater or furnace.
While SDG&E may not visit your new house at all, they do visit houses that have been tented for termites. When a house is tented, all of the gas must be turned off. Prior to restoring the gas service, they will thoroughly check the gas system and attached appliances for safety. They may also check everything if the utilities are shut off. This often occurs on short sales, foreclosures, or when a seller simply closes his account with SDG&E instead of transferring the account to the new owner.
Here are some of the things that SDG&E looks for when performing a safety inspection:
- Gas Leaks
- Damper Clamps in gas-supplied fireplaces
- Sealant around the base of furnaces
- Rigid aluminum gas supply lines (furnaces or water heaters)
- Brass gas flex lines (recalled due to cracking)
- Gas flex lines that pass through the housing of a furnace (abrasion)
- Rusted gas pipes (at fire pits, outdoor BBQ)
- Water valves used on gas pipes
- Holes in the drywall around furnaces and water heaters
- Certain Horizontal Furnaces
- Any appliance releasing too much CO
- Stacked or multiple gas fitting adapters (at clothes dryers, ranges, etc)
- Furnace and water heater flues with improper slope
- Improper water heater strapping
- Gas lines that have been split for additional appliances (clothes dryers)
- Improper gas supply to new Tankless Water heater installations
Many home inspectors will not check for some of these defects. Be sure that the home inspector you hire will check for these items. It is not only inconvenient to move into a house without hot water, but it can be costly to fix some of these items.
If your house is supplied with LP (Propane), please note that not all Propane suppliers are as diligent about these defects. It is therefore very important that your home inspector is well trained and ready to check for these items. If you have any questions about items discussed in this article, or home inspections in general, please send us an email or call any of our highly trained home inspectors.