When our natural gas crews are out in the field conducting inspections, doing maintenance or repairs, they are always on the lookout for safety issues. One safety issue that they have noticed is electrical equipment being attached to gas risers, pipes, and meters.
A Hidden Hazard
During routine checks of our equipment, we have discovered that some solar systems, alarm systems, cable and other equipment are being electrically grounded to natural gas equipment. This is a potential safety hazard.
During the electrical grounding process, a wire is connected to a metal rod, or another object, that is placed in the ground. The placement improves electrical safety by providing a low path of resistance in case of a short circuit.
However, grounding to SDG&E gas pipes, meters or service risers is prohibited according to the California Electrical Code, Article 250, because it can accelerate metal loss from steel equipment that may result in hazardous gas leaks. It may also lead to electrical shock injuries. For these reasons, you should never allow an installer to ground your solar system, or any other electrical equipment, to SDG&E meters, pipes or valves.
“Gas and electric utilities help provide many services for our communities, the last thing we want is preventable hazards harming any of our customers or employees who work on or near this equipment,” said Operations Training Supervisor for Customer Field Operations Moises Vasquez.
Safety is Our Highest Priority
Grounding to SDG&E equipment may result in the discontinuation of your gas service as a safety precaution until the problem is corrected.
If our customers have any concerns on any work done with or around their gas and electric utilities, they are encouraged to call our customer service line at 1-800-411-7343 and request a technician to inspect it.