My latest Puget Sound Energy bill had a flier warning residents that if they clear a blocked sewer, there’s a small chance they could rupture a gas line.
Obviously, that presents danger.
This occurs in neighborhoods where natural gas was installed without digging trenches, and the gas line was accidentally inserted through a sewer pipe.
PSE calls these “cross bores.” The danger comes from powerful cutting blades that plumbers use to clear sewer-pipe obstacles like intrusive roots. Those blades could sever a gas line, and natural gas is highly flammable.
Even if you don’t use natural gas in your home, PSE says there could be cross bores below your street or near a neighbor’s home.
So here’s the point: Before you clear a sewer-pipe blockage, call your neighborhood’s gas company. If it’s PSE, call 888-225-5773, and they’ll dispatch a technician at no cost to make sure your pipe is safe.