Chris' Corner: Gas Shut-Off Valves - Know where they are!

Gas Shut-Off Valves - Know where they are!


Jay Maranich, a very knowledgeable Home Inspector hailing from Bristow VA, wrote this informative post that I am sharing with you.  As a safety precaution, if you have gas appliances in your home, knowing where the gas shut-off valves are very important.  If you have gas appliances, and do not know, I urge you to take a minute and find out where they are, and make sure people in your household know where they are...


When a house has gas appliances, the gas shut-off valves should be easy to get to.  And you should know where it is!  The idea is to have it nearby should it need to be turned off for repairs or emergency.  All codes reflect this!

Walking into a recent inspection on a flip, before I put my bag down, I noticed that the very nice granite counter top was cut to accommodate a much larger gas cook top!

That was funny in itself, which the Realtor and buyers had not noticed on their previous trips to the house.

The Realtor looked at me and said, "I'm going to like you!"

It might have been funny, but serious too.  My gas cook top is over a cabinet.  The shut-off valve is directly underneath and easily obtainable. I have never turned if off, but there it is.

Directly underneath this cook top is a built-in oven!  OK, it wasn't installed properly either, so at least the flipper is consistent in this regard!  Nothing fits!

And the oven is electric!  So, conceivably, it will never be pulled out.  Where is the shut-off valve for the cook top?  It is very, very important to know!

Well, silly me!


You can kind of see it in the photo above, and here it is to the left!

Had that gap not been there I would have never thought to look.  Normally the home inspector does not pick up a cook top to see what is underneath.

Cook tops aren't installed to be picked up and looked under on a regular basis anyway!  But imagine, there is a reason, perhaps an emergency one, to get to the turn off the gas to the cook top.  Is the average homeowner going to know how to do that?  One might know where to look, but if the thing is on fire, or if the knob won't shut off the gas, who's going to try to pick it up to look behind??

This is serious and in my opinion a really big deal!  But where else could the shut-off valve be put?!

Was the cook top improperly sized intentionally so the shut-off valve is accessible?  I am going to say that to do so is so unusual it is beyond reason.


My recommendation:  home inspections are critically important!  Sometimes unseen and perhaps unknown dangers can be lurking and without a home inspection would possibly be beyond the thought to look.  NEVER assume that even a final County inspection on a flip will uncover a thing such as the above.  A home inspection is usually much, much more specific and thorough than a jurisdictional authority check.


Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia

Chris Smith CSSBB
          Sales Representative

Interested in Buying or Selling Real Estate?

  ph: 1.866.936.3500

Chay Realty Inc.,

Comment balloon 0 commentsChris Smith • May 23 2011 10:44AM