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SEWER LINE BACKING UP?

IT MIGHT BE A CROSS BORE

A cross bore is when a natural gas pipeline passes through a small segment of sewer pipeline. This may cause your sewer line to back up or not work properly. If this occurs, clearing out a sewer line with a “Tree Root Cutter Snake” could cause a gas leak which can lead to a serious accident.

 Cross Bore 1

WHEN CLEANING OUT A SEWER LATERAL

Whether doing it yourself or hiring a licensed plumber, Long Beach Gas & Oil (LBGO) recommends the following:

1.  Before you begin:

  • During regular business hours call 811 for utility line locations. This is a free service and may help identify intersecting lines.
  • An LBGO inspector is available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week to locate your gas lines. Please call (562) 570-2140.
  • Look for an exterior cleanout fitting and use when possible.
2.  During the cleaning:
  • We DO NOT RECOMMEND that you use a cutting tool.
  • We RECOMMEND that you use an in-line camera inspection device to identify the cause of the blockage.
  • If you see orange or yellow pipe, DO NOT PROCEED. Call (562) 570-2140 immediately.
  • Use minimally-invasive equipment such as a plumbing snake or water jet to attempt to clear the blockage.
  • LBGO can quickly verify that there is not a cross bore and that it is safe for your plumber to proceed with clearing the sewer line.
3.  When finished (if you HAVE used a cutting tool):
  • Check the blades for yellow or orange plastic when it is withdrawn from the sewer line. Natural gas utility lines are typically made of this color plastic.
  • If you smell natural gas or suspect a gas leak, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY from a safe location away from the odor of gas.
  • Bubbles in the toilet may be an indication of a gas leak.

BE SAFE

It’s important to keep in mind that natural gas is flammable and that even a spark can serve as an ignition source. For your safety and for the safety of those around you, be aware that any of the following signs may indicate the presence of a gas leak:

SIGHT - Bubbles rising through standing water or in toilet bowls
SOUND - A hissing, whistling, or roaring sound at the sewer cleanout, sewer vents, or inside the structure served by the sewer line
SMELL - The distinctive odor of natural gas at the sewer cleanout, sewer vents, or inside the structure served by the sewer line

IF YOU SUSPECT A GAS LEAK:

DO: DO NOT:
  • Leave the premises immediately
  • Instruct others to leave the premises immediately
  • Contact LBGO from a safe location at (562) 570-2140
  • Call 911
  • Keep others at a safe distance  
 
  • Light a match, candle, or cigarette
  • Turn on electrical appliances, lights on or off, or use any device that could cause a spark
  • Use a cell phone in the area where you smell gas 
 

Warning
Always assume that obstructions
involve a CROSS BORE
Dig Alert
Know what's below!
Call 811 before you dig. 
Safety First
Safety First,
Safety Always