Natural Gas Line Inspection Requirements

Natural gas leaks are all too common in California. These leaks have previously caused devastating fires and explosions, resulting in billions of dollars in damage and leaving thousands of individuals homeless. To address these catastrophes, California has imposed stringent natural gas line inspection requirements to decrease and eliminate potential threats like these in the future. 

The California Public Utility Code requires that all-natural gas lines be checked regularly to discover potential leaks or safety concerns. While these constraints appear to be needless, they are critical for the safety of Californians. 

Importance of Natural Gas Line Inspections

You must thoroughly inspect natural gas lines in California regularly to guarantee that they function safely and effectively. These inspections aid in detecting any potential problems that might lead to a gas leak or other safety concerns. Gas line inspections also ensure that the pipes are sized and installed for their intended usage.

For example, a thin line that can’t handle the amount of natural gas flowing through it might develop pressure and cause a leak. Similarly, an incorrectly placed gas line may not have enough support and could be susceptible to collapsing. Gas line inspections guarantee that natural gas lines are secure and function as planned, which is vital in California.

What Are the Permits that I Need to Run a Gas Line in my Home?

A gas piping permit is required to alter, add, or expand any gas piping. Gas pipe permits are necessary before the installation or replacement of gas pipes. The following are some of the essential criteria for gas pipelines based on the 2019 California Plumbing Code.

Piping Size Requirements

If you’re extending or tapping off an existing gas line, make sure the gas piping is adequate to serve all of your current and new appliances by performing sizing calculations. Provide a drawing that shows the type of material used, size, position, and length of run of both existing and planned gas lines, and the location and BTUs of all appliances served on your property. The Building Inspection staff can assist with calculating necessary sizes.

Type of Materials to Be Used

Allowable gas pipe materials for indoor and outdoor applications, acceptable gas pipe materials include galvanized wrought iron, galvanized steel, black steel, and corrugated stainless steel tubing. For outdoor or/and above-ground installation, only galvanized wrought iron, galvanized steel, and corrugated stainless steel tubing area are allowed. Additionally, installation should be performed by a certified installer of the manufacturer of the piping material that you will use.

Requirements for Underground Installation

Piping for underground installations must be at least 12 inches deep, with a minimum of 18 inches where external damage is possible. Underground gas piping must be factory-coated material and installed per the manufacturer’s specifications. (or as approved by the Building Division). 

You may wrap the gas piping system in the field with an acceptable covering material (you can consult the Building Division for this). When a non-metallic pipe is used, a corrosion-resistant tracer wire (minimum AWG 14) or tape shall be buried alongside the piping. The tracer wire’s other end shall be attached to a building wall or riser above ground.

The Permit Process

Building Permit Review

To begin, go to the ePermits Center at and create an account. You’ll need to sign up for a CSLB license account first. After staff have approved your license, contractors and contractor agents may apply for permits through their online accounts connected with the CSLB license.


Two inspections are required, a preliminary plumbing service and a final plumbing examination.

  • The rough or preliminary plumbing inspection should be done as soon as the new gas lines are installed, before the walls are covered, and before the gas connection is made. The permittee will provide all testing equipment for a pressure test inspection.
  • After all of the work has been completed, you should arrange a final inspection.

Natural Gas Line Inspection Requirements assistance via Shepherd’s Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning

Our team of experienced professionals can guide you in complying with your natural gas line inspection needs from start to finish. Call us today at (650) 263-7613 to learn more.

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