Law Requires Gas Piping Inspections

Gas piping is an efficient and affordable power source, but it can be dangerous when pipes corrode or leak. Fortunately,  law (LL152) requires inspections of all exposed gas piping in buildings.Gas Piping Inspections

A licensed master plumber (LMP) or a qualified individual under their supervision must visually inspect all public spaces, hallways and corridors, and mechanical and boiler rooms using a portable combustible gas detector. Inspectors must submit a certification report to the DOB within 60 days of inspection. Visit Website to learn more.

Many properties rely on natural gas to power heating systems and appliances. The energy source is efficient and affordable, but it can become dangerous when the pipes corrode or connections are improperly installed. To keep occupants, employees, and other people safe, the Department of Buildings has implemented Local Law 152, requiring buildings with exposed gas pipes to have their systems inspected on a regular basis.

During the inspection, the LMP will look for a wide variety of potential problems, such as gas leaks, illegal connections, excessive corrosion, and broken equipment. If the inspector discovers any issues, he or she will submit the GPS-2 certification to the DOB through the online portal, indicating the condition exists and the LMP has been given 120 days to correct the issue.

If the building’s exposure is a serious danger, the gas will be shut off and emergency services called. In that case, the LMP must also notify the utility company and the DOB. If the LMP finds nothing dangerous, but he or she still has to perform any work to bring the gas piping up to code, he or she may request an extension of 180 days to do so.

The inaugural compliance inspections under Local Law 152 began in 2020, and the inspection schedule for your community district is posted on the DOB website. The deadlines are strict and penalties are steep for violations, so it’s important to make sure your building is inspected in advance of the deadline.

For the most accurate date, check your building’s Certificate of Occupancy or use the online search tool on the DOB website to determine which occupancy group it belongs to. Then, refer to the chart below for the inspection schedule based on your community district. Remember that your inspection is due every four years, but you can get an extension if you’re having trouble meeting the deadline. If you’re unsure of your inspection dates, the DOB can send you an email reminder. It’s also a good idea to set up alerts on your phone or calendar to remind you about the upcoming inspection.

Know the Rules

Among other things, the law states that all exposed gas lines must be inspected by a certified  Licensed Master Plumber every four years. The LM must walk the piping and building with an approved combustible gas detection device to look for gas leaks, excessive atmospheric corrosion or deterioration of the piping which could lead to a dangerous condition, illegal connections and non-code compliant installations. LM’s must also inspect the building service meters and all public spaces such as hallways, corridors and mechanical and boiler rooms. They may not inspect piping or connections within tenant spaces, however.

Once the LM has completed the inspection, they will provide the building owner with a Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection Report (GPS1) which outlines any violations or unsafe conditions identified during the inspection. Then, within 120 days of the inspection, the LM must submit to DOB a GPS2 Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection Certification signed and sealed by the LM that certifies whether or not any conditions specified in the GPS1 have been corrected.

As of now, it is unclear how LL152 will impact the already strained supply of Licensed Master Plumbers, which means that there are likely to be delays in getting scheduled and getting your reports and certifications filed. To help avoid these delays, we suggest contacting your Licensed Plumbers as soon as you know it’s time to get an inspection done and that you should work to schedule it sooner rather than later.

We will continue to keep you updated on all the latest news on LL152 as it comes up. As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to us. We’ll be happy to connect you with a trusted, qualified third party to answer any of your questions.

Know Your LMP

The law mandates that all exposed gas piping systems in residential buildings are inspected at least every four years by a qualified vendor (LMP). An LMP can be either a licensed master plumber or someone with the right qualifications working under a master plumber. A gas piping inspection typically involves visual inspection and leak surveys of all service meters, exposed piping in public spaces, hallways, and boiler or mechanical rooms. Unlike other city plumbing inspections, gas piping inspections do not require accessing tenants’ homes.

When you hire an LMP, be sure to check their license status with the Department of Buildings using its License Search tool and review disciplinary actions or voluntary surrender records. In addition, you should be aware of any past work performed by the plumber on your building. In the case of an emergency, your LMP should report a condition like illegal connections or unsafe corrosion levels immediately to you and your gas provider so that the problem can be corrected quickly.

The LMP you hire must submit a GPS1 Gas Piping Periodic Inspection Report to you within 30 days of your inspection date. The report outlines all conditions observed and any corrections that need to be made. The owner must also submit to DOB, within 60 days of the inspection date, a GPS2 Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection Certification signed and sealed by the LMP who conducted or supervised the inspection.

After the building owner receives their GPS2 from the LMP, they have 120 days to correct any issues identified in the report. This timeframe is shorter than usual because of the COVID-19 pandemic and is a reminder that ignoring any problems with your gas piping can have serious consequences.

If you do not have the resources to make the required repairs before your inspection due date, you can request a one-time 180-day extension by filing a Request for Extension of GPS1 or GPS2 Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection certification with the DOB online. Once the extension has passed, you must schedule a new inspection with your LMP.

Keep Up with Maintenance

If you own a property that requires a gas line inspection under Local Law 152, it’s important to keep up with the inspection schedule and rules. If not, your building could face serious safety issues, including fires and explosions. There are a few key indicators that it’s time for an inspection. The first is a foul smell, which is caused by the presence of natural gas in the piping. It’s similar to the rotten egg smell that many people are familiar with. If you notice this odor, evacuate the area, open windows, and call your local utility company immediately. Other signs include a hissing sound or dead plants nearby.

You can find your gas piping system’s inspection dates in the online Gas Piping Inspection Submission portal in your Jaffa account. Alternatively, you can check the online database of the DOB to see which community district your building is in. The inaugural compliance inspections under LL 152 began in 2020, and future inspections will be due every four years based on the date of the initial inspection.

LMPs are required to visually inspect the entire public exposed gas piping and utilize a combustible gas indicator to test for leaks in hallways, corridors, and mechanical and boiler rooms. The LMP must also provide a report to the owner within 30 days of the inspection, which notes any conditions observed and identifies corrective actions that need to be taken.

After the LMP performs an inspection, he or she must submit a Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection Certification to the DOB via the online submission portal. The certification must be signed and sealed by the LMP who conducted or supervised the inspection. Currently, there is no filing fee for the submission of these certifications. Failure to file a certification before the applicable due date is considered a major violation and can result in fines of up to $10,000.

Keeping up with the inspection schedule and knowing the rules and regulations that apply to your property will help you avoid potential disasters and fines. If you have any questions or need assistance, our team is happy to help.