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Perspectives

New Building Department Rules Require Gas Inspections by Licensed Plumbers

In response to several gas explosions that caused loss of life and property damage, New York City enacted legislation requiring that buildings with gas piping must be inspected by or under the supervision of a licensed master plumber at least once every five years. The law takes effect on January 1, 2019 and the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) will establish a five-year cycle for initial inspections. For newly constructed buildings, the first inspection will be due ten years after construction is complete. If a building contains no gas piping, a registered design professional’s certification to that effect must be submitted to the DOB. The law applies to all buildings in New York City except for single-family and two-family homes.

The inspection is to identify conditions, such as corrosion or deterioration of the gas piping, that could lead to a gas leak or an explosion. The inspector will also test public spaces and mechanical and boiler rooms for gas leaks using a portable gas detector. The findings must be reported to the owner and the gas utility. If any conditions that might affect the safe and reliable operation of the gas system, gas leaks, or non-compliant installations are identified, they must immediately be reported to the owner, utility, and DOB and corrected.