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Local Law 152 requires that buildings have their gas piping inspected on a four-year schedule. This helps prevent leaks that can lead to property damage and even death.
The inspection is performed by a licensed master plumber or someone working under one. The inspections are scheduled based on the Community District in which your building is located.
In order to comply with Local Law 152 of 2016, which was passed in 2016, all buildings with gas piping must be inspected by a licensed master plumber (LMP) every four years. The inspections must be done by a certified LMP or by a qualified individual working under the direct supervision of an LMP.
The building owner must submit a certification of the LMP’s inspection to the Department of Buildings within 60 days of the inspection date. The certified document must include any corrective actions and the LMP’s signature and seal.
At each inspection, the LMP must visually inspect all exposed gas piping from the point of entry into the building, including the building service meters, up to but not including tenant spaces. The inspection entity must look for evidence of gas leaks, excessive atmospheric corrosion, deterioration resulting in a dangerous condition, illegal connections, and non-code compliant installations. They must also test all public spaces, hallways, corridors and mechanical and boiler rooms with a portable combustible gas detector to ensure there is no presence of combustible gases.
Once the LMP has completed the inspection, they must provide a GPS1 Gas Piping Periodic Inspection Report to the building owner. The report is to be provided at no cost to the property owner. Then the building owner must file a GPS2 Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection Certification, signed and sealed by the LMP, with the DOB through the DOB’s online portal within 60 days of the inspection date.
If any corrections are required, the LMP must complete those corrective actions and submit a follow-up certification to the DOB that the corrections have been completed and that the system is in good working condition. If the corrections are not submitted within 120 days of the inspection date, then a new inspection will need to be conducted.
The building owner must also keep all inspection reports and GPS2 Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection Submission Certifications for 10 years after the date of the inspection and submission. If you have a problem with any of the documentation, you can request a one-time 180-day extension using the DOB’s GPS2 Certification Submission Portal.
What Happens if I Don’t Pass the Inspection?
Under Local Law 152, all buildings with exposed gas piping in non-tenant spaces need to be inspected every four years. The person performing the inspection needs to be a Licensed Master Plumber or work under the direct supervision of one.
During the inspection, the LMP checks for public uncovered gas piping and uses a combustible gas indicator to look for any leaks in the system. Once the inspector completes the inspection, they will provide the building owner with a GPS1 report and a GPS2 submission form. The GPS2 submission must be submitted to the DOB online through a portal no later than 60 days following the inspection date. There is no filing fee for the GPS2 submission.
If the inspector finds any conditions that are considered to be unsafe or hazardous, they will notify the property owner, the utility company, and the DOB. The inspector may also shut off the gas at the building if they feel that it is an immediate threat to safety.
The conditions that need to be fixed are divided into two categories: Class B and Class C. Class B conditions are those that could cause a fire or other serious issue and need to be addressed immediately. This includes leaking gas appliances that cannot be stopped by repairs, open flame burners that are too close to combustible materials, and illegal connections to the piping.
Class C conditions are those that don’t pose an immediate threat to safety but need to be corrected within 120 days. This includes faulty electrical wiring on a gas appliance, a missing or damaged meter, and any other issue that may require additional attention.
Once the LMP completes the inspection and has verified that all conditions are met, they will provide you with a certificate of inspection. The building owner will then need to submit the GPS2 submission to the DOB through a portal no later than 60 days after the inspection date.
While the new requirements from DOB to conduct gas piping inspections may seem cumbersome, they are there to protect the safety of all those who live or work in the buildings. Working with a professional can help make the process much easier and ensure that your building is up to code in the eyes of DOB inspectors.
What Happens if I Have a Leak?
If your building doesn’t pass the inspection, it’s important to hire a licensed master plumber (LMP) with experience to handle LL152 violations and bring your building back up to code. The LMP should be able to work with you to identify and fix the issue quickly, so your building can return to normal operation and avoid costly fines from Department of Buildings.
During the inspection, the LMP will check for public uncovered piping, inspect your appliances for proper installation and safety devices and use a combustible gas indicator to look for signs of leaks in your pipes. If the LMP detects a problem, they must prepare a Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection Report and submit it to you within 30 days of the inspection. The LMP may also request that the utility shut off your gas and lock the meter if the issue is classified as Class A. This is considered an immediate hazard, and the LMP must take steps to ensure that no one will be hurt.
In most cases, the problems discovered during the inspection are either class B or C issues. Class B issues are more minor and can be easily fixed, whereas class C issues pose more of a danger to the public and must be repaired immediately. The LMP will make recommendations on how to fix these issues, and if the building owner approves the plan, the LMP will contact the utilities to have them completed.
Once the LMP has completed the LL152 inspection and delivered you with the report, it is your responsibility to file a certificate of inspection with the DOB. You can do this online via a portal, and there is no filing fee. Alternatively, you can file the report with the DOB in person or through an approved filing agent. You must include a copy of the inspection report and all corrective actions to be taken.
What Happens if I Have a Problem?
Under Local Law 152 of 2016, the City requires all owners of buildings in which gas piping is exposed to the public (excluding apartments) to have the pipes inspected periodically. These inspections are designed to check for leaks and to make sure that all publicly uncovered piping is safe. If there are problems, they must be fixed within 120 days for minor issues or 180 days for significant problems.
Typically, an inspector will find issues that fall into one of two categories: Unsafe/Hazardous or Deficient. If there is an issue that is considered to be hazardous, the meter will be shut off until it is fixed. Other issues that are deemed to be unsafe or deficient must be repaired within 120 days, another inspection must be performed and paperwork filed with the DOB.
A few examples of these issues are:
Frayed or worn piping components that may affect safety or cause malfunction. Non-code compliant installations or illegal connections. Detection of combustible gas or evidence of a leaking pipe.
The good news is, the majority of issues are relatively easy to fix and don’t require a shutdown of the entire building. These include things like drip legs that are being used upstream of the main gas entry point (they should be downstream) and missing or mismatched appliance stubs (these must be complete and capped).
Another common problem is that the piping is painted with a color other than yellow, which is required under codes. However, this can be easily corrected by replacing the paint with the correct color.
The best thing to do is have your Licensed Master Plumber (LMP) perform the inspection. They will be able to tell you whether or not you passed and provide you with a document called GPS1 that will confirm that there are no problems, or it will list any issues identified. They will then work with you to set up a time frame for repairs so that they can be completed by the end of the 120 or 180 day period (depending on the issues). Once the repairs are done, you’ll need to have a follow-up inspection by an LMP to verify that the work has been done properly.