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Question DetailsAsked on 7/20/2015

who is responsible for the cost of relocating a gasline that was improperly installed prior to our moving in

When we moved into our house it had an addition on the back of the house. Recently it was discovered that it was improperly placed over a gasline. Now the electric company wants to relocated the gas line. Are we financially responsible for the relocation?

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2 Answers


Is the gas line that they want to relocate before or after the gas meter? Typically if it is before the meter, the utility owns the piping, and will pay those costs. Downstream of the meter is typically your responsibility financially.

In the case of construction over a utility-owned pipe, they will most likely back-charge you for the work.

If you only recently purchased the house, you may have some sort of clause or agreement for this sort of discovery. Did you have a home inspection? If they didnt find this issue, you might have some recourse, but it would most likely be limited to the amount you paid for the inspection, if that.

Answered 4 years ago by Guest_95882104


When you say the ELECTRIC company wants to relocate the gasline, I presume you mean a utility that provides both gas and electric - or perhaps you meant the GAS company wants to relocate it.

Unless the utility installed the line WITH knowledge of the planned construction of the addition, they are off the hook.

And yes, they will charge you to relocate it - around $20-30/LF are typical charge amounts for short relocates (with typical minimum of around $250) assuming they do not have to trench hard bedrock. Around $500-1000 is a typical cost for this type of relocate, depending on whether there is a shortcut to the relocation. For instance, in some cases (especially with exposed joist crawlspace or basement) it is much cheaper to move the meter to the other side of the addition and make the house connection there, then add to interior piping to connect to the new meter location from the old location, or possibly from the main usage points (furnace, hot water heater) if closer. In-house line moves (if access is open and does not require tearing into drywall) is generally going to be much cheaper pear foot than trenching, especially with some utilities which charge very high rates for line installs/relocations.

Yes you are financially responsible (assuming your purchase closed).

As for recovery - about the only possible recovery I can see if remotely possibly a home warranty plan, but most of them cover only items interior to the house, and only failures, not illegal placement. Only other remote possibility is if you can PROVE the owner know it was under the addition and was illegal - a high burden to reach.

As for recovering from inspector - forget it. This would have been a hidden defect he could not reasonably have seen, so trying to get recovery from him would be unfair.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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