What You Need to Know about Excess Flow Valves

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DPC of TExas

In the interest of public safety, CenterPoint Energy uses a device on new natural gas services lines called an excess flow valve (EFV). This device slows the flow of natural gas when a damage occurs that could result in a release of natural gas. In short, an EFV helps prevent the buildup of natural gas — reducing the chance of natural gas fires and explosions, personal injury and property damage.

If a service line with an EFV is damaged, you may notice a quick release of natural gas and a strong smell that becomes faint. This does not mean the flow of natural gas has stopped, nor should you assume the scene of the damage is safe. The actions taken in these situations should be the same as any other damage to CenterPoint Energy natural gas facilities.

Follow these steps when you damage a CenterPoint Energy natural gas pipeline.

  1. Abandon any equipment in place, immediately leave the area by foot and move in an upwind direction away from the damage.
  2. Call 911 (if there is a release of product) and CenterPoint Energy at 800-752-8036 (greater Houston area only) or 888-876-5786 (outside of Houston).
  3. Call 811 to report the damage within one hour after the damage occurred.
  4. Remain at your safe location upwind until emergency responders and CenterPoint Energy representatives inform you it is safe to return to the area.
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James Steck

Senior Damage Prevention Coordinator
CenterPoint Energy