We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Service Pipe?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A service pipe is a pipeline connecting a building to a main pipe, allowing the building to access municipal services. Buildings can be connected to gas, water, and sewer with the use of service pipes. Once the service pipe enters the building, it can be split to deliver the contents to different areas of the building, including separate apartments and units. Responsibilities for maintenance and repair of such pipes varies, depending on municipal code.

Service pipes are typically large and their diameter and shape may be mandated in the building code for standardization and safety. Underground pipes generally need to be clearly marked to avoid situations where they are accidentally uncovered during construction and other activities, particularly in the case of gas lines, and it is important to avoid moving or covering signage alerting people to the presence of underground utilities. If a sign is accidentally removed or damaged, the utility should be contacted so they can install a new one in the correct location.

Generally, a shutoff is present to allow people to close the service pipe, stopping service from the main. This can be used by utility workers when a service shutoff is ordered, as in cases where people fail to pay the bill. It can also be utilized in emergency situations where there are concerns about safety, a particular concern with gas lines. As long as the valve is open, the service pipe will remain functional and will be pressurized by the pressure in the main, requiring no additional pressure to deliver water or gas to the structure.

In some regions, the owner of the structure is responsible for managing the service pipe. If it breaks or leaks, this individual will have to make arrangements for repairs or replacements. In other areas, municipal employees will repair service pipes and may bill people for it; if there are concerns about safety or the ability to pay for repairs, cities may require that their employees handle service pipes. The policy adopted in a given region will be discussed in the municipal code.

It is generally advisable for building occupants to familiarize themselves with the location and operation of the service pipe. There may be situations where they need to activate the emergency shutoff for safety before calling for assistance, or where promptly shutting the pipe off can prevent damages caused by leaks and breakage. Landlords can usually provide information about how to handle the service pipe in the event of a problem.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a About Mechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By popcorn — On Oct 08, 2011

@manykitties2 - That sounds a lot like what happened at our apartment building too. Apparently pipe repair falls under the jurisdiction of the building owner in our city, so the building management has to keep everything in working order.

During a rather bad winter storm our service pipe actually ended up freezing and burst. I am sure you can imagine the kind of mess that made.

Our building was without water for 3 days, so they shuttled us over to a local gym to shower and get ready for our day. It was huge inconvenience but I guess you have to do what you have to do.

By manykitties2 — On Oct 08, 2011

Our landlord didn't let any of the tenants in on how to operate the shutoff for the service pipe and we had quite the flood as a result. We're not exactly sure what happened but the water service pipe sprung quite the leak and started flooding the basement of our complex. I am sure we could of helped prevent more damage if we knew how to turn the thing off.

Our landlord wasn't happy with having to call in plumbing services just for water pipe repair. Not to mention the cost of pumping the basement dry and making sure everything was OK.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.