I'm looking for the water supply line coming into my house. I found a pipe that is wrapped in what appears to be black tape an d is 1-1/2" in diameter. Is this gas or water? Thank you. https://photos.app.goo.gl/LMytNMUPVTtkRSN79

  • 5
    It is impossible for us to say based on "wrapped in what appears to be black tape and is 1-1/2" in diameter" Generally water supply lines enter the house below grade ( under ground ) at least in places that can freeze. Do you know where your shut off valve is inside the house? more info is needed and if you can post a photo on photo hosting site and link to it we can add the photo for you. – Alaska Man Jan 26 at 1:10
  • Open a couple of faucets and feel and/or listen to, the pipe. You can usually tell when water is running through a pipe. – Steve Wellens Jan 26 at 5:26
  • I entered a link of the picture. Thanks for the help – Spiderman Jan 26 at 7:59
  • That pipe looks black. That usually means gas. Surely you can trace it back inside the building? – Wayfaring Stranger Feb 28 at 0:42

If you live in a cold climate it is not a water pipe.

In cold climates, water pipes must be in the ground, under the frost line, so they don't freeze.

| improve this answer | |

If you can heat it above boiling temperature with a gas torch it's not the water line!

But a better test is to bang on it and listen to the water line and gas line and see which has the loudest echo of the banging (just put your ear (or a stethoscope) against the side of the gas line and the water line.)

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Use the stethoscope and run the water - you should hear the flow... Much safer and wondered why you did not suggest drilling a hole. "heat it above boiling temperature".. – Solar Mike Jan 26 at 7:43
  • gas in a gas pipe won't burin in the absense of oxygen, but yeah I was kidding about that. – Jasen Jan 26 at 8:47
  • 1
    Gas and oil pipelines are occasionally "hot tapped" ; a fitting is welded onto the pipe while it it in service. That pretty much heats the surface over boiling. – blacksmith37 Jan 26 at 16:37

Try searching for where your water and your gas are metered outside.

Imagine a line extending perpendicularly from the house so that it would intersect the water meter. There's a good chance the actual water line will follow that imagined line.

Next, look at the pipe coming off the gas meter and entering the house. Is it the same size as the pipe you've found inside? Does it happen to have the same tape wrap? If you imagined a straight line extending off the ends of the section of pipe you can see, would it extend toward the gas meter location?

If all that isn't any help, give us more detail. What's the age of the house? Of what material is the pipe (copper, silvery or black steel, plastic)?

| improve this answer | |
  • House was built in 1978. I think it's black pipe. photos.app.goo.gl/LMytNMUPVTtkRSN79 this the picture link – Spiderman Jan 26 at 8:05
  • Both the gas and water meters are in the back corner of the property. So I can't make a perpendicular line. The diameter is the same as the gas line. – Spiderman Jan 27 at 0:47

Try to hear the water flow. Put your ear against the pipe, have a friend turn a tap on and off in a 10 second cycle. You can hear the water if it is a water pipe.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.