Mystery (gas?) pipe/tank/thing

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ididntexhale

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Hi everyone, I’ve frequently read this forum and learned so much from you all, especially Terry, who was always so gracious and enjoyable in addition to his great knowledge. His family and friends must forever be proud of him.


Our mystery:
We’re in the final stages of buying a 100 year old house in the San Francisco Bay Area. Under the house we found some confusing old plumbing that nobody has been able to identify so far.

Many of us thought it was an old wellhead, but it’s inside the foundation, the house is on a hill, the big cylinder is not plumb, and there are two pipes that seem to be coming from it, which seems like one too many. The vertical pipe on the right in the first picture is capped off and an inspector’s wrist is resting on that cap in the second picture.

We then thought it could be the top of a buried fuel oil storage tank, but a guy who specializes in those tank removals said it wasn’t. Someone else said it could be an expansion tank for a well, but I don’t see how they could accomplish that with this configuration.

To my untrained eye, the style of plumbing—with tees and plugs/caps and the style of valves—reminds me of natural gas plumbing. There’s a pipe that extends toward the sidewalk in close proximity to where the current gas service comes from.

We can’t get in and dig down to investigate more because it’s not yet our house. I’m relieved that it’s inconsistent with an underground oil tank, which would surely have been leaking by now.

Do any of you know what this object might be?
 

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Jeff H Young

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pipe on the right looks like the gas main possibly abandoned or not if there is a meter at the street it might be live still. if there is a meter at the house then Id bet money thats not a live gas line. you could ask pge but they arent very reliable and a guess is left side is water they could be both abandoned I could find quickly if I was there.
 

Jeff H Young

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if you close the cock on the right and your gas turns off you learn real fast what it is there for
 

ididntexhale

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That’s a good idea to see if I can get PG&E in to check it out. They’ll come out for safety concerns, so I’ll see if they can bring their gas sniffer.

The vertical pipe on the right stops with a cap just out of view of the photo. I think it might come from the bottom of the big cylinder. Luckily I have a little shorty pick and shovel to fit in the crawl space. I’ll post back in a few months when I finally get down the list to this. It sure is strange.

Thanks for your input.
 

Jeff H Young

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not that strange could be abandoned or in use I suppose . Weve got the smallest piece of a jigsaw puzzle it might be obvious in 5 minutes on the job . it will be good to get informed on your property should the sale close, or so you have an idea of possible expenses
 
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