What is a Cross Bore?

A “cross bore” is when a natural gas line runs through an existing underground utility, typically sewer or septic lines. A cross bore can potentially cause a back up in your pipe which will need to be cleared.

Call Before You Clear

If you discover a clogged line, you need to call 811 for an emergency locate before performing any work.

If You Encounter a Damaged Natural Gas Line

If you hit a natural gas line while unclogging a septic or sewer line, immediately eliminate any potential ignition sources. Call 911 and ENSTAR at 907-334-7763 to report any potential damage.

Cross Bore Safety for Plumbers

The following are some recommended best practices when working on a possible cross bore: 

  • If available, use CCTV first to investigate the cause of a blockage.
  • Use a non-cutting plumbing snake to check the pipe. 
  • Be sure to call 811 if clearing beyond the exterior walls of the building. 
  • Inspect for bubbles in sinks or toilets which can be evidence of a damaged natural gas line in the sewer or septic line. 
Cross Bore Safety for Homeowners

As a homeowner, the number one thing you must determine is whether or not the clog is inside or outside your house.  If it’s inside, then you don’t need to worry about a cross bore.

However, if the clog is outside your house, or if you’re unsure where the clog is, then you could be dealing with a cross bore and should call 811 for an emergency locate before you start clearing your septic or sewer line.