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How to Check if Utilities are on or locked off

To get full value of your inspection make sure the utilities (electric, gas & water) are on. Checking the utilities is something that we recommend doing for yourself. CALL THE PROVIDER to check. You can also check the house for power and make sure the meters are unlocked.


  1. If the lights can be turned on, then the power is on.
  2. If your'e returning to the property and can not get in the house, try to bring something to plug into an exterior outlet.
  3. If the power meter has been removed, then the power is definitely not on. If there is a power meter, it does not mean is power on, the electric company can turn off power with out removing the meter.
  4. See if it's only the breakers off, sometimes the main shut off switch is located next to the power meter. DO NOT TURN ON THE WATER HEATER BREAKER, this can damage the water heater elements if there is not enough water in the tank.
Natural Gas:
  1. Turn on the gas stove burner and LET THEM RUN FOR A WHILE, the system has gas left in the line and may be just burning off the leftovers. If the burners keep burning after a few mins then the gas is mostly likely on.
  2. Look at the gas meter shut off valve for a lock, not all locks look the same and there is two shut off valves on most all meters that you will have to check both. See pictures on this page for examples.
  1. Lift cover from top of tank and check the % on the gauge, it should be over 30% for proper operation of the gas appliances.
  1. Turn on faucet and LET IT RUN FOR A WHILE, the system may be just draining the leftover water in the system. If the water continues to run with the same pressure after a few mins then the water is on. Outside hose faucets may be winterized which is shut off at a remote location. Best place to check is a tub.
  2. Check the water meter valve for a lock. Not all will have a padlock, some look like a bolt/pin lock. See picture for example.

Probably one of the fastest ways to upset a buyer, a home inspector and a buyer's real estate agent.

*Buyer sets an appointment and coordinates with a home inspector and buyer's agent.
*Buyer takes time off of work.
*Everyone drives miles to the property.
*Finds out one or more of the utilities is locked off when the listing agent (who is not showing up for the inspection and not doing the above) said the power, water and gas are on.
***Buyer pays additional trip charge if they want inspector to return to check the items that were off at the time of the inspection.

Make sure the power,
 gas and water is on.
Gas Meters:

Water Meter: