Skip to main content

Last updated: 22 Nov 2021

Water in gas pipes

Explains the reasons for water-related faults including what can happen when water gets into pipes, and what distributors are doing about it and what kind of compensation may be payable.

water in gas pipe

In Victoria, there are a variety of gas pipes that range in age and are often made with different materials.

Some sections of low-pressure gas networks are made of cast-iron and have been supplying gas since the 1880s. These older pipes can become affected by water during wet weather and are the main cause of water-related gas supply issues.

When water gets into gas pipes, customers may experience outages and be unable to use gas appliances needed for activities such as cooking, heating and bathing. Appliances may also be permanently damaged by water entering gas lines or lack of gas supplying the appliance.

Victorian gas customers should contact their local gas distributor to report faults. Who your gas distributor is, is determined by where you live. Visit the energy.vic.gov.au site for more information.

If you’ve experienced an outage, you may have to arrange for pilot lights to be relit on appliances. Refer to the product manual of your appliance for more information. Some distributors may offer assistance with relighting pilot lights. If you have hydronic heating, it may take a long time for it to heat back up.

Distributors are regularly working to upgrade networks, to limit the disruption caused by poor network assets such as gas pipes. Some gas mains in Victoria are currently scheduled to be converted to high pressure and some distributors are installing siphons to remove water from mains lines.

Distributors may also offer free electric heaters to customers with gas heaters that have been affected. You may also choose to change from gas to electric appliances at your own cost.

You may be entitled to compensation if you have experienced gas outages. Gas supply is not guaranteed in Victoria, however, if distributors do not meet their agreed service level, they must pay compensation to customers in the form of a Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) payment.

GSL payments are applicable to outages only. Customers are not entitled to GSL payments for low gas pressure.

GSL payment Payment amount
GSL payment
Outage lasting 12 hours or more
Payment amount
$150
GSL payment
Outage lasting more than 18 hours
Payment amount
Additional $150
GSL payment
5th outage per calendar year
Payment amount
$150
GSL payment
10th outage per calendar year
Payment amount
$150

If you experience 30 outages, none of which last more than 12 hours, a $300 GSL is payable for the 5th and 10th outages only.

The distributor will pay your retailer, which will then apply the GSL payment to your bill. Some retailers can take up to 12 months to apply a GSL payment.

You may also be entitled to compensation if your property is damaged due to upgrade works.

We can help with most complaints about gas companies in Victoria. We may be able to help:

  • Explain why you are experiencing an outage or fault
  • Explain what’s being done about the issue in your area
  • Make sure the correct GSL payments have been made
  • Make sure your gas distributor informs you of any upgrade plans in your area