Steel gas pipe lines versus plastic. What's the difference?

The gas pipeline rupture on Monday in the 2500 block of South Polk Street, is still under investigation.

This incident has raised questions on pipelines.

The change from steel gas line pipes to plastic happened over ten years ago, according to Roy Urrutia with Atmos Energy. But in Amarillo, there are still quite a few that have not been replaced.

"Amarillo is on an old system, infrastructure's old. So that's why we're going back in there with the pipeline replacement program," Urrutia said.

The site of yesterday's rupture had gone through a replacement program, meaning the pipes were replaced with plastic.

There are a few large differences between steel and plastic pipes.

The newer structures in Amarillo have plastic pipes. They are only sold to plumbers, so homeowners aren't able to install them on their own. The plastic pipes are put in the ground with a tracer wire. This wire allows the piping to be located in the future, according to Rich Rankin with Scottco Plumbing.

Urrutia added, "It's more durable and the lifespan is a lot stronger than steel, because with the steel line you have natural corrosion. The elements in the ground, moisture and everything around it will start corroding the pipe."

Atmos Energy and Scottco Plumbing both urge the importance of locating the pipelines before doing any yard work. Properly locating the pipes can prevent ruptures and other complications.

This can be done by calling Texas 811.