Turn back utilities for inspection

4 Replies

Sorry for the double post! I'm working on a deal in Norfolk and inspection is a contingency. The seller agreed to keep the electricity on but he won't turn back on gas & water. The house was built in 1950's and I just want to make sure the gas & water lines are free from any leaks. Rather than prolonging the negotiation with the utilities, I was thinking I will have the utility companies turn it back on under my name on the inspection date then turn it off after. How long does it take for the utility company to turn it on and for how much? Water company is HRUBS and gas is VA Natural Gas if that will help.

Anybody who has an experience like this? How did you deal with it?

It depends on their workload but it usually can be the next business day. I believe you do take on some liability if something gets damaged due to turning back on utilities in your name, i.e. a burst pipe floods and damages the drywall. But your deal may be too thin if you're worried about a few leaky pipes. Maybe just ask for an extra $1,000 of the price to cover your risk. 

You probably got this worked out, but you need to call the Norfolk Utilities. HRUBS/HRSD is just a supplemental billing that occurs when you turn on water service with the city. The city bills you for water usage and HRSD bills you for the accompanying sanitation. Anywho, from the Norfolk website:

Service requests received by 3 p.m. will be set up the following business day. Norfolk Utilities cannot establish service if the required documents are missing, altered or incomplete.

Activation Fee


A $20 activation fee will be assessed on the first monthly billing statement of each new activated account.


If I recall, VA Natural Gas service is quick to be turned on as well. Can't remember if there is a cost. You can probably expect an activation fee and/or deposit.


Many homes that I've purchased didn't have utilities on and I just "take my chances". When I do get water turned on, I tell them to just unlock the valve and I'll turn it on myself when I'm onsite in case there's a leak. Usually the gas company will check for leaks when they turn gas on.

Never had any surprises. knock on wood...

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