Showing posts with label Natural Gas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Natural Gas. Show all posts

Saturday, April 15, 2006

My New Best Friend The Gas Meter

Yesterday I blogged about a natural gas leak I had in my basement. Tonight, I'm posting pictures of my gas meter, etc. It will give you a visual :-) Of course, if you see something amiss, feel free to let me know.

The meter looks to be kind of new (to my untrained eye). I have one of those newfangled systems that calls in my reading using my phone in the wee hours. I only know this because a few months after I moved into my house all of a sudden my bills went up dramtically and they were labled "estimate." When I called to ask what this all meant, I was told the system was malfunctioning and I needed to have a battery changed.

The meter is against the basement wall parallel to the street. There seems to be a cruddy old pipe that carries the gas in at the bottom. And there is a flexible plastic tube that carries fumes (?) out to a little vented hole in the basement wall. There are two old pipies running out of the top of the meter and I suspect these carry the gas to the rest of the house. The whole thing appears to be held up by metal strapping.

The leak this time was at the old cruddy pipe running into the house. The gas company guy tightened the connection and the leak stopped. But this is the second leak in three years from that spot. Is the pipe running from the street to my house my responsibility or the gas company's.....or does this depend on the city you live in? Anyone? Anyone?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Natural Gas Leak

I'm not a Conspiracy Theorist, but.....

Yesterday I wrote a post that mentioned the poor customer service I had received from the guy in charge of energy audits at Minnegasco/ Centerpoint Energy. After publishing that post, I went out into my living room to watch the news.

I immediately smelled the rotten egg aroma of natural gas. I went outside to see if was wafting through the window. Nope. I went downstairs to see if it was originating from down there. Bingo. The smell was very strong to my nose.

I called Minnegasco's "hot line" and asked them to send someone out to check. When the operator told me that if there was no answer at my door when their service people arrived, they would call a locksmith or break down the door.....I made a little joke about leaving the door unlocked before passing out. Turns out this is akin to making a bomb joke when going through TSA. For the record, poor judgement on my part and not recommended. Anywho.

The service guy arrived (to me sitting out on my front doorstep - to make up for my poor judgement joke). We went downstairs. He said he didn't smell anything. But as soon as he took out his detector, off went the alarm. Turns out that there was a leak at the controls for my hot water heater and a leak where the natural gas pipe enters my house. He tightened both joints and the smell went away. I asked him again if he really couldn't smell the rotten eggs smell. He said no.

This is strange to me because since I have moved into this house, this has happened two other times. I have smelled natural gas. The service guy has come out and told me they don't smell anything. Their detector's alarm goes off and we find a leak. They fix it and life goes on.

Now this little escapade has me wondering a few things:

1) Can these little leaks just happen spontaneuosly? Doesn't something have to happen to cause them?
2) Is this common to have this happen so frequently? I've never had so many gas appliances (clothes dryer, furnace, hot water heater, stove), so this is new to me.
2) Why can't these service men smell what I think is an overpowering smell? Do men have less ability to smell? (this would explain the 5 yrs I spent at a former job daily breathing in the overpowering aroma of a coworker's aftershave) Or do I just have an uber sense of smell?
4) Would this explain the sore throat & general fealing of crappiness I have had for the past week?
5) Could the audit guy at Minnegasco have a little botton he is able to push to create these leaks when he reads that he has been dissed on someone's blog? Or is that just paranoia?

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