Posts Tagged ‘gas leaks’

I smell gas

I have been smelling gas in the house.  Not all the time just occasionally and just faintly.  No it’s not Major. Or the cabbage. I was not really worried but it was annoying.  I decided to call the gas company and have them check for leaks. I needed the telephone number to call.  I thought it would be on the bill. Couldn’t find the bill just had the receipt marked paid. The receipt did not have the telephone number on it. All the utilities are in Cassie’s name. I just give her some money and then she pays them usually online. We don’t have contact information anywhere for stuff she pays online. Just so happens though we pay the gas bill in person because it is local.

I found a bill that said PG&E.  Pacific Gas and Electric. Cassie said that’s not the gas bill. Really? What is it?  That’s the electric bill. Of course it is, how silly of me. O.k. I said what is the gas company called? We had to find the receipt to found out that the  name of the gas company is The Gas Company.  Brilliant.  I think that’s weird but still looking for a telephone number.  Got the phone book out. Looked in the business section for Gas Company. Nothing. Looked under county and city of San Luis for Gas Company. Nothing. Looked in the yellow pages under utilities. Nothing. What the hell?  Why can’t I find the telephone for the Gas Company? And there you have it.  It was listed under T for The not under G for Gas.

O.K. that is just wrong. You always dropped the The and the A in a company’s name when you listed it in the phone book. Oh well, I will just let them know when I get in touch with them that there number was hard to find and should be listed under  G not T in the phone book and  the part you keep for your records, not the part you throw away should have the contact numbers on it.

Anyway, called and went through a 20 question and answer menu before I talked to a real person to explain it was not an emergency but did need to make an appointment to have the gas checked for leaks. It was 3pm. The appointment was made for between 3 and 8pm that day. Would I be home?  Sure. I waited until 7pm and Major had to go for a run.  It was misting lightly outside so I put my raincoat on got his leash on him and knock, knock the gas (wo)man is here. I wish I would  have done that 2 hours ago.

What a dirty trick.  Major was all primed and ready to go and holding it since noon and now it’s a no go. He is not happy.

Tied him up to a tree

so if he had to pee he could and then I headed inside.  He barked just to let me know he was getting a little wet, he wanted his run and I was now on his shit list.

Inside the little meter they use to detect a gas leak is going a mile a minute. Yikes. Maybe it was worst then I thought. I was thinking brain damage from escaped gas.  She assured me it was not that bad. It was beeping in the whole area behind the stove where all the connections are. Had to pull it away from the wall.  It would take both of us to pull it out.

I was giving her a hand pulling it when there was a rapid loud knock on the door. Who could that be?  Went over to see and just caught a glimpse of my crazy neighbor shutting and locking her door.  I can only guess that Major’s occasional bark was ticking her off so this was her way of getting even. Bang on my door. What a fruitcake. There was enough time for Major to pee if he was desperate so I brought him inside, more for safety from the crazy neighbor then anything else.

A lot of gas had concentrated behind the stove and this made zeroing in on the leak a little harder.  One connection that was enclosed in a screwed on box on the back needed an allen wrench to check it out.  Lucky, I had an allen wrench. Doesn’t every one?  When she put the detector on the connection the lights were going off as well as beeps.  She turned off the gas to the stove. She loosened the nut that was leaking put some oil on it and tighten it down.  I learned that you put oil on fitted pipes and tape on unfitted pipes. The reason is the oil allows a little extra purchase area on the threads so you can tighten it down more and that seals it off.  Tape would not have done anything. Good to know. I love learning stuff.

Retrieved a nutmeg grate and a pair of tongs that had fallen behind the stove before we pushed it back. Major only had to wait about an hour for his run and boy did he have to go.

Now the moral of this little story is if it was an emergency gas leak call 911.  Second I dare you to find your contact number on your bill right now. When you find it post it on the frig or wherever you keep important info. I put the number in my cell phone under G. Your gas company is listed under Y in the telephone book.

Then after you find the number I want you to go outside and find the shut off valve on the gas meter. You really need to know were this is in case there is an earthquake or something shakes the pipes or connections lose and you have a BIG gas leak.  You need to know how to shut the gas off at the source. In a major catastrophe 911 will not be able to help everyone at the same time. Take a vice grip or an adjustable wrench with you and leave it there.  Attach it to the meter with a string or something so it doesn’t get lost.

Find the valve and give it a quarter turn to the right. That shuts off the gas flow.

Gas turn off valve.

Here is a cool site that explains everything you need to know. http://tinyurl.com/2b2nrm9
Red Cross course in emergency preparedness advises you to only turn the gas off if there is a strong gas smell or sound of gas escaping.

My meter is over behind the crazy neighbor’s house so I am not leaving my wrench there. Instead I have it sitting in a toolbox right outside the back door.  Also, when I see the two new neighbor kids that live in back I am going to show them how to turn the gas off.  It’s a good thing to know and that means pass it on.

1)    So, today you found and posted the contact number for your gas company.

2)   Found your gas meter and attached a wench or vice grips to it.

3)   Learned I have a fruitcake neighbor and a dog that has great bladder control.

Ah life is good .

I have more crazy neighbor stories.

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