September 21, 2010

I Smell Gas!!!

There is nothing that sends me into a frenzy than a home emergency.  Yesterday I was down in our basement in the only room that has a dirt floor.  I store items on a shelf in that room and I was reaching for my crockpot when I smelled it --- natural gas or at least I thought that's what it was.  My DH didn't smell it and thought the room smelled more like a musty basement but I wasn't so sure.  So it nagged on me for the better part of the day and finally I decided to call the utility company and within 30 minutes a utility worker was in my basement with some kind of instrument that "smelled" for any leaking natural gas. 

And guess what -- we had a natural gas leak in the gas pipe that supplies the kitchen stove.  The worker shut off the gas to the stove and before he even left the house I called a plumbing and heating business and set up an appointment for one of their employees to come by this morning to fix it.

It was an easy fix - replace the pipe and refit it.  As the worker explained to me the turning on of a gas stove automatically releases pressure in the gas pipe and alternately when not in use, a normal amount of pressure builds.  Over time it may result in some minor leaks. 

What did I learn?  Even if you are the only one that smells a possible natural gas leak, call it in.  Next, learn where the natural gas, and for that matter the electric and water shut offs are to the house so that you can shut things off in case of an emergency.  In case of a natural gas leak, don't turn on any light switches or anything electrical and it is best to leave the house and call from your cell phone outside or go to a neighbor's house. 

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