Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gas Leak?

A few weeks ago I smelled a strong gas smell on the back porch.  The only I could figure was the grill.  I checked and it was off.  I turned off the tank in case it was leaking.  The next time I went out the smell was gone.  A few days ago I was at the fridge and smelled a little bit again.  Since all of our kitchen appliances are electric I blew it off after a little bit of investigating.

After doing all the stuff with the kids on Christmas I showered around 1 or 2.  When I walked out of the bathroom, I smelled the gas smell again.  The bathroom is across the hall from the furnace room. I sniffed around the furnace room and it was a little here and there, but I could find nothing and it went away quickly.

I crowd sourced the problem a little by posting the problem on Twitter and Facebook.  I also texted a couple of friends.  I didn’t know if you called the fire department or the gas company or what.  One friend said to try soapy water on the joints of the gas pipes, but I didn’t know what I was doing and it all just looked like soapy water.  Others said crack two windows for cross ventilation.  Others said call the gas company, but had no idea of charges or if they could do anything about it.

I finally called the gas company to find out what to do.  They sent a guy out.  Neither the lady on the phone or the guy that came out mentioned a charge, so we will see.  Why does this stuff seem to generally happen on weekends and holidays?

The guy came out and was very nice.  He found no leaks.  He said the water heater vent was loose and he tightened that.  It looks like that is an open hole with a dome over it that leads to the outside pipe.  I wonder how that isn’t always leaking exhaust into the house.

He said that the chimney looked in bad shape and I should maybe have it inspected and cleaned.  I didn’t figure with gas heat their would be anything to clean, but he said dirt and stuff get in there.  He opened a little door at the bottom of the chimney and it was packed with dirt.  He put a mirror in the door and could not see up the chimney.  Does that mean it is clogged or that they sealed around the gas exhaust pipe when they put it in?

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