04 May, 2011

This post was supposed to be about sawdust.

We had three lots of garden people come through today.  In between visits, I battled the tsunami of sawdust in the kitchen with broom and vac and muslin duster.  One man came to quote on the lawn, the other two to estimate the cost and time needed to get rid of the jungle in the front and rear yards and get the garden into some sort of manageable shape.  

Every fella commented immediately as I opened the front door, on the strong smell of gas.  And as we each walked around the west side of the house it became increasingly apparent that there was something awry.  That's where the gas meter is, and that's where it was extremely whiffy.

So I rang the plumber who'd attended to unplug the gas when the kitchen was being dismantled.  He told me to call the gas company and advise them of a leak at the meter.  Make sure you say it's at the meter, he said.  It'll be a leaking regulator.

So I phoned.  I told them what he said.  I then did as they instructed and turned off the gas at the meter, and then I continued sweeping while I waited for the emergency gas man to come.

It wasn't too long before he too was tapping at the door, and he too commented on the smell.  Normally though, he can't smell it because he's around it all the time.  Not a good sign he said.  So I took him to the meter and he got a bottle of soapy water and sprayed it about the place and sure enough the regulator was stuffed.  Not your expense, he said.  Hooray, I responded.  Everything we touch here has cost us money.  This is a small victory.

So he changed the regulator, turned the supply back on and asked me to take him to the gas heating and hot water service so he could relight the pilots.

Not happy with the water heater and its proximity to trees (bad news).  Happy with ducted heating unit - an oldie but a goodie.  

Ready to say goodbye.  Walking past the gas meter again and we stop.  Can you still smell gas?  Yes, I believe I can.  Hmm.  This is not good.

And whaddya know.  The pipe that goes from the meter to our house, that is the pipe that we are financially responsible for, is not actually attached in any meaningful way to the house.  It was sort of held in place by some sort of a rag, but was wholly and completely corroded through.

The corrosion, said the gas man, is what happens over time.  But this "repair" is unbelievable.  Criminal.  Bloody dangerous.  The previous owners have attempted a temporary fix and then just left it.  You should try and go them for some of the costs.  (Yeah, coz that will really happen.)

So he shut off the gas (we have now no hot water or heating as well as a BEAUTIFUL but not functioning kitchen) and the plumber will have to come tomorrow to replace the pipe and find out what's going on with it.

So much for the small victory.  At least we got a new regulator.  AND our house didn't blow up.  That's something, I guess.

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