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Gas leak

Got a call from my sister-in-law while I was out running errands (Linens-N-Things, Home Depot, Target, PetsMart, Publix--she called during the Target stop...), but I missed the call. That was unfortunate, because she had been home when the gas meter reader was at my house and found a leak. He refused to fix it without the homeowner being present or at least being notified, and when she couldn't get me he left a note and departed. He did leave the gas on, as it was a small leak.

So I arrive home and find the note, which is from the Atlanta Gas Light meter reader. Side note on the idiocy of Georgia's deregulated gas utility: Atlanta Gas Light used to be the regulated monopoly gas utility, and they supplied the gas, read the meters, turned the gas on and off, and billed you. Now we have deregulation, and Atlanta Gas light supplies the gas, reads the meters, turns the gas on and off (I think), and your "gas marketer" bills you. This was supposed to save consumers beaucoup bucks, which somehow failed to materialize.

OK, the note is from AGL, but it informs me that I need to call my gas marketer "to have your service restored or if you have any questions". My service is still on and I don't really have a question, I just want the leak fixed--which AGL has to do. But the form has no phone number for AGL and does have one for Scana Energy, my marketer, among the 20 listed. The nice lady at Scana listened to my tale, called AGL, and handed me off, because (duh) AGL deals with gas leaks. I agreed to stay home and wait for the technician for the next hour, and listened to all the warnings about not flipping switches or lighting matches (after declining to answer the standard questions: "do you hear any hissing?" "No, I didn't detect the leak at all, your meter reader did.")

And within the hour the AGL truck appears, a quick spritz of soapy water shows bubbles at one of the pipes at the meter, and the guy goes to work. Gas turned off, meter fixed, gas turned back on, pilot lights for furnace and hot water heater re-lit. He had me turn the furnace and stove burners on high to get the air out of the line, and then it was done. Very efficient, except for the small detour via Scana.

Now I will sheepishly admit that I've gotten a whiff of gas smell at the meter for a while, but erratically. I had called in a leak once before which uncovered a leak at a patch in the line to the gas grill--but right after that I smelled gas at the meter where the technician failed to find a problem. So I didn't worry much about it, and kept thinking I'd call AGL when I got around to it. Guess I got around to it. I promise that the next time I smell gas, I'll deal with it promptly. I really don't want the house to explode. Really!



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 20th, 2007 02:08 am (UTC)
Good grief -- that's frightening! Glad you all caught and fixed it.
Feb. 26th, 2007 02:46 am (UTC)
We had a strong gas smell in our kitchen one day. Lawyerspouse called it in, & the gas man showed up. It turned out ze spouse hadn't turned the stove off all the way [the dial is very ambiguously marked], & the gas guy thought it was me. Tres embarrassing, but at least it wasn't anything worse.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Nancy Barber

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