Well, it’s not LNG… but even so!

May 21, 2015 | 5 comments

The Rescue Truck

The Rescue Truck

I had been gone from home for a couple of hours yesterday – an eye appointment in Astoria. When I returned home I pulled into the garage, turned off the engine, and opened the car door to the distinct smell of gas. Not gasoline gas. Propane gas.

The odor got stronger as I entered the house. Strong enough that I couldn’t really tell where it was coming from. Not that there could be much question. We have a dual-fuel kitchen range. That gas stovetop is the only place we use propane. (I never did want that gas! Scary I said. But Nyel is the chef and…)

I opened all the doors and called the propane people. The woman who answered was calm. “I want you to go to the tank and turn off the gas. You’ll see a valve at the top. Turn it to the right.”

The Source

The Source

Well, it didn’t turn to the right but I think it would have if I had been standing on my head. I turned it off. I still had the walking-around-land-line-telephone in my hand and her calm voice in my ear. She said to leave the gas off and she’d have someone call me back soon.

The man who called was pleasant but insistent. “We just filled the tank a few days ago. You shouldn’t smell gas. Typically there can be an odor if the tank is low.” I told him that the smell was in the house, not out by the tank.

“Are you sure you didn’t leave one of the burners on just a little bit?” he said. Was there just a hint of patronizing in his tone? “No. I’m looking at my stove right now. No burners are on.”

“A technician is in your area,” he said. “He’ll be there as soon as he’s finished with the job he’s on. Meanwhile, don’t turn the gas back on.” Well, duuhh!

Yum!

Yum!

To cut to the chase, it turned out there was a “significant” gas leak caused by a quarter-sized hole in a second valve located in the crawl space just under the kitchen floor. “I’ll need to replace the valve,” said Steven cheerfully, “but I don’t have one in the truck. Can you wait until tomorrow?” I left the doors open but the odor was still noticeable when Nyel got home and I announced that we’d be going out to dinner.

Now that I’ve had time to think about it, I have a lot of questions. Like how in the world could that valve have become so corroded and what other parts of the gas line might be compromised. Mostly though, I’m thinking it’s time to renew the discussion about this gas cooktop thing. I’ll try hard not to say, “I told you so.”

5 Comments

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    We have a gas furnace and water heater in Gig Harbor and I can tell you that within minutes of us reporting a smell PG&E are there. How rude of them to question your senses! You could have been blown up if you hadn’t insisted there was a problem!

    Reply
  2. Sun Wishers

    So thankful your angels were near! It’s unthinkable what could have happened had they not been. By the way… That salad looks devine! A small but scrumptious reward for your trouble.

    Reply
  3. Kathleen Shaw

    Gas does have a tendency to corrode fixtures. I learned this at a Laundromat I frequently used while in college. The owner was always working on one of the big dryers, and he said when one uses gas one has to regularly check the valves and lines because of corrosion–that’s one of the downsides of using gas (either LNG or LPG). I supposed an annual maintenance check is the best way to avoid problems with gas. I still miss it; I actually plan to get a dual-fuel range and a fireplace insert (eventually) for the cottage. I believe in being ready for storm-related power outages, which certainly happen on the Peninsula!

    Reply
  4. Steve

    Sydney you don’t need to publish this . I saw a bear walking across the street (territory Road) today while I was working at the church. Just let you know to be on the look out.

    Reply
    • sydney

      Thanks for the heads up, Steve! I hope our chickens keep a low profile!

      Reply

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