Free Gas Leak Test and Repair?

They are in the process of replacing the gas service in my neighborhood. New main, new shutoffs, new service to house, move meter outside if currently inside, etc. (They are not installing smart meters)
They have been doing the main for the past couple of weeks and are now beginning to tie in the individual services to each house. As I was leaving for work this morning, the crew was digging in the yard across the street. One guy approached me and said they he wanted to set up a time when I would be home for a few hours so they could have access to the house to relight any pilot lights after replacing the service from the street to the meter.
I told them that the only pilot light I have is for my WH and that I could relight it on my own when they were done. They said that as part of the project they have to pressure check my interior gas piping and if the test shows a leak, they can not connect the new gas service. Instead they will call the utility and have them come out and determine the source of the leak. Therefore, they need someone to be available in case there's a problem.
I asked them if this was like the phone company, who charge for repairs if the problem is inside the house, and they said no. As part of the project, it's like a "one time deal". No charge for the test, and no charge for repairs if required.
Has anyone been through something similar? Does this sound like the normal process for a gas service replacement process? I'm basically curious about the "interior testing" part since it really has nothing to do with the replacement of the exterior service. I guess they are just being "nice" and making sure there are no explosions imminent, right?
(Please, do us all a favor and stick to the matter at hand. Please don't associate this project with the Affordable Care Act or government control of our lives or the NSA installing video cameras throughout my house. Thanks!)
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I'd ask the guy who told you that to put it in writing and/or ask the gas company what is up with this. Those would be the ones who would really know. Even if it happened (say) in California, doesn't mean that it works the same way in where ever you are.

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On 11/15/2013 12:25 PM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

My first thought, is that I don't really like the idea of uninvited people in my home. If I'm the guy who calls the curtains company, bring em all in. But someone else decides to come in and test my pipes, well, not liking that idea. I'd call the gas company, see if this is policy. Or maybe a freelance burglar team scoping out the job.
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On Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:43:39 -0500, Stormin Mormon

disturbing the piping system, and to be sure there are no safety issues, they will check before turning the gas back on.
Only a total fool would refuse entry and not accept the inspection - even IF the gas company would turn on the gas without.
That inspection costs $300 here if you request it. A relatively new home, in a new neighbourhood, blew up here a year ago. Everyone was concerned about gas leaks. The utility offered to do free tests to over 700 homes - some 300 accepted, and about 161 leaks were found and fixed - 3 houses required more repairs and had gas shut off. (google activa explosion kitchener)
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They didn't "decide to come and test my pipes", they asked for an appointment.

Did you miss the part where I said they've been working on replacing the main for the last couple of weeks? If they are a freelance team scoping out the job, their heavy equipment, plastic gas pipe, crusher run to refill holes in the asphalt, hazard fencing, etc. is going to cost them a whole lot more than they'd ever get if they robbed every house in the neighborhood. This ain't no gated community...the haul wouldn't be worth what they're spending to case the area.
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On 11/15/2013 4:19 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

invite them. They approached you.

point of view.
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On Fri, 15 Nov 2013 17:03:26 -0500, Stormin Mormon

worth the effort. - and letting an inspector within 10 feet might result in the gas being shut off????
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The only way for them to shut my gas off, is to stick a cork in me. I like my beans & wieners.
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That's true. I didn't ask for the gas main on my street or the service to my house to be replaced. They are doing without my permission. I'll show them. I won't use my gas anymore.

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On 11/15/2013 6:49 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

You are still four years old?
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In the time since I posted, I did manage to get in touch with someone at the utility who knew what was going on.
Bottom line is that the contractor will pressure test the interior lines, and they will call the utility if they find a leak. The utility will then come out and inspect the system. Where possible, they will do a temporary repair to allow the service to be connected. Then will then red tag the system and give the homeowner time to get it fixed, at the homeowner's cost. If it's really bad, they will not allow the service to be connected until the situation is rectified by the homeowner.
If the gas guys are as nice as the electrical guys I've dealt with recently, I wouldn't be surprised if they went beyond a temporary fix - where possible - and made a permanent repair. e.g. Maybe they find a slightly leaking shutoff to the furnace. Replacing the shutoff would be as easy as any temporary repair, so they'd probably just replace it. I have no concrete reason to think that, it's just a feeling.
The guys that dropped my power lines a few weeks ago so I could repair my weather head and siding were a couple of the nicest guys I've met. We discussed the best location for them to reattach the lines to the house, they took out the old attachment fixture while they were on the ladder, they asked me if I wanted the wires off of the house or just cut at the pole...basically anything I wanted. The crew that came to reattach them was equally as nice. I hope the gas guys are too.

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On 11/15/2013 12:12 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

In some municipalities, a pressure test can be a real pain in the ass.
Here, they make you disconnect *all* gas appliances and cap off the connections. Then they pressurize your piping system to 10 PSI and it has to hold that pressure for 8 hours.
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That's not the case in this situation.
The crew said they'd be done in under 3 hours from the time they start tearing up my lawn until the gas is back on, assuming no leaks.
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well around here they replaced all the lines around my moms home. Equitable gas pressure tested the exterior line, and did relight pilots but did not pressure test interior lines. just a quick safety walk thru
normal gas pressure is about 1/2 pound or less locally
pressure test is 10 pounds or sometimes 70 pounds. a friend smelled gas and reported it thinking the leak was from a neighbor. neighbors line was leaking they got a red tag.
but they pressure tested his home and red tagged it too.
he had to have all his gas line indoors replaced, after failed pressure test. his 1950 era lines had cnnections no longer approved with minor leaks.
the 3 plumbers he called all said it was cheaper to replace all the lines, since the pipe was cheap but their labor time expensive. the plumber reported its highly possible your home never leaked at 1/2 pound pressure but did leak at 70 pounds.
he reported the neighbor to give him grief, they were at war in a neigborhood parking war
the neighbor laughed at the reporter spending over 5 grand to replace all the gas lines in his home.
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Well, this should be fun then. Assuming no one in my neighborhood has had their interior lines replaced, my 1956 lines are the newest around. My house was the last house built on the 2 blocks where the mains were replaced. Some houses date to back to the 30’s. If my house fails, I gotta assume every other house will fail to.
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On 11-15-2013, 23:26, DerbyDad03 wrote:

If a plumber gets five thousand for one house, that would be a very strong temptation for him to offer "ten dollars under the table for every job I get from that street."
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On 11-15-2013, 12:12, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Knowing how clueless some people can be, having them offer to relight every one's pilot lights is a pretty smart idea.
I was once paid to be a live-in aide for some old guy.
I offered to bake a cake.
He went to the oven, turned on the gas, hobbled over to the refrigerator, felt around on top of it till he found the matches, hobbled back over to the oven, and proceeded to demonstrate that he could not move fast enough to strike a match.
I was just a teen, so I didn't realize the safest thing to do would be to turn off the oven first and then ask him to let me do it.
But I was smart enough to know that what was happening was not safe.
So I snatched the match out of his hand, swiped it on my pants, and stuck it in. BOOM!! first degree burns all the way to my elbow.
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