Gas question

I just had a major remodeling done at an investment property (it's a fix up and sell, single family detached home, not an apartment, cluster, or town home - no one is currently living in it). During the project the contractor turned off the gas and now there seems to be a problem getting it back on and pilot lights lit for furnace and water heater. The gas was turned off at the meter while some pipes in the crawl space were removed. (We took out the old pipe to a gas dryer and wired for an electric dryer.) Turning the gas back on at the meter and trying to light the water heater pilot doesn't work. I haven't tried the furnace yet. There doesn't appear to be any gas flow. We checked for other cutoffs but there is only one in the crawl space and we have it turned on. There is no smell of gas or movement in the meter dials when the pilot light button is depressed on the water heater. It's an old heater (12yrs) but was working prior to turning the gas off. Suggestions?? Could the gas company have shut off the supply somewhere else?? I'm still paying a minimal utility bill so the account is supposed to be active. Could the valve have gotten clogged in the water heater during the few weeks the gas was turned off? Obviously I'm not the guy to check this out further unless its something simple. Who is the best person to call for this? Gas company, plumber? Thanks. If I end up replacing the water heater, does anyone have an idea what the labor cost will be? It will be a major pain to remove and replace the heater in the crawl.
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Start with the gas company. Here, they charge nothing to stop by and see if there's anything wrong that's their fault, and sometimes, they'll even fix a simple thing for free. Most plumbers have a trip charge just to walk in the door, although many of them can also handle this sort of thing. Finally, what about the company that maintains your furnace? They're qualified to do this type of diagnosis, and since they install furnaces, they're obviously able to do work on gas pipes.
I've never learned to solder pipes. I figure that if I make a mistake, I'll have a swimming pool in my basement and the stuff that gets ruined will be far more expensive than paying a plumber. Taking this a step further, the idea of playing with a torch around gas pipes strikes me as something better left to professionals.

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Doug wrote:>I've never learned to solder pipes. I figure that if I make a mistake, I'll

Work at your leisure!
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I stand corrected, but I still won't mess with it! A man's got to know his limitations, as Dirty Harry once said. :-)
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Right, it is welded. The gas lines at work are all welded and they did it with gas right at the meter. In home applications iron pipe uses fittings, tubing is usually done with compression fittings.
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wrote in message

Compression fittings are never used on gas. Maybe you were thinking flared and wrote compression?
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Right. Thanks. I don't weld gas line either. I watched it from a distance when the guys from the gas company were doing it.
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It takes a while for gas to get through the pipe once it has been emptied. Especially when you're just trying to draw enough to light the pilot. Hold that red button down for a while and you'll get gas.
If you feel adventuresome, you can speed up the process by opening a valve on an appliance which allows gas to flow in greater volume, such as a burner on a gas range (stove). Don't get carried away, just turn one on until the first hint of "the odor". It will help if the range is connected to the pipe furthest from the meter (I'm not going to explain why). Common sense is good here. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean gas is always dangerous and deadly. Common sense.

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jch wrote:

<SNIP>
When the piping was opened, air got in the pipes. It will take a *long* time to bleed the air out from the heater pilot. Best to open a union near the heater and bleed off the air. Ask the utility if they will do this for you if you are not experienced.
Jim
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jch wrote:

Regulator may have popped shutting off the gas. Worth checking. Tony
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I don't know too much about water heaters. How would I check that?
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jch wrote:

Gas main line regulator is round metal like pie shaped thingy in the main line coming into your house. It'll trigger a shut off when pressure drops or rises suddenly. unscrew the knob like thing poking out in the middle of pie, if the little plunger is popped, push it back in to restore gas flow. Tony
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Oh, I thought you meant something in the water heater. The meter is OK. I got some help and we finally got everything (water heater and furnace) working. I had to leave the gas on for awhile and clear the pipes of air. Seems to be working fine now. I don't like working with gas to begin with and having to be in the crawl space made it that much worse. Glad that's over :)
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