water leaking into gas lines

In Baltimore a few days ago, water from the city water supply leaked into gas lines, and it apparently damaged some gas appliances. (Not mine.)
Any idea how water in a gas pipe would damage a stove or other appliance? Maybe I'm still living in the 50's but I would think one just takes the burners out of the stove and lets them dry, and the gas company could do whatever it does to get the water out of the gas lines. Force hot dry air through the lines? Or just regular air if that is too hard.
Meirman
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How did water get into gas lines? Did they rupture both a water main and a gas main at the same time? Sounds like a highly skilled team of craftman ! condensation is always in gas lines so unless you turn burner on and water comes out I don't see how it could harm anything. ( Remembers an old Three Stooges movie LOL! ) I would call the gas company if you are concerned, but in MA code requires a drip on gas lines to catch condensation. Maybe you could have a plumber drain them for you.
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In alt.home.repair on 27 Oct 2004 09:07:32 GMT snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Randd01) posted:

It seems so. Just heard on the news that the two companies involved haven't decided whose fault it is yet. They plan to decide within 2 to 8 weeks.

I think that is the situation! They showed a hole they were digging in to repair this. It affected maybe 30 to 100 houses, I think. Some say their insurance companies won't pay, or that there is a high deductible, but I think one of the utilities will pay when they decide which one it is. And of course, people with gas heat or hot water do need to get things working.

Well, I'm glad to say it's not my lines that have water. (In fact, the builder didn't put gas in this development. I wish he had, but at least the next townhouse won't have a gas explosion.)
Meirman
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meirman wrote:

I don't know how it would damage most appliances, but I would guess it could damage pressure regulators.
I don't know how water from a water line would be a problem, but we did have water get in from a leak in the underground gas line once back in the 60's. We had the old gas line sleeved with a plastic pipe insert and that took care of it. No damage to be repaired, but it had caused some malfunctions at the time.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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In alt.home.repair on Wed, 27 Oct 2004 10:34:22 GMT "Joseph Meehan"

They have those now? Inside the house?

Meirman
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It sounds like a situation that occurred in Toronto Canada a number of years ago. A gas company (I worked for the gas company, this is how I heard about it) was tapping an old cast iron gas main for a new street line. It was beside an old cast iron water main and looked identical. They apparently look for condensation on the water main to tell it from the gas main. However, they tapped the wrong main and sent city pressure water up the small street's gas line. People were angry when water poured out through all their gas appliances and flooded their basements. It cost the gas company lots to make it all right.

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The problems that come are the gas valves seats. If any debris (sand) floating in the water gets caught under the seat of the valve, it could prevent it from closing, opening or both. It also may damage a seat designed to seal natural gas and cause permanent damage (gas leaking by the seal at a small rate.) The water in the appliance pressure regulator also plays havoc. The pressure regulator could become 'suggish' and may cause further problems.
--
Zyp
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Hey guys just a word of caution. I been in the utility constrution business over 30 years as an equipment operator. People that don't have gas in their houses think they are safe from a gas exposion. This just isnt true. Over the years I have seen / heard of a couple of instances where houses were blown off their foundations from gas and they didn't even have gas in their houses. What happens is this. A crew digging in the street strikes a gas line. The proper why to handle this is to rip it all the way out so the gas escapes into the air until it can be shut down. But what happens a lot is the crew hits the pipe and doesnt think they do any damage to it. They finish their work and backfill the trench. Meanwhile gas can be escaping from anywhere along the pipe that got a little tug. What happens is the gas will follow the path of least resistance and this can be a couple of things. It has been known to follow up the water service line trench of peoples houses that dont have gas. They come home and smell gas but say we dont have gas it cant be gas. Then the furnace cycles or they flip a switch, good night Irene. It can also follow up the trench from a swer connection and leak into a basement around the castiron pipe where it comes thru the floor or wall. I'm telling you this because if you do come home and smell gas be aware that this can happen and call 911 or gas company from a neighbors house. They will come out immediately. Tell your kids too! Natural gas is pretty safe as it is lighter then air. Propane on the other hand is heavier then air and collects in the low spots of your home. This is far more dangerous. Just a little info for you non gas users.
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Yup! That has happened more than once to the company I worked for.

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This JUST happened on Long Island... note - the building has no natural gas service, but a leak followed a water main into the basement.
Explosion collapses car dealership in Huntington Station; nine injured Play the video (10/12/04) HUNTINGTON STATION - There was an explosion at the Habberstad Nissan car dealership at 850 East Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station late Tuesday afternoon. Fire officials are speculating that a natural gas leak caused the blast, but they are still trying to determine the exact cause. The building partially collapsed, and some of the debris fell onto Jericho Turnpike. The road was closed overnight.
Firefighters say all the people working in the dealership were able to safely escape. Nine people suffered minor injuries, and five of them have already been released from Huntington Hospital.
Police, arson squads, K-9 units and ambulances responded to the scene, and emergency workers are still at the scene investigating the cause.
Investigators say gas leak to blame for Huntington Station dealership blast Play the video (10/13/04) HUNTINGTON STATION – Investigators say they have discovered the cause of an explosion that destroyed part of the Habberstad car dealership in Huntington Station. According to authorities, a natural gas leak was at the heart of the blast. Keyspan Energy officials say an oil burner ignited the released gas and caused the explosion.
Nine people were hurt, none seriously, when the incident occurred on Jericho Turnpike Tuesday afternoon. The collapse occurred at approximately 3:45 p.m. Tuesday and forced authorities to close the turnpike. Firefighters, police officials, medical workers and some Good Samaritans helped pull people from the building to safety.
Jericho Turnpike was reopened Wednesday morning.
The blast leveled part of the car dealership.
Related Story:

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I imagine it could cause problems for gas meters or pressure regulators. It was really a problem in a north Chicago suburb during a recent winter when a water main break got into the gas lines. The gas meters are exposed, so when water got into them they froze. They had to replace about 1000 gas meters, which took at least a week or more.
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