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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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