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Thread: Gas work for landlord

  1. #1
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Default Gas work for landlord

    Only joking with the title, but I knew it would get your attention.

    I have noticed a problem in my house (one among many). My water heater does not have a gas shut-off valve on the line (the clothes dryer does and so does the furnace).

    Consequently, the only way to turn it off in an emergency would be at the meter.

    I tried to turn the valve at the meter with a wrench but it just will not move. Am I missing something? Is there a lock-nut on the back?

    I called the gas company to inform them of a potentially faulty valve, but all they did was come out, take a meter reading and paint the gas pipe. During a follow-up call to complain they informed me that they would not fix the valve since the only person who can shut-off gas at the meter is the gas company and they have a special tool to do this.

    I am still worried that if I have a gas problem anywhere, but especially at the water meter, that the gas company will not be able to shift the valve.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Just checked the regulations and anyone can turn it off, but only the Gas Company can turn it on.

    I'll try and phone the company again.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    There is a special wrench that the pros use, but I use a large Crescent wrench. You only turn the valve 1/4 turn. When the gas is on, the bar is straight up and down. When off it is horizontal. You should have a wrench that will turn the gas off at the meter in case of an emergency. All appliances should have their own shut off valve.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default gas

    If you try to turn it off an break it, you will discover how expensive the gas company can make the repair cost. You might have 6 trucks and 12 men working on it at who knows how much per man, per hour.

  5. #5
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    If you try to turn it off an break it, you will discover how expensive the gas company can make the repair cost. You might have 6 trucks and 12 men working on it at who knows how much per man, per hour.
    They also ask who messed with it.
    I had a regulator go in a meter and that was the first question they asked me...."You licensed?".
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  6. #6
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I am not going to force it, but I do want them to, so that I know it can be turned off in an emergency.

    If they do not do it this time, I am going to ask for a temporary suspension of service. I am convinced the valve is stuck in the open position and dangerous, and they need to find this out for themselves.

    Which makes me worry how many more are in America. In Europe the valves are far more civilized and accessible (although the same rules regarding turning the service on, sensibly, apply). My home in the UK has a large red lever, covered from the rain, with full instructions.

    I have never seen so many old and rusting gas meters as here in the US. I guess that's why natural gas is so cheap here. I'm sure looking forward to my $200/month bill this winter.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 10-16-2007 at 11:41 AM.

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