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Harsh Reminder



  • icy78
    icy78 Member Posts: 404
    I was at a no heat about 12 years ago. NG ran underground to the house from a gas well in a field ,about 400 feet.
    Furnace would light, then slowly die, as gas pressure dropped. Didnt drop at the well end. I disconnected both ends and blew nitro thru it. Got water out the pipe but when I capped it and leak checked it leaked, somewhere. One of our plumbers went out the next day and a surveyor was near by and gave our guy a strange look when the leak was mentioned. They walked to the middle of the field and he'd driven a stake there. It went down about 2 ft. Plumber said he put his nose to the ground and smelled gas. They dug ,and voila, the wooden stake nailed that 1¼ inch plastic black pipe dead center. It ran directly under a corner of a property. Go figure. Frost line is 2 feet here I think.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,555
    We were on the tail end of a mall build out (140+ duct detectors manometer tested, <sigh>) & the Fire Inspector kept smelling gas in one area. He borrowed my sniffer & chased it to the edge of the sidewalk. The plumber was wrapped around the axle & didn't want to dig it up. Finally the Fire Inspector told him "if your boys won't do it I'll get mine to." They found a concrete pin had put just enough of a dimple in a line to leak.
  • PRR
    PRR Member Posts: 76
    Two points:

    State Of Maine determined we have 20 fire depts without gas detectors, bought 22 of the $900 meters, and will train.
    Much of the investigation has been published.
    It *appears* that Lord, the maintenance worker, gave bad info to the guys drilling posts. The post company was fined for believing him. The gas supplier actually followed AFAICT policy and rules correctly (but paid a fine anyway). LEAP, the organization, paid big money for not keeping a tighter ship.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,212
    Way too lenient? I wonder. If the man has a well developed sense of ethics and morals, and a conscience, the fine is irrelevant. He will live with the error his whole life. If the man does not, no level of fine will cause him to develop one...

    Far more important that we all find out and are able to understand the chain of error which led to the accident, so we can try to avoid making the same errors.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,645
    Underground utilities are scary. Gas and electric buried in earth....out of sight out of mind. Must be detectable, and must be located. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 8,903

    Underground utilities are scary. Gas and electric buried in earth....out of sight out of mind. Must be detectable, and must be located. 

    Less scary that 14 kv primary lines parallel to and 10' from your house when they come down and start arc flashing.
  • PRR
    PRR Member Posts: 76
    "Former LEAP maintenance supervisor Larry Lord and his wife have filed a lawsuit ..... alleges CN Brown (propane) and Techno Metal Post were negligent and caused the explosion."
    "Several Farmington firefighters .... also suing CN Brown and Techno Metal Post Maine, and making similar allegations of negligence."
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 14,593
    I herd that Texas did or was trying to do away with plumbing/gas licenses. herd it created a big stink
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,479

    I herd that Texas did or was trying to do away with plumbing/gas licenses. herd it created a big stink

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,645
    I'm all for a smaller governing body, however this is not it! The trades are and should be licenced as many lives depend on us! 

    Even when things are done right stuff can still go wrong.  
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • motoguy128
    motoguy128 Member Posts: 394
    Went to a service call at our local Police Department. They thought they smelled gas in their boiler room. I didn’t smell anything, but went ahead and soaped all the usual suspects, unions, street elbows, Plugs, caps and anything that looked newer. Nothing.

    I very politely suggested that they borrow the very expensive and sensitive natural gas detector from the Fire Department... which shares the same building. I think the Fire Chief doesn’t play well with others and so apparently that’s not an option.

    When I do a spring and fall check on furnaces I ONLY do the Police units, not the RTU And leaking minisplit (not our install) that serves the FD. Chief doesn’t like us for some reason. Although I did install a coil freeze stat on their rooftop unit so it doesn’t;t drop water downstairs when they forget to change the air filter in cool humid weather.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,118
    Well the Fire Chief may not play well with others, but if the PD called 911 to report a gas smell, he'd have to deploy the sniffer, right? :sweat_smile:
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • PRR
    PRR Member Posts: 76
    edited February 2022
    Maine’s fuel gas detector law partially takes effect Jan. 1
    Business, mercantile, and assembly occupancies have until Jan. 1, 2026 to comply
    By Brittany McHatten Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 7:00 AM EST

    AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - There’s been some confusion surrounding a new law that goes into effect Saturday.
    As of January 1st, certain properties in Maine are required to install and maintain gas detectors.
    TV5 set out to get some answers.
    “Typically in a gas leak, the earlier that you’re made aware of it, most likely the better the outcome’s going to be,” said Adam Vachon, fire inspector for the Bangor Fire Department. “Early detection on this stuff is key.”
    Maine’s fuel gas detector law came about in response to the 2019 deadly explosion at the LEAP facility in Farmington.
    While there’s no guarantee this law would have saved the life of Farmington Fire Captain Michael Bell, it would have given first responders another tool to use while they were on scene.
    “Any time that natural gas or propane gas emits in the air, these detectors will give off a sound,” explained Greg Day, inspection supervisor for the Office of the Maine State Fire Marshal.
    The new law requires approved gas detectors to be installed and maintained in any room where a propane, natural gas, or liquefied petroleum fueled appliance is located.
    “The detector that you’re looking for is going to be the one that’s going to detect the specific gas that’s probably going to be present with that appliance, whether it’s propane, natural gas, or LPG,” Vachon said.
    As of 2022, it will apply to properties including multi-family homes, college dorms, and hotels, among others.
    In 2026, it will expand to include businesses, shops, and areas of assembly.
    “Daycares are not on that list. Believe it or not, most of the people that have called and said, ‘I’m a daycare, am I on that list?’ And we’d say, ‘No, you’re not on that list.’ And most of them would say, ‘Well, obviously, we think the law is that important. We are going to put them in.’” Day said. “Even if you’re not on that list, we certainly believe it is that important to add that to your home.”
    It should come as no surprise that gas detectors are currently in high demand in Maine. As of Thursday, TV5 was unable to find any in stock in the Bangor area. There is the option of ordering online, but Day urges caution before you check out.
    “We don’t want them buying something that is a cheap knockoff and not approved. We’re finding that already,” Day said.
    Fire officials encourage you to reach out if you still have questions.
    Anyone who violates the fuel gas detector law faces a fine of up to $500.
    The only method of enforcement included in the legislation is when a sale or exchange of property is completed. A certification of compliance, or intent to comply, is required at closing.

    Copyright 2021 WABI. All rights reserved.