Really glad I have wood heat right now.

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gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
529
Central MA
Went down to the basement the other day and smelled gas. Big time. I ran outside, shut it off just past the meter, aired the place out, then started poking around. Narrowed the leak down to an inaccessible section of gas line that goes under the house toward my furnace in the back (I have 2 separate furnaces). The pipe probably rusted out due to moisture but I can't see anything under there.

Thankfully that line has a dedicated shutoff so I can still have hot water. I called the plumber about re-piping, told him I hate that it runs through a crawlspace and we talked about re-routing it through the attic since the furnace is in the attic anyway. Big job. He's not sure when he can get to it but might be a month or two. This whole thing makes me really glad I have another source of heat I can rely on going into the fall since it looks like the furnace is out of commission for a while.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,507
South Puget Sound, WA
Oh boy. I am so glad that you got to this in time. Gas is not to be fooled with. Stay safe.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,840
Iowa
Natural gas or L.P.?
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
529
Central MA
Natural gas or L.P.?
Natural.

I had been mildly concerned about that pipe ever since we bought the house, knowing that it was in a damp area and I couldn't inspect it so it was probably rusty. But it was one of those, "I should get that replaced sometime" things. I didn't expect it to fall apart on me quite so soon.

I used my gas meter to clock the leak rate at around 1.5 CFH. By comparison the pilot on my water heater was using about 0.25 CFH. So, that's a pretty sizeable leak that just randomly appeared.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,840
Iowa
I was thinking about your overhead supply line relocation as being a possible concern. L.P. will sink after leaking. In a overhead location it would have to sink past every light fixture/switch/oven,stove etc. Sounds spooky. Nat. gas is lighter than air supposedly. Not sure if I'd want either overhead except for the required short length servicing the attic mounted furnace. I am simply not used to attic furnace setups in my area. Interesting food for thought I suppose. Good luck!
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
529
Central MA
Well, TBH, I don't like the attic furnace anyway. It's a stupid setup, the heat pockets at the ceiling while the floors are cold. This is what the previous owner installed in 1990. Luckily I don't use it much because we burn wood.

I was thinking if I install a new gas pipe it had better not leak anywhere, whether it's in the attic or the basement. The attic is better in my view because it won't corrode and it will be accessible. The attic is also vented with a ridge vent (yes, furnace and ductwork are in an unconditioned, supposedly "cold" attic, don't get me started)