At Bellows Plumbing, Heating, & Air two of the most urgent service calls we get are for gas leaks and when PG&E suddenly disconnects or caps a gas meter. Customers are understandably worried and upset when this happens and don’t know what to do next.
When customers think they have a gas leak, common questions are: how will you find my leak, what will be involved in the repair, could my house catch fire, and how much will it cost to repair?
When customers have their gas meter disconnected or capped by PG&E, common questions are: when will I have hot water and heat again, does PG&E or a plumber fix this, and how much is this going to cost me? All of these are reasonable concerns for homeowners with a gas line leak or disconnected service!
What do I do if PG&E shuts off my service?
- PG&E shut off: In the event PG&E caps or disconnects your gas meter you will need to get a permit and complete a full pressure test of the entire gas system before having your gas reconnected. It is usually quickest to have your plumbing contractor secure the permit and order the pressure test for you. Once the job is signed off by the county inspector, the tenant or homeowner needs to call PG&E to have the meter reconnected.
Do I have a gas leak? What do I do to fix it?
- The smell comes and goes: Sometimes the smell of gas will come and go. It almost seems like the leak re-plugs itself. If in doubt, its best to get it checked out by a professional. Sometimes what you are smelling is a back drafting gas appliance such as a furnace, water heater, or dryer. Back drafting is a leading cause of carbon monoxide into the home, so don’t wait get it checked out!
- One, two or three leaks: Most homes have around 5 psi of natural gas pressure. In order to effectively locate a gas leak and to pass the permit-required pressure test, the system must be pressurized to 15 psi. This means that one leak can sometimes lead to the discovery of two or more. In the event that your plumbing contractor seems to be repairing one leak after the other it is often a good idea to consider a gas re-pipe or install shut-off valves to isolate the leaking sections.
- Work with a professional: Leaks behind walls, underground, or in slabs can be located by using compressed air and/or nitrogen gas, a test best left to professionals. Second, underground galvanized pipe can be problematic because it swells and turns brittle with age. This can make cutting and rethreading galvanized pipe difficult, if not impossible. Often times we end up having to replace full lengths in order to find “good” pipe. A professional will have the tools and know how to help you find and fix the leak.
Don’t let a gas leak ruin your day. Everyone enjoys a hot shower and warm house - all things that come as part of a properly working gas system. Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air is the San Francisco Bay Area plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractor you can count on!
Knowing how to properly locate and fix a gas leak or how to navigate the permit process to get a gas meter reconnected is what separates Bellows from other plumbing companies. In Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Marin Counties, Bellows Plumbing, Heating, & Air is the leader when it comes to speed of service, quality of install, and the ability to take on complex gas leak repairs and reinstallations.
Our team is here to serve you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you’d like to schedule a Winter tune up for your heating or plumbing systems please consider calling Bellows at 877-477-7151.
Bellows Plumbing, Heating, & Air services, repairs, and installs plumbing, heating, and air conditioner equipment in: Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Scotts Valley, Felton, Watsonville, Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Campbell, Saratoga, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Tiburon, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, San Anselmo, Ross, Fairfax, San Rafael, Marinwood, Terra Linda, and Novato.