Cold and hungry.

wolfe15136March 25, 2008

The gas company was just here this morning. They said that they were doing a survey of the lines outside that they do every 3 years. They said the line to my house was leaking out by the street, and they had to come in to check. They checked the inside lines too. They said the inside lines were leaking too, and shut off the gas to my house. There has never been any smell of gas anywhere.

They won't turn it back on until I replace all of the inside and outside lines and move the meter outside. So now, I have no heat, no hot water, and no way to cook.

I live in Pennsylvania, in a 100 year old house. I've been paying about $240 a month for gas this winter. A little more sometimes. The appliances I'm using date to the 70s and 80s.

So, my question is: do I pay to replace all of the gas lines (estimate from plumber who was just here $4500) or do I go all electric and replace the appliances?

If I replace all of the gas appliances, what do you recommend for heating? The current furnace is forced air, and the cooling is connected to it.

Also, what do you think of those tankless water heaters?

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fix the lines. all electric will kill you. my house was all electric when we bought it. slowly getting it setup to switch to gas, and we have $0.09 per kwh electricity.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 12:04AM
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I'd encourage you to ask these questions in the Building A Home forum here as well.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 6:42AM
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The outside lines are the utilities responsibility around here. Inside you may have a few issues at a fitting or two, but to have to replace all the piping sounds suspect. I've had customers with leaking barrel shutoffs and an elbow or two. It showed up as a result of a pressure test when changing from oil to gas. The pipes that leaked were installed in 1938.
The utility company should be able to pinpoint leaking joints through walls. Just because have leaks doesn't mean you need to replace all the pipes.
When were these pipes installed? They certainly aren't original to the house.
I would contact the utility and question their responsibility for the exterior piping. They should be responsible for everything up to the meter.
When we converted to gas , the utility ran a new plastic sleeve inside the pipe already in the ground and installed the meter at no charge. The original pipe was installed in 1949 when the house was built, but the original homeowners never used gas in the house.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 8:55AM
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So sorry for your trouble.

We had the odor of gas, very slight wiffs, and the gas co said it was a cracked connection and shut off the gas to our heater in the middle of winter on a Friday afternoon. We couldn't get anyone out to repair for 5 days. We had to go out and buy an electric heater to heat only the kitchen where we huddled until it was finally repaired.

We have since replaced the whole unit at the cost of $5000 for gas heat/electric cooling. We're in the Southeast and need that cold air. Here gas is more expensive than electric power but we decided we liked gas heat. Electric heat here is a heat pump and it never seems really warm. The new unit replaced an 18+ yr old unit and has saved us about $50 a month.

I think switching over to electric would cost far more than your plumber's estimate which sounded reasonable. I know it is shocking to be forced to spend that kind of money.

You might want to see if energy savings from new appliances would help offset the expense. Compare the cost of electric and the cost of gas.

Our neighbors were forced to add a gas line to their fireplace just to keep the gas meter and line when the gas co found out they had installed an electric heat pump and switched to an electric water heater. All the houses in the neighborhood have gas and electric.

Gas cooking is also a better choice and if you ever sell it is a plus.

Good Luck! Hope you get this resolved soon.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 11:25PM
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