gas leak repair - reasonable/insurance?

pbx2_gwJuly 20, 2012

Hello - my elderly father just informed me last night (we live 150 miles away) that my parents smelled gas in the basement & upon calling a couple of plumbers to investigate were told that the pipe carrying the gas from outside &above the basement ceiling was leaking.

The gas pipe runs from where it is connected from the outside of the house - runs above the basement ceiling - across 3 rooms to the various connections on the other side of the basement. Approximately ~40 ft.

Luckily the ceiling is open in the room where it enters the house & also open where it connects to all its distribution points. But the ceiling is closed in between in the 2nd room (gym).

My father's recount of the plumbers' estimates is that it appears the leak is closer to where the gas entry is & therefore over a non-closed ceiling.

My questions are:

1) The gas company won't take responsibility for any gas issues within the house - is this true?

2) If the leak is indeed over an unclosed ceiling - can the pipe be replaced without tearing down the middle room's ceiling?

3) One plumber is charging $1600 but requires permitting & no replacement of ceiling.

Another is quoting $2100 with no permits & no ceiling cutting. Appropriate for the work or reasonable?

4) Is this where insurance is worth a call?

Would appreciate the community's feedback on this please.

TIA!

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GreenDesigns

No, this isn't an insurance issue. It's a standard home repair, which the homeowner should budget for as part of owning your home. It would be if you'd found the leak by lighting a cigarette and now had a fire claim.

As far as repairing the leak, why is it leaking? Typically, leaks usually are located at a fitting that isn't tightened properly. It's pretty rare for black iron pipe to become so corroded that it needs to be replaced wholesale from stem to stern. With only the information that you have provided, it doesn't sound like a situation for replacement at all, and would not involve any permits nor even more than about $500 worth of time and material. If for some reason the black iron pipe has managed to become corroded enough to need replacement, then yes, $1600 for replacing the whole thing with a permit does sound to be ballpark. No plumber does drywall, and no plumber should ever do a project that needs a permit without applying for that permit. That, and the higher price would eliminate #2 right now.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 3:33PM
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pbx2_gw

Thanks GreenDesigns - excellent help to us!

Yeah strange too that the pipe has corroded - could be - but the house is only 6 years old.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 4:29PM
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millworkman

Something is wrong then, I would bet on a loose joint or something similar.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 8:08PM
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lbpod

TURN OFF THE GAS AT THE METER....NOW!!!
This is a dangerous situation, and I can't
believe it's gone on so long. The gas
company is only responsible up to the meter,
but if they are aware there is a leak,
they will turn off your gas until you get
it fixed. SHUT IT OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 9:37AM
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pbx2_gw

It was turned off immediately 3 days ago upon discovery. Thanks for the concern & feedback.

My dad was able to hire someone reputable yesterday to repair for what greendesign suggested was the most probable cause.

I don't have all the details yet but there will be no permits needed or ceiling cut down & reasonable cost.

Appreciate all your feedbacks!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 12:29PM
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