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Old 03-08-2007, 09:25 AM   #1
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who should pay my gas bill and furnace repair?


Hi all, Just wondering if you guys think I should eat this or see if Xcel energy should help out! I live in mid west Wisconsin and we have been thawing and freezing during the days. Long story short, my gas meter got iced over yesturday causing my regulator to fail, which sent high gas pressure to the rest of my meter and house. It blow a seal in the back of my meter, causeing a gas leak past the part of the meter that tells how much gas I used, but not before blowing the gas valve in my furnace. So noticed the gas valve leaking on my furnace last night and shut off the gas to the furnace, but the meter was leaking all night long, at high pressure mind you, cusing my meter dials to spin out of control I'm sure. The gas man came this morn to switch out meters and said there should have been an ice shield installed over the meter to prevent this from happening, which he is doing now. The furnace man came and said I need a new gas valve, which I am guessing will run me around 400 to 500 bucks...hopefully not more. My question is... is it my responsiblity to make sure that my meter doesn't ice over or should Xcel have put that sheild over it long before? Do I have any rights on getting charged for all the gas that leaked out into the neighborhood by Xcel for their meter failure. And since the valve blew because of the meter failure, should xcel have to help pay for that? I am not looking for any handouts or free work, but am scared to see what my next gas bill will be. I feel that Xcel should be somewhat at fault here, or am I just blowing smoke? Thanks for any suggestions in advance, and I do appreciate the help.

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Old 03-08-2007, 09:43 AM   #2
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who should pay my gas bill and furnace repair?


Is the meter inside the dwelling or outside?
Did you contact your insurance company?

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Old 03-08-2007, 09:54 AM   #3
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who should pay my gas bill and furnace repair?


The meter is outside, and I did not call the insurance co. my rates would probably go up just for calling them . The furnace man said he thinks the gas co. should be held a liable for damages to furnace, I will be calling them once both service men are finished.
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:01 AM   #4
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who should pay my gas bill and furnace repair?


Who noticed that the gas meter failed?
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:13 AM   #5
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who should pay my gas bill and furnace repair?


How old is the furnace?
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:46 AM   #6
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who should pay my gas bill and furnace repair?


The meter is for YOUR house......................bend over..

I am sure if you call and politely raise hell, they will meet you half way or maybe even assume it all.
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:36 AM   #7
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who should pay my gas bill and furnace repair?


Why on earth did you wait unitl the morning to call the UTIL company? You are one lucky man to have a house there at all. Since you knew about the leak, didn't call anyone to report it...my guess that HARLEYRIDER has your answer.

I once notice a gas leak near my property...the ground was water logged and the gas was bubbling up, the grass was dead. When I called the utility company...they were out in minutes. According to the foreman on site, if an accident occured with-out them knowing about it...it would of been an accident. Since I reported it...they HAD to fix it ASAP, as for the fear of knowing and ingnoring would of made the Co. liable.

So, this very well may be your baby...at best you might get the valve replaced...would bet it won't be 4-500 like you say though.

Good luck...and let us know how it turns out....

RIP
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:56 PM   #8
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who should pay my gas bill and furnace repair?


No Rippy, lol I didn't wait til morn to report the leak, that's when I found out about it...here's the whole story at 10:30 I figured the furnace wasn't working, I went down to inspect and the inducer fan was running and looked in the peep hole and saw a small blue flame and and heard the ticking of the ignitor, as I don't like calling pro's in unless ablsolutly necessary, I shut down the furnace and gas to it...(inside the house) got out my repair books and did some research on the net. Figured I had a bad flame sensor, since I had pilot ignition but no main burner ignition. Without wanting to call for 24 hour emergency service (figured I would get charged double for the trip...or more) I tore into the furnace to see if I could find the problem, and atleast clean the sensor and see what happens then call someone in the morn on normal time. Finished that around midnight and got it all back together...turned on furnace and gas, (no leaks) went upstairs to turn on stat and called for heat. Went down to furnace and gas was pouring out of gas valve...shut off gas to valve and started cussing, figuring I really messed it up. Discouraged now, as I know I don't have the tools to calibrate a new gas valve and would have to call a pro for sure now, I went out side to get 2 loads of wood to fire up my add on wood burner to keep the house warm til morning, another reason I wasn't concerned about calling a pro until morn. Thank God I had that, and still had enough wood for about 2 days of burning. Figuring all is safe for the night...gas and stat shut off with just blower running to circulate fire warmed air through house. (meter is located next to door I go out to get the wood, and never heard or smelled gas). I retired to my newly bought recliner with an alarm set every 1 1/2 hours to stook fire, leaving family peacefully sleeping in master bedroom on second floor...thoughtfully safe and sound. The wife came down about 3:00 to complain of gas smell, and I tucked my tail and explained to her that I think I messed up furnace worse and some gas leaked out from time it took to go from stat to furnace, explained it wasn't much gas and not to worry about it, it should go away. (All the gas was shut off from inside the house not the meter and I couldn't smell gas in basement or first floor) At 7 bells I called the pro's to come over and do their stuff, they sent someone over right away...as soon as I let him in the front door, he said the first thing we have to do is call gas co because we have a leeking meter, which he already turned off at the meter to stop the leak. Ended up a neibor walking his dog stopped him and told him about it as soon as he got out of the truck. And that's when all got fixed. In hind sight, I now know what happened....regulater got iced up and started out sending low pressure gas to furnace...causing main burner not to ignite, (no need to tear apart furnace, but atleast I have a clean sensor now) in the time it took me to take apart and put back together furnace the regulater started sending high pressure to the house which blew my gas valve on furnace when I turned gas back on. Then with gas off inside house pressure was building up in meter and then blew a seal in meter after I got my wood....leaving me clueless to gas leak at meter until the pro came. End of that story....notice why I said long story short in first post..lol

Anyway, so the master bedroom is located on 2nd floor just to the right of meter...and yes I should have heeded the wife's warning. I agree we are very lucky that nothing serious happened...thank God! Had I known the meter was leaking I would have called the gas man asap or the pro..I would have called someone...no matter the cost or inconvenience.

The pro also told me that it would have cost the same whether I called him at 3 in the morn or 3 in the afternoon...good to know.

Just a side note on the gas co. When I calle them and told them that my meter was leaking gas into the neighborhood, and not telling them it was shut off...they said ok, we will write up and order and someone will be there in an hour or two...I told them that there is a strong gas smell and it my neighbors are complaining of the smell, again not telling them the gas was shut off...she said she will right an order and get someone ther in an hour or two, and just wait for them. They did not tell me to leave the house, clear the neigbors that are 15 feet away, no lights, blah, blah, blah. Just said wait for the gas man in an hour or two...showing no concern for the leak. i was surprised at that. I did get the family out after that of course and opened alll windows, until they got here.

I will post some pics of the simple ice shield that was placed over new meter this afternoon. I also now remember that they were out about 2 yrs ago to replace the meter, as they were trying out new meters.

The pro said that they may even send the bill directly to the gas co. Which would leave me to worry only about the gas charge for gas lost to the neighbor hood.
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Old 03-09-2007, 05:36 PM   #9
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who should pay my gas bill and furnace repair?


yikes i would have called the fire depatrment/gas co. and took my family in the car and left...

you lit a large wood fire instead

Remember like they say, you attract more flied with honey than vinegar... call the gas co. and plead your case gracefully

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