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Friday afternoon sitting here watching Perry Mason on youtube, I heard a loud "clang" from the basement. Got up to go down there and see what had happened.

Looking around, I get the feeling something is not right, but can't figure out just what.

Open the basement door, walk out and turn the corner.

GAS!!! Leaking, spewing, hissing, GAS LEAK at the meter. Gas going out all over the yard.

I have never in my life been so scared. I ran back inside and got the cell phone and got outside, calling 911. I retreat out to the street, not far enough away in case it explodes, but I told the dispatcher I would flag down the fire trucks. They came up the street, but stopped down the road a ways, looking for the address. They finally, it seemed like forever, but was only a few seconds, came on down to where I was.

The fire department rolled up, took a look at it, called Alagasco to send someone out and they knew how to cut it off until the gas company guy got there. They stayed with me until the guy from the gas company showed up, which I was glad for, as I was so scared.

I stayed out at the street. The smell was overwhelming.

Gas company guy came and replaced a section of pipe that had rusted and blew out leaving a hole for the gas to pour out of. He showed me how to cut it off if I needed to, and I now have a wrench that will stay by the front door to do just that.

It scared me so bad that I was shaking so hard I could hardly hold the phone in my hand, and I thought I was going to be sick right there in front of everyone.

I think how easy it would have been for the whole house to have blown up and I get kind of wobbly again. It was hard to go to sleep that night.

If you have natural gas, please go out and check around on your piping and see if you can smell it strongly. See if the piping is rusty, it might need replacing before something bad happens.

The "clang" I heard was the valve on the water heater closing down when it lost pressure.
 

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I calls em like I sees em
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Glad everything came out all right! Good for you for listening to your gut and not just shrugging it off.
 

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Gas scares me. I have a heater, hot water heater and cook stove that are natural gas. Had a oven blow into my face when I was on the lookout. Not been real comfortable since.

Glad it all went ok for you. The what ifs will linger for awhile I'm sure.
 

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This is the reason Dh has drilled me over and over about how to shut the gas meter off myself. Supposed to shut it off, get away from the house and call the gas company, then him. Glad he is retired now, chances are he will be home if something happened leaving me free to panic while he deals with it!
 

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This happened many years ago when I was working in New Jersey - near Red Bank -I had gone home for lunch and on the way saw some men working along the side of the road with a backhoe - after having lunch I was crossing a bridge heading to where the men with the backhoe were working when all of a sudden this house that was across the road from them blew up - man it looked like a bomb hit it - it flew up into the air - came down in pieces and burned all up - there was nothing left of the place - the next day in the paper it said that the backhoe hit a gas pipe - no one was in the house except for a dog - if there was they would have been killed - years ago gas lines came into a cellar of a house underground and if a break occurred somewhere the gas could follow the pipe into the cellar and when a spark set off there was an explosion - now the gas pipe comes out of the ground to the meter before entering the cellar -
 

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we just got back from visiting my mom. When we got out of the car we hit an awful smell of gas. Come to find out, there is a gas leak under the road in front of their house. The gas company is aware and have told them they will be fixing it some time in the next week or so. As a learning experience my dad took my nephew out to the road and poured soapy water on it to show him how gas bubbles. I was more than a little nervous
 

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I don't intend to have no kind of gas piped in my house from a main line, and living close to the highway....if a line is put through the yard I'll leave this house fast as I can get away. A propane tank is dangerous enough
 

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That would be scary!

But sadly, there are natural gas pipelines all across the U.S. that are old. While the gas companies check the large lines by sending a "pig" through them, there isn't much to be done with the smaller lines - other than replacing them - and that costs time and money.

Was the leak before the meter or after the meter? Around here, the gas company is responsible for anything up to the meter. Once it's through the meter and heading into your house - it's your problem.

Kind of scary that the gas company wouldn't have noticed anytime they came around to look at the meter - that the pipe was getting rusted. Of course, many meter are now hooked up that the meter man doesn't have to even look at it, but you would still think every year or two they would send someone around.
 

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That was a close call. I'm glad that you persisted in checking it out, that your fire department came so fast.

Living in earthquake country, I always had a gas shut off wrench because that is one of the most damaging things that occur in earthquales. But mine was clipped to the gas meter so no hunting for it in an emergency.
 

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I don't intend to have no kind of gas piped in my house from a main line, and living close to the highway....if a line is put through the yard I'll leave this house fast as I can get away. A propane tank is dangerous enough
I am kinda glad I piped our gas into the house... there is something to be said for heating and cooking for the price of 1000 ft of buried line and a few fittings. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Michael W. Smith raises a good point. The leak was after the meter, on my side. I am now wondering if the gas company will charge me for coming out and fixing it and relighting the water heater.

A leak in a water line, with the owner responsible for after the meter repairs is one thing, something as dangerous to fool with as gas is another. Who would I have called to fix such a thing? Plus, would they have been able to get here in a timely manner?

I guess I'd better hold some money back for next month's bill, just in case.

All our utilities are "Smart Metered", gas, water, and electric. No one physically reads them unless there is a problem with the computer in the truck catching the reading as they drive by.

I will never look at that meter the same way again. It is right by the front steps, and I will be giving it the stink-eye every time I go in and out. Maybe it will be intimidated and behave.
 

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So glad all is well and you're more informed now along with SAFE..

In my case, if I have gas blowout like that, it's all me... No gas company to take care of it.. All the FD would do is come help me fix it, especially since I spent today under the FD helping shore up the beams under the building..

There is no gas company because I am responsible for everything from the well head to my house.. The lines, the separator, the regulator..
 

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Alice, you did well.

Years ago, I worked for a natural gas supplier as a home economist, going to people's homes after they bought a gas appliance, into schools to demo their gas appliances, etc. I went into a home in Paragould AR and was immediately hit with that smell. It was strong enough to make me sick to my stomach and give me a headache. I asked the lady how long it had been like that and she indicated quite a while but she couldn't be sure. I told her to get her under school age children and go to a neighbor's house, not to make any phone calls, don't even turn off the lights. In the meantime, I would drive immediately back to the office (LOOONNNGG before the days of cell phones) and get a service man out at once. I thought no more about it until a few days later when I got a thank you note from the lady. As it turned out, the service man said the leak was in her original-to-the-home range and as large as the orifice that supplied the range. He impressed on her that ignoring the smell could have cost her family its lives. I kept that note for a lot of years.
 
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