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Around the Parish – Sunday, January 22, 2023

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At the end of last weekend’s masses, I had announced that the gas company came to the rectory on Thursday, February 12 to inspect the supply, and subsequently shut off gas service on noon of that same day. For about the past month, strange occurrences were happening with the natural gas, most noticeable with the stove and oven. At the moment, natural gas supplies the furnace, the hot water tank, and the oven/stove. After discussing what was going on with a few professionals, we called the gas company to come out and inspect the problem. After the inspection, they noted that there was a decent leak between the meter and where it comes into the rectory. This caused the gas company to inform us that they were required to shut off service until the leak was repaired.

Read more: Around the Parish – Sunday, January 22, 2023

As soon as we were informed that the gas would be shut off, Maureen, Marge, and I called numerous companies hoping that someone could come and repair the line as soon as possible. Most companies informed us that they did not service gas lines, and the ones that did, said they could not do the work for 2-3 weeks. Luckily, Wilson Excavating was able to take on the task immediately. Their team came out on Thursday evening to inspect the project and formed a plan. The old gas supply line coming from the meter was buried under ground outside the back door of the rectory, and that is now against the new code. With that being said, the plan became to run the new supply line above ground next to the rectory from the meter and into the rectory next to the back door. Once inside, the supply line enters the basement and connects to the rest of the appliances in the house. The aesthetics of the project are not exactly the best, but with the limited amount of time, and the fact that we are in the winter months, the location of the new supply line is the best that we could do at the moment.

Once the new line was connected, the gas company came to inspect and turn on the service. Being that a new line was connected to the meter, the gas company considers the connection is a “new service,” and therefore requires the entire house to pass a 3lbs of pressure test. Not surprisingly, we failed. Almost all of the connections (the oven/stove being the only exception) were leaking during the pressure test. This required us to repair or replace (and in one situation, to remove) the bad sections of the piping.

In total, this very large and unexpected repair took almost 9 hours to repair on Friday, February 13. From shutoff at 12pm on Thursday to return of service at 4pm on Friday, we were without gas for a total of 16 hours. I am very grateful to Wilson Excavating for their fast response and excellent work. The total cost of the emergency repair is still not completely totaled up at the time of writing this column.

This action was one of the major indications something was wrong.

The apparent reason for the fluctuation of the gas is water in the supply line. Due to the leak in the gas supply line outdoors, water was seeping into the line causing a fluctuation in the supply of gas into the rectory. The only way to remove the water in the line immediately after the repair is to now push air through the lines. The other option is to allow the water to evaporate over time.