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Old 02-14-2016, 08:44 AM   #1
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No heat......

It appears that with single digit temperatures that natural gas lines can freeze, or rather any water in the lines will freeze. No gas, no heat. Woke up it was 62 in the house and furnace was showing error message. I called the plumber but then noticed the gas company was down the street. They came up and verified, no pressure.
Here I thought I had back up heat with my gas fireplace in case of losing power, DUH, never crossed my mind that we could lose gas due to cold.
Anyway, there are 4 homes without heat on street and they will be digging up the entire street to try and bleed the lines, imagine having to work in minus wind chills. Plus other storm is going to hit tonite, snow, ice.
We may have to go out and turn on the furnace in BlackJack in the yard and sleep there....
Tucson is looking better everyday.....
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Old 02-14-2016, 09:11 AM   #2
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heat

Jim, the gas to our house was off for a few days a couple of years ago due to a cross country pipeline problem and we use gas for hot water and heat. In Tucson heat didn't matter and we could have used portable electric heat but hot showers are something else so we used the Escape shower until it was fixed.
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Old 02-14-2016, 09:37 AM   #3
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Hi Jim- hope you are staying warm! Our power was out in November after a devastating windstorm and we we were without electricity for eight days. Luckily we had a gas fireplace for heat and our campstove for cooking and heating water. I don't envy you without gas!

Our problems were minimal compared to the four houses on our street that had ponderosas crash onto the roof. Luckily no one was hurt but one home is a total loss and is being demolished.

Best wishes!
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Old 02-14-2016, 10:30 AM   #4
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-10 here and our pipes where frozen at least we have heat.
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Old 02-14-2016, 11:03 AM   #5
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They dug up the street and ran heated water thru the line to melt the ice, then they ran air to dry the line, installed a new dry meter as my old one was iced over. Low pressure gas and water do not mix. Supposedly they are upgrading the system to hi pressure lines which would prevent this from happening.
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:06 PM   #6
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20- this morning and frozen pipes. But the good old wood stove keeps us warm.
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:29 PM   #7
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Now I can empathize with those who have had their propane regulator freeze.....
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:30 PM   #8
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What depth is the gas line buried? I'd think it must be pretty shallow for the line to freeze underground.

The condensate drain on my natural gas furnace froze a few years ago in a multi-day single digit temp never above freezing few days (unusual around my parts) shutting down the system. I cut into the drain in the attic and installed a temp 1/2" polyethylene drip tubing drain running into the laundry room sink to get the system back up and running.
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:40 PM   #9
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omg ...sorry to read you have such problems . It is all about the depth of the lines - after all it is not unusual to have temps 10 degrees colder even then your - 23-24 c ( -10f ) , have never heard of a gas line freezing up here . Hope it is quickly resolved for you all .
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:50 PM   #10
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:56 PM   #11
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What depth is the gas line buried? I'd think it must be pretty shallow for the line to freeze underground.

The condensate drain on my natural gas furnace froze a few years ago in a multi-day single digit temp never above freezing few days (unusual around my parts) shutting down the system. I cut into the drain in the attic and installed a temp 1/2" polyethylene drip tubing drain running into the laundry room sink to get the system back up and running.
The gas line is 6 feet down, water and sewerage is another 2 more feet or 8 feet below grade. It is low pressure, about 10-15 PSI and it was full of ice up near the surface. Once they upgrade to 40-50 PSI lines this should not happen, according to the gasman. Even my meter was full of ice, they had to install a new one. Maybe I'll cover the meter next year.
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Old 02-14-2016, 04:33 PM   #12
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Now I can empathize with those who have had their propane regulator freeze.....
Minus 34 here......and the regulator to our propane is.....frozen. It's the tank that supplies our generator in case of a power outage.

The propane company is supposed to decrease the "mixture" during the winter to avoid this.

Our fireplace insert (also propane) doesn't have this problem because it has a pilot light....and propane is always running.
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Old 02-14-2016, 04:37 PM   #13
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You also have my sympathy.....
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:30 PM   #14
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It's all good as long as we don't lose power!

The generator makes power outages civilized.....runs the all important water pump....means we have shower and flushing capabilities.
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:36 PM   #15
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Water freezing in propane plumbing can be a problem, but I've never heard of this in natural gas utility lines before - the local distribution utility must have some problems, such as excessive contamination with water. The pressure gets reduced somewhere in any system, and that's where freezing is a risk, so even the highest-pressure distribution system risks icing at the regulator just ahead your meter, or in the meter itself.

Gas lines are normally buried just deep enough reduced accidental damage to a reasonable level. My utility just replaced the 40-year-old lines in our area (pre-emptively... there have been no problems), and they are only half a metre (18") or so under the surface (with the main line down the street deeper but still above the frost line). That's way above the frost line, so they're in freezing conditions for much of the year here - it is not a problem in a properly designed and operated system.

During the extended large-scale power outages in Ontario resulting from the 1998 ice storms, natural gas service continued without problems. It's unfortunate that furnaces need electricity for the fan and controls, because with that little bit of power gas-equipped homes would have stayed warm. Gas delivery is generally far more reliable than electrical power delivery, which is why a gas-fueled backup generator makes sense.
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:57 PM   #16
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I guess that explains why gas is cheaper south of the border, it has more water in it than you guys do up north.....
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:00 PM   #17
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I'd say part of the issue is age, our neighborhood is over 100 years old as is most of the infrastructure I had surmised to the gas man that since my line was newer (put in 2006) that is was not as deep. Wrong, they said the older original lines, hand dug are about 3 feet, mine was machine dug and 6 foot down. Just a fluke, they are still outside working on another house, long day for them.
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:58 AM   #18
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I guess that explains why gas is cheaper south of the border, it has more water in it than you guys do up north.....


Quote:
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I'd say part of the issue is age, our neighborhood is over 100 years old as is most of the infrastructure I had surmised to the gas man that since my line was newer (put in 2006) that is was not as deep. Wrong, they said the older original lines, hand dug are about 3 feet, mine was machine dug and 6 foot down. Just a fluke, they are still outside working on another house, long day for them.
Yeah, gotta replace that stuff before it falls apart.
Our original (1970's) lines were presumably machine-trenched; the new ones (2015) are directional-drilled, and nothing is as much as six feet down in either case. It might be a matter how deep they need to go to avoid hitting other stuff (power lines, phone lines, water pipes, sewer pipes...).
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Old 02-15-2016, 07:06 PM   #19
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omg ...sorry to read you have such problems . It is all about the depth of the lines - after all it is not unusual to have temps 10 degrees colder even then your - 23-24 c ( -10f ) , have never heard of a gas line freezing up here . Hope it is quickly resolved for you all .
Oh sheesh ....that should read "Is it" Not "it is " are gas lines are never very deep , we always need to call for location markings when we do any digging up here .
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Old 02-15-2016, 07:08 PM   #20
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They are still working outside tonite on another house on the block that has no heat, mine is fine now.
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