Natural Gas Lines Require Updating

Gas lines can pose dangers as amply illustrated by the recent explosions in San Bruno. Many people are beginning to worry whether the same problems could happen in their neighborhood. Much of the nation’s infrastructure is badly in need of updating and if you feel your home lines need replacement or you experience a gas problem of any kind, we provide convenient same-day service to help put your mind to rest.

[Homeowners Bear Gas Line Responsibility]

Owning a home carries many responsibilities and among these is the care and maintenance of natural gas lines, a fact of which many people are unaware. Natural gas lines are covered by federal guidelines and regulations and it is recommended that periodic inspections of lines from the meter to the home be conducted, even when underground. Digging can be dangerous and is best left to experienced professionals who have the expertise to perform the service safely and determine whether the piping is in need of repair or replacement.

No repairs will be made without an accurate estimate being offered the customer. You will know what to expect in costs and the amount of time the work will take. Our professionally trained technicians specialize in repairing gas leaks, replacing faulty plumbing gas lines and installing gas lines.

One thing we can do to eliminate your maintenance worries in the future is relocate the meter closer to your home if your have buried gas lines. Once the gas utility approves the change, after we have installed the new configuration, the utility will be responsible for maintaining the lines. If you have buried lines, you are responsible for the following obligations.

Inspecting the lines periodically for leaks
Inspecting the pipes for corrosion if they awe made of metal
Making any necessary repairs or upgrades as needed

We will take care of these responsibilities for you and perform any necessary repairs. It is important to remain vigilant when you use natural gas and if you ever feel there is a problem or leak, you should immediately turn off the gas to your home at the cut-off valve located on the meter. This is usually on a pipe coming out of the ground and attaching to the meter. Turn the valve counter to the pipe to shut off gas. Keep the area around the meter clear of any obstructions to facilitate quick access to the valve. A wrench should be kept handy to fit the valve, and you should consider painting the valve white or a fluorescent color to make finding it in an emergency very easy for anyone to do.

If the procedure has been performed correctly, all pilot lights should go off in the house. When your gas is restored, it is important to re-light all pilot lights or dangerous levels of gas could build up in your home. Many pilots are temperamental or tricky to light. This is a task we are happy to perform for you to ensure your safety. If you cannot locate the cutoff valve, call So Cal Gas Co. and they will send a technician to do the job for you.

[Identifying Leaks or Hazards]

There are a number of ways to determine if you have a gas leak on your property. Check for any rotten-egg smells that are not food-related in your home. If your appliances and gas heat are not performing up to their usual standards, there may be a problem with the lines.

If buried gas lines have not been properly maintained, they may be subject to corrosion and leakage that could have lethal implications. There are a number of symptoms you can look for that may indicate your underground lines have a leak. These include the following.

You smell the distinct rotten-egg odor of natural gas in the area.
Dead vegetation anywhere near the buried line may indicate a leak
If your gas meter moves significantly when all appliances have been turned off, then there is a leak somewhere that needs to be addressed.
After you water your lawn or a good rain, if you see bubbles in the area over the buried line, there is a problem.

If you suspect an underground gas leak, immediately call 911. Do not attempt to investigate further. You may even consider evacuating your family from the home, but someone must be available to direct any emergency or contracting personnel who investigate the problem.

If your lines are found faulty, we can immediately address the situation with dispatch and efficiency. We will shut off your gas and perform the necessary inspections to determine what repairs are immediately required. We will assess whether your system could benefit from complete replacement of gas piping or by relocating the meter closer to you home, so you will no longer be required to maintain buried lines.

Naturals gas lines are in bad shape throughout there country and often have been improperly maintained. This is a problem for cities, utilities and private homeowners to address, as befits their area of responsibility. Faulty pipes that were over the 50-year limit for replacement caused the San Bruno explosion. Nearly two-thirds of the nation’s gas pipelines cannot be inspected by automatic robot technology, called “pigs” that are usually employed by utilities for routine inspections. The reason is that stainless steal pipes, which are highly corrodible, often follow twisted paths that make employing the underground robots impossible.

There’s nothing you can do about that situation, but you can maintain and replace your own lines to help insure your family’s safety. We can providing prompt courteous assistance to install or repair any gas line.

PTSD Isn’t a Post 9/11 Problem

Most would call Bill a hero, but he would vehemently disagree. You see, to Bill, his life has been a series of failures. Since coming home from the Vietnam War, he has been married, and then, divorced. His career has been non-existent, as evidenced by the 39 different jobs he has held in the past half century. His life is a constant battle. He does not feel comfortable inside of his own home, and the insomnia eats away at the rest his body so needs. He does not consider himself ill, as an illness “presumably has a remedy”.

There is no remedy for what ails Bill. Every night since he came home from the war, Bill has done a perimeter check around his house, sometimes two or three times throughout the night. Something, or rather someone, could use the cover of darkness to attack him. He cannot take any chances.

In his journal, Bill describes a scene in which his Army unit was sent to assist a Marine company that had been pinned down inside of a mountain ravine. The reports were not good. There were many casualties expected and their orders were simple: go in firing and kill everything that moves. He describes the limbs of fallen Marines, the smell of the dead bodies, and the screams of war he encountered. Then he drops the mic:

”I CANNOT HOLD BACK THE MEMORY or the tears. I am not in Vietnam, and it is not 1968. It is November, 2010. I am sitting at my home computer, looking at the country of Vietnam on Google Earth. “How long have I been out, back there in my mind?” I wonder. Looking at the clock on the wall, I realize it has only been seconds, maybe minutes. My flashbacks are like dreams. Scenes that took minutes and hours in real time only take seconds to replay in my mind.
“When is this shit going to stop?”

Never, Bill. Never.

This is life for Bill. Not a few moments spread over time. Not a bad dream in the middle of the night. Not a few thoughts of past bad deeds. This is his life. Everyday for over 40 years, the battle that the pages of history say ended on that fall day in 1968, continues to rage on right here at home. Bill is not alone and, yet he has no company. Thousands of war veterans suffer from PTSD and for those in the pre-9/11 era, help is rarely sought.

His wife could no long take the sleepless nights wondering who this man was sleeping next to her, screaming in his sleep ungodly things: Kill them all. Fucking Charlie!

His employers would not put up with the constant fits of anger towards co-workers or the countless times Bill showed up for work unfit to perform his job safely. Alcohol on his breath. Unkempt.

It wasn’t until he ran into a fellow Vietnam veteran at an AA meeting that Bill finally had an answer for why he was the way he was: he was ill. The VA psychiatrists were calling it Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Something his new friend told him had given him some relief was to write down all the things his mind was thinking That meant carrying around a notebook everywhere he went. If it meant interrupting the human resources manager of the factory he was interviewing with to scribble down a few lines, then so be it. Never mind that it might cost him the job (it did not).

Writing became his therapy, as it created a way for the thoughts inside of his head to be let out without the fear of hurting someone. Bill has dreams of turning his notebooks into a book or a blog. Something that he hopes would help his fellow Vietnam veterans find some sense in their post-war lives. Forget that it is 40 years too late.

Better late than never, right?

That is the only way life differs from war.

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