Rusted gas main   Rusted gas piping on a gas meter

 

Rusted meters found during a home inspection.

Rusted meters found during a home inspection.

Rust on gas piping can be perceived as a non threatening issue for homeowners.    This was definitely the case we recently found when performing a home inspection in Skokie Illinois.  When arriving to the Skokie home we noticed a faint smell of natural gas when walking up to the front door of the home.  When smelling natural gas on any home all Pinnacle Property Inspection Services Employees are required to contact the gas company.  The natural gas supplier for Skokie Illinois is Peoples Gas.  The procedure for gas leaks on any property is very important.  Follow these easy steps that are suggested by Peoples Gas to assure that safety issues do not occur.

 

 

 

  • Get everyone out of the house immediately.
  • DO NOT use the telephone, a flashlight or any electrical switches.
  • Go to a neighbor’s house and call your gas company immediately.

 

Gas leaks should not be treated as a normal or safe occurrence.  The Peoples gas company arrived to our Skokie home inspection within 15 minutes which was pretty quick.  Gas was leaking from the gas main meter regulator that was old and rusted and gas piping connections that also were severely rusted being worn from the elements.   This particular gas meter had to have the gas meter regulator replaced which was replaced free of charge.  Unfortunately the regulators fail and require replacement eventually.  The gas piping on the main meter also required tightening and painting.  Keeping the gas piping painted is a must to assure that rust will not occur on the exposed metal piping.   Some gas companies will paint the gas piping on the exterior meter free of charge to assure that gas leaks do not develop and cause additional visits from a gas company service technician.  The Peoples Gas service technician was able to paint the gas meter and the natural gas piping free of charge during the Skokie home inspection.  Luckily the sellers of the home were not home and were not inconvenienced at all while repairs were being performed.

 

If you find yourself in the situation of gas leaks please understand that gas leaks can cause severe issues and should be treated with the utmost urgency to assure that safety issues do not occur in your home that may affect you and your family.  The Skokie home inspection was a clear cut example of how serious natural gas leaks can be.  If you have any questions about  natural gas leaks or any other issue you are more than welcome to contact me at The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.  Thank you for stopping by and stay safe.

 

Jim Kolke

Rusted gas piping on a gas meter

 

 

Last month on a home inspection in Downers Grove, Illinois I was faced with a clients question about his “dream” home’s plumbing system.  This could be a potential costly issue depending on the age of the system and if any upgrades were made. There are basically 3 different systems in a home. The first is the water supply; which gives you your water ( hot and cold). The second system is tied to the third. This system is called waste and venting, which works together but could still operate without the venting but not advised.

There were 2 issues that needed immediate attention at this home inspection in Downers Grove.  Both items were what we call “defective”.  That doesn’t always mean that the repairs will be expensive. In this case,  the repairs would be some what costly due to the severity of the repairs needed.

The 1st item that we found at this home inspection in Downers Grove was the water piping.  The water piping was 87 years old and made of galvanize piping.  Generally galvanize pipe has a life span of 50 years. This homes piping system had lasted longer than the average galvanize system.  The “tell tales” of galvanize piping issues is generally seen at the fitting connections.  There would be pitting and rusting. The more severe the rusting , pitting and possible leaking the more severe the damage to the piping. Galvanize pipe corrodes from the inside out.  In this case, leaks were seen in the pipe walls.  My recommendation was to upgrade  the water piping system to copper.

The 2nd issue found at the home inspection in Downers Grove was a missing condensate drip leg used in the gas supply for the water heater.  This is not a costly repair but a nessecary one to prevent the corrsion of the water heater tank. There is moisture in gas and it needs somewhere to go or it will burn at the burner under the tank and cause the tank to corrode.  By adding a drip leg this will eliminate this concern.

If you have questions about how to find out if your plumbing system is in need of attention you can contact us at www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com  Jim Kolke