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Natural gas safety after the flood

After a flood, many natural gas appliances have received water damage.  The following information is a review of the many dangers involved with flood damaged natural gas appliances.  Please review the safety steps in reactivating natural gas appliances.  Jo-Carroll Energy will not reactivate gas services unless we can assure your continued safety.

What to do with appliances after a flood

Gas appliances that have been subject to flooding or other damage must not be reactivated or reconnected to the natural gas supply until a person acceptable to Jo-Carroll Energy – such as a licensed plumber, HVAC tech, gasfitter, or certified appliance repair personnel – has inspected the appliances. Because flood water can cause structural damage to the building and appliances, all gas piping must be checked and pressure tested to ensure the system is gas-tight.

When reactivating appliances, a qualified person must follow these safety tips to ensure appliances are safe for continued use:

  • Carefully inspect all appliances and components that were submerged or water damaged.  Selected parts (i.e. safety valves & controls) must be replaced in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Remove all burners and clean as required.
  • Examine burner manifold and orifices to ensure they are clean and free of water, dirt and debris.
  •  With burners removed, check burner compartments and heat exchangers.
  • Inspect all electrical components to ensure that they are clean and dry.
  • Visually inspect appliance vent system, check vent connectors and the vent or chimney.
  • Check all dirt pockets in the gas piping system for water and debris.
  • After replacing burners, start the appliance to check safety controls, such as gas valves, operators and high limits for proper operation.
  • Conduct a turn-down test to ensure safe operation.

Appliance control manufacturers recommend that a trained service professional replace all controls that have been submerged in water. Manufacturers warn that these appliance controls will corrode over time, causing gas valve failure and dangerous natural gas leaks. Appliance controls are often at the bottom of the appliance, and the appliance itself does not have to be submerged for appliance controls to be submerged. If water has reached the appliance controls, please follow these safety manufacturer guidelines. 

Examples of an appliance gas safety valve

                

If you suspect a gas leak

Don't light a match, use any electrical appliances, turn lights on or off, or use the phone. These may produce sparks.  Leave the area immediately, and call Jo-Carroll Energy at 800-858-5522 from a neighbor’s phone.  Give dispatch a phone number that you can be reached at.  When the gas technician arrives, he will need access to your home to conduct a leak investigation.  If you are not available the Gas Technician will lock off your service and conduct an outside leak investigation.  You will need to meet with the Technician before your service will be reactivated.

NEVER STORE FLAMMABLE MATERIALS NEAR ANY GAS APPLIANCE OR EQUIPMENT.

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