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Fun and Games with gas and electricity

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Post by ferret Sat Feb 19, 2022 8:10 am

No, it's not about price or service. I just thought someone could use a good laugh this morning. This actually happened last fall. I can laugh now but, at the time, it was kind of alarming.    

There are no electrical or gas line inspections in Mexico. There are no licensed electricians or plumbers or gas fitters. When I moved into this house, the fountain in the courtyard was fully functional... with an electrical outlet for the circulating pump on the ground right next to it. Nope. Not gonna use that fountain. I drained it and waited for everything to be really dry and then, very carefully, unplugged the recirculating pump. I filled the fountain with pea gravel and put pots of flowers in it.

Fast forward five years and I'm sitting at my desk with the patio door open. POP, POP, POP! in rapid succession. WTF? I walked out to the courtyard and there was a blue flame sprouting from the bottom of my "fountain" drain hole. Just a little disconcerting. It wasn't a roaring flame and I knew that the gas line goes over my house and that the previous gas line was no longer in use. The flame was getting softer. I finally realized that the old electrical connection in the ground had corroded and ignited the residual gas in the old line that has continued to deteriorate under the courtyard and house. The flame is out. I sighed in relief and thought the problem was finished.

I check my solar panels daily online. I also check the meter to see how many kWH I have stashed by seeing the difference between the two flashing numbers. My saved kWH was going down at a fairly rapid rate and I couldn't figure out why. My solar panels were producing and I hadn't changed anything else. I called the electrician and told him that I suspected that the old corroded courtyard outlet was shunting electricity to ground because I sure wasn't using it. Two minutes after he arrived, he confirmed my fear and fixed the problem. Two holes in the wall later, he has found the wire to that electrical outlet and disconnected it. Problem solved.

Never a dull moment.
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Post by kiko Sat Feb 19, 2022 8:46 am

LOL.  Reminds me when I worked construction and a homeowner called us to finish up a remodel on his house since he had fired the general contractor.  In the kitchen the homeowner turned on the gas cook top, which resulted in the burners spewing water like a sprinkler.  The plumber had cross connected the black iron gas piping system with the galvanized water piping system.
We tore all of the walls out and replaced all of the water and gas piping systems.  A week later the house burned down from a fire that originated in the water heater closet.  The owner asked for our insurance since he assumed our work was the cause of the fire.  I went out to the site and the fire department was there concluding their arson investigation.  They determined that the painter had left a paint can of rags soaked in paint varnish/thinner in the water heater closet.  This was the source of the fire.  They had us pump air into the new gas lines up to 15 PSI to ensure there was no leakage.  The piping held pressure so we were off the hook.   Fun and Games with gas and electricity 1f600  Fun and Games with gas and electricity 1f600
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Post by ferret Sat Feb 19, 2022 9:16 am

I hear ya! I think it's a miracle that more of that kind of stuff doesn't happen in Mexico.
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Post by kiko Sat Feb 19, 2022 9:52 am

Aqui nosotros tenemos muchimo milagros!
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Post by ferret Sat Feb 19, 2022 9:58 am

Verdad!
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