Our new home has a furnace and hot water heater run by a propane tank at the bottom of a pretty significant hill. Unfortunately, the previous owners of the house essentially let the tank run dry. According to the fella we begged to come and fill our tank this week, the lady who owned our house previously called them about a month ago and only put enough gas in the tank to ‘get by’ until the house sold. Mystery of all mysteries, the tank runs out of gas the day AFTER we buy it. Really?!?!
Talk about frustrating. This wouldn’t have been a huge issue except for the fact that it’s been snowing this week…at the end of March…the beginning of Spring…hello Mother Nature… Anyway, it’s been below freezing the past several nights, so the house has been pretty darn cold. Again, this wouldn’t have been a huge issue except that when the fella from the gas company came by to fill the tank, there was an issue with lighting the pilot lights on the appliances. Originally, we thought the issue was with the fact that the tank is sitting at the bottom of a hill a significant distance from the house. After about 30 min. of trying to move the gas up the hill to the appliances, our gas guy went to the regulator and bled the line from there. No problem. Wrong!
After bleeding the line, he still couldn’t get any gas to the furnace or the water heater. He worked on it and worked on it to no avail. After about 2 hours of trying to get gas to the appliances, he deems the issue NOT their problem, and suggested that I call someone to come and repair the line. The assumption was water had gotten in the line and frozen. I asked who I should call, to which I received “I don’t know.” Umm…again, Really?!?! Thank heaven for my dad and his infinite knowledge of everything! I’m not sure who I would have called for a gas line issue. Certainly wouldn’t have thought to call a plumber.
I called several people of varying knowledge levels around propane gas lines. We finally settled on the guy who installed the furnace (thank God he left his contact information on the outside of the furnace). Two and a half hours later, Bob (the furnace guy) came by and checked out the line and tried to start the furnace and water heater. No luck there either. He tells us that we need to call the propane company back again. Grrr…come on guys, someone just fix it already!
By this time it was 8:30 p.m. and there was no way we would be able to get someone out to the house in the dark and cold and wet to work on the gas line at that time of night. My husband opted to turn the water off and drain the pipes so nothing would freeze (by this time, we were out of heat for 2 below-freezing nights and counting). The next morning, my fabulous hubby called the gas company again and requested someone come out to the house. While he had to go hang out in a cold house for several hours before someone came by, a repair person did finally show up. He again checked the regulator and determined that the issue was not with their part of the gas line. However, this man took pity on us and continued his investigation finally determining that there was indeed water in the line somewhere between the regulator and the appliances in the house – technically the plumbers problem. BUT, instead of telling us to yet again call a plumber to correct the issue, this wonderful person took it upon himself to help us out. He blew out the line, and we now have … wait for it…hot water AND heat. Yay!!
Anyway, all this was to say PLEASE, if you’ve been called to help someone out, please make a little extra effort to try to remedy what you can. In this situation, there was no reason to have had to go back to the gas company again, when they could have resolved the problem to begin with.