Roberta X is in the midst of a series called “Life Without Gas,” which began with this particular incident:
Gas company showed up with a sniffer and pro-grade bubble soap (it’s the touch of corn syrup that does it). De nada. So he did a pressure test.
Yep. Pressure drop. He shut off the gas. That’s the bad news.
So I’m out mowing the back yard, and the stuff (actually, the stuff they put in it so you can smell it) hits me square in the face. I call the gas company, and they dispatched a chap who duly traced a direct path from the meter to the house and found no trace of gas. “It wasn’t along there that I smelled it,” I insisted, and eventually the truth of the matter was discovered: the gas line isn’t where your geometry teacher would have put it, but dog-legged like the 12th hole at Southern Hills, if nowhere near as long.
Next step: they dig up the old line, install a new one. (I have been told that the gas meter will be relocated closer to the house.) How long this will take is anybody’s guess, so until then: cold showers.
This was 12 September 2007. Gas service was restored on the 17th. Of course, a weekend was involved.