Local Gas Saga

About a year ago, we started noticing a gas smell around the house. It got stronger and stronger so we reported it to our gas supplier.

Not much happened.

The smell didn’t improve, so we reported it again. The routine: they would send out a contractor, who checked our gas meter – ensured it wasn’t a leak on our side of the dividing line and reported back to HO.

Then nothing happened.

Repeat several times. Months pass. Welcome summer 06.

Kylie gets a little pissed off. Abuses poor call centre bloke who says I need to get the name of the gas supervisor. Which I do. Report fault. Ring supervisor every day. (and annoy him).

After several iterations of the above, the gas company find 4 leaks in the street – which are repaired.

Still gas smell is overwhelming.

Report problem.

Gas company think we are being whingers. (Why would I complain about a gas smell if I couldn’t smell anything… I have PLENTY of better things to do!!!) (To top it off he also suggested that the gas company’s best course of action is to cut off gas to the street…. he may have been joking… but I WAS NOT LAUGHING!!!)

Contractor comes to house (annoyed that he has been here several times before). After conversation, climbs on roof and comments that the smell is like the gas is from the sewer (apparently gas smells different when it comes through the sewer.)

Report to gas company – who tell us to contact the water company (?? how do they fix a gas leak).

Call water company. They send a person within 1 hour and discover a blocked sewer/storm water drain in the street – which they immediately unblock. (Great service I have to say)

YAY!!! We think. But alas – still a gas smell through the air conditioning (we have had 38 degree heat for the past few days!!!)

Kylie, (still pissed off) sends email to energy ombudsman.

Today: we have a plumber replacing a toilet. Once he pulls out the old toilet, husband and said plumber nearly keel over from gas fumes in the house. Plumber agrees to hang around to speak to gas people (after hearing our woes). Also invites the local Mayor (his boss) to visit our house. Visit perfectly timed with gas company visit “oh shit – that’s the mayor”. Also, husband receives a perfectly timed call from the Ombudsman, (in front of gas company) asking for a report. And guess what!!! After a year of stinky house… the gas company find a major leak into the sewer… but not after accidentally cutting our phone line!!! in the process. (Hurry up Telstra).

Our house no longer stinks…. but you can’t call us, we can’t call you, and we can’t cook dinner. (thank goodness for electric hot water).

At least I will breathe easy tonight 🙂


One response to “Local Gas Saga

  • Steve Dsear

    It can be amazingly difficult to convince gas services of a leak. Some time back a developer cut through our gas main.

    I called the gas emergency line only to be told to leave my house immediately. The woman on the phone was reading a script and would not listen. Turn off your gas at the stop valve by your meter, and leave you house. I said what was the point, my house gas was not leaking!?

    This was madness, I had to walk past the gas leak, and all the gas and was very nearly sick from the smell and the noise was deafening.

    Unless I did as I was told (ie put myself in more danger) she said she would not send anyone and assume my call a hoax she said.

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