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kent_island_sailor

Exploding houses in Andover Mass

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How about old pipes not replaced to keep the profits up.

With the disclaimer that I worked for NIPSCO, the original company before they bought the Columbia utility company.  I was laid off in 1985 and hold 6 shares of their stock.

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One of the gas company workers called into a radio show I listen to and they said it was some type of over pressure situation. Most residential installations lack the relief valve assembly that commercial installs are required to have. This means that the over pressure reached the in home appliances and possibly caused leaks leading to the explosions. Again this is all some guy calling in to a radio show so take it for what it's worth. He said he had been out inspecting homes since last night. He also said no one is sure about what caused the over pressure to the system. He sounded legit but have no experience with this beyond attaching the propane tank to my backyard grill and I have screwed that up a couple times.   

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my wife has been following this story as she grew up on that area. pretty scary stuff.

one thing I've never understood is why a house blows up when the line outside the house is cut. it doesn't make sense to me. when the line is cut, the pressure difference should cause the gas to flow out of the house, yet the house goes boom. years ago co-workers and I couldn't figure this out so we called the gas company to ask for an explanation. they couldn't explain it to me either.

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32 minutes ago, derelicte said:

my wife has been following this story as she grew up on that area. pretty scary stuff.

one thing I've never understood is why a house blows up when the line outside the house is cut. it doesn't make sense to me. when the line is cut, the pressure difference should cause the gas to flow out of the house, yet the house goes boom. years ago co-workers and I couldn't figure this out so we called the gas company to ask for an explanation. they couldn't explain it to me either.

In general that is not the case. Usually when a gas line is "cut" it is by some machinery digging and the ensuing leak stays outside. Nothing happens in the nearby houses.

On the other hand an underground line can break due to age or other reasons, if it is directly under a house the gas can perk up and seep into basements or crawl spaces. Usually there is an ignition source there. This happened in Firestone Colorado a couple years ago killing a couple guys. 

Overpressure is a whole other animal.

Disclaimer, responded to countless gas line calls over the years.

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34 minutes ago, bmiller said:

In general that is not the case. Usually when a gas line is "cut" it is by some machinery digging and the ensuing leak stays outside. Nothing happens in the nearby houses.

On the other hand an underground line can break due to age or other reasons, if it is directly under a house the gas can perk up and seep into basements or crawl spaces. Usually there is an ignition source there. This happened in Firestone Colorado a couple years ago killing a couple guys. 

Overpressure is a whole other animal.

Disclaimer, responded to countless gas line calls over the years.

Taking the trash out one Sunday night in the rain, and I notice the crack in the sidewalk has something bubbling through the rain water.  Get down close, and sure enough it smells like gas. Called the gas co. immediately, and it was coming out pretty good.  We were allowed to stay in our house while they dug it up and fixed it.

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4 hours ago, DarthSailor said:

One of the gas company workers called into a radio show I listen to and they said it was some type of over pressure situation. Most residential installations lack the relief valve assembly that commercial installs are required to have. This means that the over pressure reached the in home appliances and possibly caused leaks leading to the explosions. Again this is all some guy calling in to a radio show so take it for what it's worth. He said he had been out inspecting homes since last night. He also said no one is sure about what caused the over pressure to the system. He sounded legit but have no experience with this beyond attaching the propane tank to my backyard grill and I have screwed that up a couple times.   

This is what happened near SFO a few years ago.  BIG Gas Company Fuck Up!

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Bruno_pipeline_explosion

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4 hours ago, derelicte said:

Seepage secondry to an unground breach. 

Exceedingly rare when you think about the number of homes served by gas lines. And the number of lines damaged every single day by crews digging, trenching or boring.

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This happened to my aunt's home and a couple of surrounding homes in Union, NJ a number of years ago

 

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Yet when the guy tried to blow up his house in Indianapolis a few years ago it took a couple tries.   He just disconnected a stove line the first time, after putting the dog in the kennel.   Nothing happened.   He called the gas company and learned about a step down regulator that detected the loss of pressure and shut off the gas.   He succeeded in killing a couple neighbors the second time, after eliminating it,   

 

https://www.cnn.com/2012/12/21/justice/indiana-home-explosion/index.html

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2 hours ago, bmiller said:

Seepage secondry to an unground breach. 

Exceedingly rare when you think about the number of homes served by gas lines. And the number of lines damaged every single day by crews digging, trenching or boring.

Yeah, incredibly rare, it amazes me how rare, but probably because of the skunk oil stuff that they add to the gas now? Back before the skunk oil, what you described blew up a school in Texas and killed nearly 300 students and teachers inside.

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13 hours ago, mikewof said:

Yeah, incredibly rare, it amazes me how rare, but probably because of the skunk oil stuff that they add to the gas now? Back before the skunk oil, what you described blew up a school in Texas and killed nearly 300 students and teachers inside.

When was this?  Mercaptans (the 'smell' added to natural gas) has been an additive for a long time.

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37 minutes ago, bplipschitz said:

When was this?  Mercaptans (the 'smell' added to natural gas) has been an additive for a long time.

The New London school explosion, 1920s sometime. I might be misinformed, but I thought that explosion was so bad, it spurred the idea of adding skunk oil.

The crawlspace of the school was so inundated with gas, it had been leaking for a long time, but without that smell, nobody had a clue until the whole building blew up.

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It's methyl mercaptan. Not skunk oil. Come on mikey, you're an engineer or something.

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couple years ago on the other side of Rt 128, a crew was digging around a gas line and hit it, causing an explosion.

The backhoe operator was killed instantly.

This was 8 am and the first job of the day.

The explosion was so violent, it blew up the house next door.

The owner of that residence was on the 2nd floor taking his morning dump when the next thing he knows he is flying through the air still attached to the toilet.

WTF moment for sure.

Broke some bones and got some burns, but survived.

Not the way I would want to start my day...

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1 hour ago, Foreverslow said:

couple years ago on the other side of Rt 128, a crew was digging around a gas line and hit it, causing an explosion.

The backhoe operator was killed instantly.

This was 8 am and the first job of the day.

The explosion was so violent, it blew up the house next door.

The owner of that residence was on the 2nd floor taking his morning dump when the next thing he knows he is flying through the air still attached to the toilet.

WTF moment for sure.

Broke some bones and got some burns, but survived.

Not the way I would want to start my day...

Was the neighbor named Cleveland?

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10 hours ago, bmiller said:

It's methyl mercaptan. Not skunk oil. Come on mikey, you're an engineer or something.

See, in the old days, they didn't need to mess around with that methyl mercaptan, they just shoved an ol' wagon-killed skunk in the main gas feed. That skunked up the lines good for months. Then Allied National Chemical puts a bug in the gas industry's ear, "hey, that old dead skunk ain't hygienic, you can by methyl mercatan from us for only 20,000 times the price of the dead skunk.

And those were big times in gas back then, the expense of the chemical over the dead skunk, actually MADE Old Man Genteson want it more! He bought barrels of the stuff. And ever since, all the dead skunks just accumulate on the highways, because Allied National Chemical killed the market for dead skunks. Who in the hell wants them anymore other than a bunch of dogs?

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17 hours ago, Foreverslow said:

couple years ago on the other side of Rt 128, a crew was digging around a gas line and hit it, causing an explosion.

The backhoe operator was killed instantly.

This was 8 am and the first job of the day.

The explosion was so violent, it blew up the house next door.

The owner of that residence was on the 2nd floor taking his morning dump when the next thing he knows he is flying through the air still attached to the toilet.

WTF moment for sure.

Broke some bones and got some burns, but survived.

Not the way I would want to start my day...

"I'll never eat refried beans again!"

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15 hours ago, mikewof said:

See, in the old days, they didn't need to mess around with that methyl mercaptan, they just shoved an ol' wagon-killed skunk in the main gas feed. That skunked up the lines good for months. Then Allied National Chemical puts a bug in the gas industry's ear, "hey, that old dead skunk ain't hygienic, you can by methyl mercatan from us for only 20,000 times the price of the dead skunk.

And those were big times in gas back then, the expense of the chemical over the dead skunk, actually MADE Old Man Genteson want it more! He bought barrels of the stuff. And ever since, all the dead skunks just accumulate on the highways, because Allied National Chemical killed the market for dead skunks. Who in the hell wants them anymore other than a bunch of dogs?

 

,, kinda fits here 

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