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  1. #1
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    Default Texas GAS explosion

    Did anyone else hear there is supposed to be a new study on gas couplings by ATMOS brought on by the explosion in Wylie that killed some folks? I just got bits of info while the News was on in the back ground yesterday. It sounded like there has been a pattern they have discovered.

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    Elite MGA Home Inspector E&O Insurance
    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Texas GAS explosion

    Jim,

    Have you been by this place in Wylie where the explosion occured. Me and the wife saw it the week later but was run off by the gas company and the police.

    It leveled that place like it was toothpicks.

    There was up to a month ago still glass all over the neighbors roof up to several homes away.

    Its ashame the older couple lost their lives as such. The man who lived there was blown completely from the house and found in the alley way.

    I thought Atmos was claiming the gas had found its way into the sewer pipes and back up into the structure. Not sure though.

    Rick


  3. #3
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    Unhappy Re: Texas GAS explosion

    Star-Telegram.com | 07/11/2007 | Report details house explosion

    from this story, it sound like the Fire Dept. is in big trouble. Aside from the stupidity of the homeowners seeing blue flames flashing in the faces and still lighting cigarettes even when the Fire Dept. told them not to, why in the heck didn't they either call the gas co. or send a fire company to investigate? Just crazy...

    If you have any other specifics on failed gas pipeline couplings, please post here. Is this what you saw?

    Gas companies requested to review pipes | Latest News | WFAA.com
    Thx,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Texas GAS explosion

    Bob,

    Thats not the same house as I had seen, but Cleburne is near not that far away. This house in Wylie wouldn't have been able to have an investigator stand in as the house in the story you posted. The house in Wylie here was leveled, but has a similar story as the other.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Texas GAS explosion

    Bob that second link you posted was the same as what I had heard and was asking about. That is about the house in Wylie that Rick mentioned. This is just a few miles from me.
    The first link was also on the local TV news tonight. The lawyer seems to be making a big deal about the lack of odor and blaming the gas company since it seems to be a problems that is well documented when natural gas looses its artificial odor factor when leached through soil and water. I guess he is trying to get around the stupid factor of continuing to smoke after the fire department told you not to.
    I had not heard of the loss of odor issue until now.
    Thanks for finding the articles.
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  6. #6
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    Smile situation stinks

    Jim, the technical term is "odor fade". Actually, there are numerous odorizing compounds that are selected based upon anticipated conditions. Some are more resistant to leaching out in wet clay soils while others do better against rusty iron pipes and so on. Ethy and methyl mercaptan are two of the most common but not only odorizers. BTW, roughly 15% of the population is not sensitive to mercaptans. Also, in the case with LP gas leaks, the odor would be at your ankles and not your head. Odor is a very unreliable fugitive gas detection method even when you don't have a cold.
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Texas GAS explosion

    Bob,

    I overheard once that gas providers had been accused of cutting down on the amount of the mercaptans injected to the gas to save costs due to its expense. Have you ever heard of such?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Texas GAS explosion

    Rick, I did here a statement from the gas supplier here (TXU?) that claimed they exceeded the requirement for the amount of additive. Of course they also claimed that the odor fade was not an issue.
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Texas GAS explosion

    These stories should not come as a surprise considering our soils around here.
    2-3 years of drought then open the flood gates.
    This may be another thing to consider about expansive clay. That's my theory.

    I have detected 3 leaks (Frisco, Richardson, Allen) at the supply side of gas meters and one in the line to the street (Aubrey), gas spewing from under the sidewalk by the mailbox, this year. All were 1 year warranty inspections.

    Aubrey job I just happened to park at the right spot and when I got out to start the inspection I got a good whiff.
    homeowner and neighbor had notified gas co. weeks ago but they never could find the leak I put an X on the sidewalk with blue painters tape. Utility co. asked me to move my truck and were digging before I finished the inspection.

    My client felt that a notification from a licensed inspector with a gas detector gave credibility and made them take the proper action.
    I don't think so! or I'd at least hope not.

    I know, in Texas, gas is an optional item but I ask if gas utility is present and add a fee for, at the time of booking or when they are calling for a bid.

    Another idiotic TREC SOP thing, trash compactors and in house vacuum systems are required to be inspected when present but gas systems are optional.

    GO FIGURE!

    It's just hard for my little ole pea brain to wrap around how the inspector committee and commission made an entire utility OPTIONAL and these luxury appliances mandatory.
    When was the last time any of you heard of a consumer getting crushed or sucked to death?

    My apologies for the drift but I can hear the snickers now.

    Last edited by BARRY ADAIR; 07-20-2007 at 03:09 AM.
    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Texas GAS explosion

    This first story was from an OCT. story on WFAA tv in Dallas.

    The second from FEB.
    08:47 PM CST on Tuesday, November 6, 2007

    An emergency order issued Tuesday by the Texas Railroad Commission is forcing natural gas utilities to dig up and replace older compression-style couplings.
    The order came after a News 8 investigation that documented explosion cases dating back to 1980 that led to injury or death. The explosions occurred after compression couplings failed.
    While the move will likely cost Atmos Energy tens of millions of dollars, it could also save lives.
    In October of last year, Benny and Martha Cryer of Wylie were burned to death when gas leaked out of a compression coupling, into the their home and exploded.
    Since that time, News 8 found a mountain of evidence that the gas company and the Railroad Commission either knew or should have known about the compression couplings. The couplings use only a rubber seal to hold the gas pipe in place and have a tendency to pull out.
    Earlier this year, the Railroad commissioners ordered that the couplings be inventoried and studied.
    However, a few weeks later, two more people died when gas leaked from a faulty coupling in Cleburne causing another house explosion and killing two more people.
    Tuesday, the Railroad commissioners voted two to one to order an estimated 100,000 unsafe couplings pulled out of the ground immediately.
    The coupings affected are the ones attached to gas meters, typically those installed in during the '50s, '60s and '70s.
    Railroad Commissioner Michael L. Williams said it was his decision to have the couplings removed and hinted it had nothing to do with the News 8 investigation.
    "Over the course of time, you have to go back and look at the system," he said. "You have to go back and look at your regulatory and safety regime. You've got to make improvements to it, and that's what we did today."
    07:42 AM CST on Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    AUSTIN Beginning in October 2006 and within a span of seven months, four people were killed and five injured in three separate house explosions.
    In all three cases, natural gas had leaked out of a particular style of pipe connector that WFAA-TV discovered has a fatal legacy of failure.
    A report just released by the Texas Railroad Commission Safety Division finds that the concerns over non-restraint compression couplings attached to natural gas pipes are justified.
    While only two percent of all reported gas leaks are related to compression coupling failures, TRC Chairman Michael Williams says that's enough to be concerned.
    "We are always concerned anytime there's an incident that causes serious bodily injury or death or damage to property," Williams said. ""We are concerned after it happensm and we are concerned before, in trying to prevent it."
    TRC Safety Director Mary McDaniel spent nine months gathering information about the use of nearly 800,000 compression couplings still in the ground in Texas.
    She determined that there can be a variety of reasons why some of the connections fail, including "third party damage," the most frequently-cited cause.
    A "change in soil ocnditions" was behind the Wiley explosion that killed Benny and Martha Cryer in 2006, according to the report.
    But the common thread in all of the cases is this:
    "Compression fittings failed to provide adequate restraint in all conditions".

    As a result, McDaniel recommends all non-restraint compression couplings still in the ground must come out once they are located. The decision could result in tens of millions of dollars in extra costs for gas companies like Atmos.

    Safety officials believe it's worth the money and effort to save lives.
    Commissioners will vote on those recommendations in two weeks.
    Better late than never.
    Notice how the number of couplings jumped from 100,000 to 800,000?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  11. #11
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: Texas GAS explosion

    This was an old cement finisher buddy of mine when I lived in Steamboat CO.
    Hell of a nice guy. Real small in stature but the man could hold his own in the crete world. Hate to see him go in this way. Sounds like he lived through the explosion. Must not have been pleasant way to exit.

    Charter


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