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    April 5, 2006

Columbia Gas Service Partners Gas Line Warranty - I received a mailer from "Columbia Service Partners" with an offer to warranty the outside gas lines for $3.75 per month.

I had believed that service up to the meter was the utility's responsibility. The house I leased before I bought my home had a gas leak at the meter. It made all of us very sick - both children and I were treated for toxic inhalation injury at the ER - where the doctor asked if we might have natural gas in the house.

The location of the leak was a matter of heated debate - complete with bringing in a plumber who used soapy water to verify whether the leak was at the pipe AFTER the meter or leading INTO the meter to determine the responsibility for the repair. Only with photographs did the gas company admit their responsibility.This was over the winter 02/03. ??

Does anyone know what the responsibility of the homeowner is with regard to gas pipes outside of the home - before the meter?

posted by katie82640 to home improvement at 11:00 A.M. EST     (16 Comments)


Comments ...


Katie...

While I can not copy and paste information from the CGO site in violation of their TOS, I did find this link...

https://www.directlinkeservices.com/oh/start.swe?SWECmd=Start&SWEHo=www.directlinkeservices.com

While it does not specificaly state that the homeowner is responsible it does make one belive that they are because it explains that you have to have a Certified agent working on your line and it starts out with this sentence...

Do you need to repair or fix the line in your yard?

posted by KraZyKat at 11:33 A.M. EST on Wed Apr 05, 2006     #



Actually the sentence reads...
Does the service line in your yard need repair to fix a gas leak?

posted by KraZyKat at 11:36 A.M. EST on Wed Apr 05, 2006     #



Katie, I wondered the same thing when I got that in the mail. Still don't know the answer.
posted by starling02 at 11:45 A.M. EST on Wed Apr 05, 2006     #



kat - that link didn't work. It returned a page fault error. Gee - I wonder if they're watching us. (cue the Orwell music)
posted by katie82640 at 01:47 P.M. EST on Wed Apr 05, 2006     #



hmmm..... i tried it myself and found the same thing happened. Thats wierd as it worked initially. Try going to the Columbia Gas Site, click on Home ServicesHighlight Manage Your Home Account, click on directlink e-services a new window should open.Then click on the question links in the left hand margin towards the bottom of the page.

I just tried this again and recieved server errors so maybe their site is down or they really are watching us.

posted by KraZyKat at 03:50 P.M. EST on Wed Apr 05, 2006     #



They don't like the paying customer to know too much about their rights.

Columbia Gas and Toledo Edison (First Energy) are both on my list at the moment! Would go back to campfires and candles if I wouldn't wind up in jail for not meeting city code!!!

posted by DoknowDocare at 04:12 P.M. EST on Wed Apr 05, 2006     #



I know two homeowners in as many years who were confronted with gas leaks that required trenching the yard. When these things happen, you'd better keep at least $1000 handy, and $2000 should cover everything possible. But you can do the math. In 30 years, there should be 1 gas leak, so you're paying about $1350 over that period (in constant dollars, which is unrealistically small) ... so you're paying for it, anyway. If it were my money, I'd keep it in MY bank account, not in Columbia's.
posted by GuestZero at 01:07 A.M. EST on Thu Apr 06, 2006     #



kat - big brother is watching :-)

GZ - I'm still not sure. First I'd like to know if I'm actually responsible FOR the line to the meter. I was very sure I wasn't.

And they have got me with their logic. If I faced a 1-4k bill right now it'd be very bad indeed for me - while I have the 3.75 a month no problem.

??? Wish I knew the legality of the thing - I sure don't automatically buy the idea that I am accountable, just because they say so. Or because other people believed them and paid their own. But I can't afford that kind of a repair bill either.

I actually had a dream last night that I caught a man and a woman in Col. Gas uniforms out in my front yard with an axe. That my inner flower child fighting with my middle aged woman isn't it :-)

posted by katie82640 at 08:29 A.M. EST on Thu Apr 06, 2006     #



When we had a problem with our gas line, we were told that we are responsible for everything out to the connection near the street. We had to trench out the street connection and about 5 feet leading into the house. We then had to run a new pvc line inside the existing metal pipe because the metal pipe had broken - had to have a licensed plumber do it, too. Columbia Gas then came out to connect our new pvc pipe to their line next to the street.

However, your question is a good one - just because they say you're responsible out to the street, where do you go to confirm that?

posted by MaggieThurber at 11:38 A.M. EST on Thu Apr 06, 2006     #



I know Maggie - that's the question. Should I reinvent the wheel or does anybody know the code that regulates public utilities?

Has to be the UCC - or ORC. The PUCO is only an enforcment agency I believe.

posted by katie82640 at 02:36 P.M. EST on Thu Apr 06, 2006     #



Katie,
This doesn't really explain who determies what we are responsible for but it does help explain the insurance program.

http://www.pickocc.org/publications/utility_line_insurance.pdf

posted by KraZyKat at 03:51 P.M. EST on Thu Apr 06, 2006     #



$3.75 x 12 mo = $45/yr. Seems like a lot of money to gamble on a busted gas line.
posted by jr_hack at 04:35 P.M. EST on Thu Apr 06, 2006     #



jr hack - it's enough to make me think about it. All of these smaller expenses are adding to a large bottom line issue for me.

I called my neighbor (tip on the sheet you linked, Kat - thanks!) he said 'don't do it' I remember when the Gas Co put a new plastic line in a few years ago.

So I said - well did the homeowner pay for it? (he's 81 and was best buddies with the former owner and his wife) he said - oh no, why would they? It belongs to the gas company up to the meter.

Aughhhhhhh. I read the page link kat - it discusses the issues well, but no reference to line ownership.

posted by katie82640 at 11:24 A.M. EST on Sat Apr 08, 2006     #



Can't figure out who owns the line. I bought the doggone 3.75 a month deal.

{caved}

posted by katie82640 at 02:56 P.M. EST on Tue Apr 11, 2006     #



Katie, did you check on the last time your line was repaired? If it was done within the last 10 years, taking the insurance is very probably a waste of time. That repaired line should last 30.
posted by GuestZero at 05:30 A.M. EST on Wed Apr 12, 2006     #



I asked my neighbor (81 and has lived here since birth). He said I have a new plastic line about 10 years old.

??

posted by katie82640 at 07:34 P.M. EST on Wed Apr 12, 2006     #



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