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Thread: got called out at 9pm because customers house smelled of propane after clean/check

  1. #21
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    Sounds like another youngster that wants the easy way out. Check, double-check, and then check again.

    Almost every single time you have a shadow of a doubt after you leave a job, you most likely will be coming back to for something stupid. Remove that doubt and be 100% sure all is good before you leave.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehsx View Post
    Been there, done that.
    Old guy told me once “sure I make mistakes, just fix them before anyone else finds them”. Long dead York B/W factory engineer, one of the most abrasive, non pc persons I’ve ever worked with. Always tried to do that by checking all possibilities. Never assume, but nobody is perfect.
    Old guy told me, if your not making mistakes, your not doing a whole lot of work.

  3. Likes Paul Benkovitz liked this post.
  4. #23
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks guys. Yeah im a young dude. Newer to the trade but i try to learn as much as i can even beyond my formal education. And that includes talking to other pros like you guys

    So i decided soaping every joint from here on out is a great insurance policy against callbacks. Ive done it on every house since that night. Peace of mind.

  5. Likes theoldscroll, Mimbler, pecmsg, Nuclrchiller liked this post.
  6. #24
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    That is a great attitude adjustment within 24 hours.

    Having walked thru quite a few house fires as a firefighter it is just devastating, even without any injuries.
    The loss of everything someone has owned....family mementos etc...let alone all possessions, will bring anyone to tears. You think about your own home. Or if loss of a child it is one of those moments where you really want to go home and hug your wife and kids.

    Visit one of these sites and it will put things in perspective.

  7. #25
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    Also....... 9 PM hurts?
    As a small department we have gone out at 3 AM, freezing weather, You stay warm only because the water has frozen on your bunker gear and although you can hardly walk, the wind is blocked. But ice...hoses freeze if you do not keep some flow....you fall down everywhere.

    So 9 PM to tighten up a union is a walk in the park.

  8. #26
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    Thread Starter
    I didnt mean to sound like there was an attitude. It was more bewilderment that I had to soap every single joint on the gas line. But once i thought more about it, it makes sense. Either do it or you dont, but i cant complain about callbacks if i didnt bother. So its just gonna have to be the way it is from here on out.

    Just today i correctly diagnosed a bad heat exchanger in a carrier infinity 96 (2010MY). CO coming out the flue was so high it shot my analyzer into the thousands within 10 seconds. I pulled that outta there and shut it all down. The flue gas had that awful stench too.

    I swapped it in today, which was a hell of a job but i stayed focused and got it done in 3.5 hours. Employer had allotted me 4 hours for the gig. I retested the flue, now it smells normal and the CO is at 19ppm. I feel so much better for that customer, they had no ****ing idea.

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  10. #27
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    you didnt miss much by not seeing the debate either!

  11. #28
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    Stick your schnauzer in there and sniff real good. Prolly stupid...but I used to run a light stick flame around the joints after a good sniff test, just for peace of mind, and not having to mess with soap.

  12. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoobie View Post
    Stick your schnauzer in there and sniff real good. Prolly stupid...but I used to run a light stick flame around the joints after a good sniff test, just for peace of mind, and not having to mess with soap.
    That technique is frequently used. However how do you detect a leak that won’t support a flame. SOAP
    Don’t worry customer will smell it.

  13. #30
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    1) Typically, manufacturers don't honk down on any fitting downstream of the gas valve, because that piping is always open at the orifices, and as we know, gas pressure in the manifold is very low compared to the entry pressure.

    2) Pipe unions need to be tight. A few years ago I was called to a store that had reported a gas leak to the utility, and they came by with a curb key and turned off the lateral. I met the gas man at the store and had him turn it back on, and I quickly found bubbles all around a union at the meter (in a mechanical closet) which surprised the gas man from the look on his face. I got the pipe wrenches out and made it stop bubbling in short order. So, yes, you need to check any piping that you have disturbed.
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  14. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    1) Typically, manufacturers don't honk down on any fitting downstream of the gas valve, because that piping is always open at the orifices, and as we know, gas pressure in the manifold is very low compared to the entry pressure.

    2) Pipe unions need to be tight. A few years ago I was called to a store that had reported a gas leak to the utility, and they came by with a curb key and turned off the lateral. I met the gas man at the store and had him turn it back on, and I quickly found bubbles all around a union at the meter (in a mechanical closet) which surprised the gas man from the look on his face. I got the pipe wrenches out and made it stop bubbling in short order. So, yes, you need to check any piping that you have disturbed.
    I would disagree only with mfg's don't over tighten. Gas valves onto the manifolds don't come off with channel locks. I think the guy that puts those on is big and really likes his job.

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  16. #32
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    Most manufacturers don't do anything haphazard. I would bet they have a minimum torque spec that has to be met, then after that the valve has to be in a specific orientation in relation to the manifold so the valve then needs to be tightened to the position which would explain the difference in tightness one valve to the next.

  17. #33
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    I always soap the unions and fittings when I check over a furnace as well as any other appliance in the room. It only takes seconds and costs pennies and the peace of mind is worth it. I don't know how many times I've cleaned a furnace but also found a small gas leak on the water heater as I was packing up. Besides just covering my ass the customer sees that I fixed a gas leak free of charge and the next time they need something they will remember that. So keep a bottle of soap in your service bag.

  18. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by theoldscroll View Post
    I would disagree only with mfg's don't over tighten. Gas valves onto the manifolds don't come off with channel locks. I think the guy that puts those on is big and really likes his job.
    X2. I find it's easiest to put the manifold in a vise to get the valve out.

  19. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by YOUNG FROSTY View Post
    Thanks guys. Yeah im a young dude. Newer to the trade but i try to learn as much as i can even beyond my formal education. And that includes talking to other pros like you guys

    So i decided soaping every joint from here on out is a great insurance policy against callbacks. Ive done it on every house since that night. Peace of mind.
    Don't forget to run the system before leaving for a last check. If you're turning it off, do it by the thermostat. This ensures the disconnect isn't out and the system is functioning.
    Gas is VERY important to triple check.

    If you haven't already, try to develop a procedure for your calls. If you do a procedure out of order you're more prone to mistakes, especially when you're a newer tech.

    I hope you find this forum a huge benefit to your career, as most all of us here have. Kudos to you for your honesty and taking the bashing, it's all part of the growing pains.

    Stick with us, and you'll be the envy of your co-workers. Some, may hate you because you learn so much in such a short time.
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing" Socrates

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