By David Wade

BOSTON (CBS) – Have you had the phone call? The phone call where the gas company says it wants to come to your home and inspect your meter for corrosion.

I got the call for months. Like most phone numbers I don’t recognize, I ignored the calls. After all, I’m fairly busy and I really don’t want to make time for someone to come inside my house and probably find that I need some expensive new piece of equipment. No thanks. I know, not very welcoming on my part.

Well, then right before my eyes, live on TV things started exploding and bursting into flames in the Merrimack Valley. A few days later, I thought “you know, maybe I will call about that gas inspection.”

gasmeter Uptick In Calls For Home Gas Inspections After Merrimack Valley Explosions

Eversource worker inspects gas meter (WBZ-TV)

I wasn’t alone. Even though Eversource had nothing to do with the incident in Merrimack Valley, the gas company’s phone was ringing off the hook. Everyone who had ignored the phone calls about the routine inspections suddenly wanted the inspection.

For my inspection, I brought along our cameras. Eversource agreed to allow us to record it. After all, Eversource wants people to have the inspections. They own your gas meter and they want to make sure they’re not corroded or leaking. In fact, federal and state regulations say the gas companies have to inspect the equipment every three years. If the equipment is outside of your home, they can do it without you.

A longtime technician named Paul Eisan came to my house with some Ghostbuster-ish wand checking for leaks around my meter in the basement.

gas Uptick In Calls For Home Gas Inspections After Merrimack Valley Explosions

Eversource worker inspects gas lines (WBZ-TV)

“This is a combustible gas indicator. It is sniffing air and it tells me if there is any gas in the air.”

Eisan told me, “We’re not here to create work or bill you for something you don’t need done. We’re here to keep you safe.”

The early theory on what happened in Merrimack Valley is an overpressurized line. This kind of inspection isn’t going to save you from an overpressurized line. But they will find any corrosion at the meter and even a trace of a gas leak.

Eversource spokesman Mike Durand told me, “We have varying degrees of success getting people to return the calls. We’ve certainly seen an uptick since what’s happened in Merrimack Valley.”

In the end, my gas meter was just fine. And now I don’t have to worry about getting any more phone calls. For three years anyway.

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