When the gas service to a home has been turned off by the local utility at a departing homeowner’s request or because of an unpaid bill, reactivating is not as easy as getting the electricity back on. An appointment must be made and someone has to be present to open the house for a technician to inspect for gas leaks and do a safety check of all the gas appliances before permanently unlocking the shut-off valve at the meter.
If the technician finds any safety defects at an appliance, a red-and-white tag is attached to it with an explanation of the problem and the warning “DO NOT OPERATE THIS APPLIANCE.” To be sure that it is not used until repair, the gas line is disconnected and capped off at the appliance. In the photo above a GRU (Gainesville Regional Utilities) technician has red-tagged a water heater because of a loose flue connection at the draft hood at the top of the tank—which would allow combustion gases, including carbon monoxide, to enter the room—and our arrow points to the cap installed at the end of the disconnected line. When there is a leak or other more significant problem, a red tag is left behind and the gas remains locked off at the meter.
Typical problems that we see red-tagged are damaged or missing burners at a range, a vandalized furnace in a foreclosure, severely corroded components, homeowner fixes using materials not approved by a national rating agency for gas appliance installation, and improper use of flexible gas supply lines. After repair, a utility company technician will return to the house, verify the repairs, and reconnect the individual appliances or gas service to the home.
Also, see our blog posts Why would a home have natural gas appliaces but no gas meter? and Why is a leaning water heater a safety problem? and Is black iron gas pipe code approved for exterior (outdoor) installation?
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Here’s links to a collection of more blog posts about WATER HEATERS:
• Are water heaters required to be raised off the floor?
• Can a Temperature and Pressure Relief (TPR or T&P) valve be mounted to discharge horizontally?
• Where are gas water heaters not allowed to be installed?
• Is the minimum size water heater inlet pipe 1/2" or 3/4" according to the building code?
• Can you use a light switch for a water heater disconnect?
• How can I tell if a water heater is HUD-approved for mobile/manufactured homes?
• Can you wire a 240-volt water heater with 120 volts?
• Is it alright to have a shut-off valve on both the hot and cold water pipes at a water heater?
• What is the minimum clearance to doors and windows for an outdoor tankless gas water heater?
• What is required clearance for access and working space in front of an electric water heater?
• Why is the water heater older than the house?
• Does a water heater need a shut-off valve?
• Why should a tankless water heater have an isolator/service valve kit installed?
• When was a gas water heater first required to be elevated 18 inches above a garage floor?
• Can the temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve discharge pipe for a mobile/manufactured home water heater terminate under the home?
• What is the purpose of a thermostatic mixing valve above a water heater?
• Does a tankless gas water heater still work with no electricity during a power outage?
• Why do water heaters have a sacrificial anode?
• What is the difference between a manufactured/mobile home water heater and a regular water heater?
• Does a tankless water heater require a pressure relief valve?
• When is a water heater drain pan required?
• Why is there water in my water heater drain pan?
• What does it mean when a water heater Temperature/Pressure Relief (TPR) discharge pipe is "trapped"?
• Can I leave a gas water heater in place when remodeling a garage into a family room or bedroom?
• Where do I find the water heater in a mobile home?
• Does a tankless water heater in an attic require a drain pan?
• Does an electric water heater require a disconnect?
• Is a catch pan and drain piping required for a replacement water heater?
• What is the difference between a single element and dual element electric water heater?
• What is an FVIR water heater?
• What is a heat pump water heater?
• What is a dielectric union?
• What's that powdery crust on the pipe connections at the water heater?
• What are the most common installation mistakes with water heater replacement?
• Why is my water heater making strange (rumbling, gurgling, knocking or banging) noises?
• What can I do to make my water heater last longer?
• How can I determine the age of a water heater if the serial number is missing or decoding it is impossible?
• How does a hydronic heating system work?
• What is the difference between a regular water heater and a direct vent water heater?
• What is the difference between a regular water heater and a power vent water heater?
• What is backdrafting at a gas water heater?
• How do I determine if a water heater is gas or electric?
• What's the valve with the flip-up handle on the water heater for?
• Why is an older water heater an insurance problem?
Visit our WATER HEATERS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.