Upside Down is a Gas Expert
Upside Down has technicians for pretty much anything that’s wired or plumbed.
That includes working with all things gas – LPG or natural gas. We outline what we do on our Plumbing Services page.
There are heaps of good reasons to pick natural gas as your energy source if you can.
It isn’t carbon neutral by any means, but it isn’t as bad as burning coal and it’s still cheaper than electricity. It’s great for heating if you like a good radiant heat source rather than a noisy air conditioner. With gas, you can even have some fake flames to gaze at on a rainy winter’s night. When it comes to cooking, natural gas really does the job because you’ve got more fine control over the heat.
In Hot Water
And new gas appliances have got really efficient, especially hot water.
Hanging on to an aging electric hot water storage tank is a false economy. If you’ve got gas to the house, your best bet is to upgrade to a gas continuous system. That way you pay a lot less on your bills in the future and get hot water that doesn’t run out.
Are there any Downsides to Gas?
Unless your sense of smell isn’t working as it should, a gas leak or an appliance that is on but not lit makes its presence smelt with that distinctive rotten egg smell.
The stronger the smell, the more concentrated it is, so don’t light up until the air has cleared. When you have a gas leak, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The reason gas has that strong smell is so you know immediately that gas is leaking. Way back in the nineteen-thirties in America a school exploded because of a gas leak that no-one knew about because natural gas doesn’t actually smell. Since that disaster, known as the New London School explosion, they’ve always added stuff called mercaptan (the same chemical that helps farts stink) as a warning odour. If you smell it you’ve got to do something – turn off the gas or get someone in to find the leak.
Horizontal or Vertical?
If you’ve got a leak you need to turn off the supply at the meter.
There’s a valve on the main gas pipe. The valve handles point up and down when it’s on, so shift it to side to side and it’s off. Then you can open the windows and doors to let some air flow through. And then you call us.
Bang goes your Buck
Apart from the danger of an explosion or fire, you’re not getting bang for your buck (so to speak) letting gas go to waste.
Sometimes with gas leaks outside the first thing that makes you realise something is up is an unexpectedly large bill.
So what else can go wrong?
If the gas itself doesn’t blow you up, carbon monoxide poisoning can kill you. Every winter you hear stories about people who thought it would be a good idea to use the patio heater inside or have the gas BBQ double as an indoor heater. They pass out and get taken to hospital if they’re lucky. Deaths happen.
Ventilate or Perish
Carbon monoxide’s a byproduct of burning gas and while out in the open the CO disperses easily, inside it can build up to dangerous levels.
That’s why you can’t use those outdoor gas heaters inside. You’ll find that most fireplace style gas heaters have a flue poking through the roof to get rid of the fumes.
Gas fitters these days test for CO levels whenever they put in a new gas appliance. They have to supply a certificate of compliance, too.
Not Perfect, but…
So gas has some hazards, but then so does electricity.
People still get electrocuted. And electrical faults are always being blamed for fires.
All things considered though, gas is a fantastic source of heat for household purposes. It’s reliable and most of all, it’s affordable.