bdowning

Gas fires in Lawrence/Andover?

88 posts in this topic

So how do you get your money to rebuild your home? Home owners ins is not going to cover this i wouldnt think !and it will be yrs of law suites before gas co will be forced to pay out.

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10 hours ago, nightfighter said:

So let me play devil's advocate here...

 

Could a gas utility be hacked from outside to overcharge the pressure to the system? There have always been discussions about how vulnerable our power grid could be to terrorists.... Could this be the test run?

When I was first seeing this story breaking, and seeing how wide spread it was, I couldn't help but wonder if somehow this was terrorist plot, somehow sabotaging the gas lines. Now I wonder if the randomness of the locations was caused by a contractor/builder who took shortcuts or Columbia gas taking shortcuts.

 

Someone's getting sued, for A LOT of money because of this. Fortunately the fatalities and injuries have been on the low end. If these explosions happened over night when people were home or sleeping, this could have be a huge tragedy.

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Poor kid got crushed to death when a chimney fell on his car. It may be the end of the line for Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, formerly Bay State Gas Company, formerly Springfield Gas Light Company.

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That is sad about that kid just sitting in his car ! 

I thought that at everyhouse there is in the street a prv that does not allow high pressure gas to the house?

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The PRV ‘s most of the times works and sometimes it doesn’t. 

 

I have a feeling now our Fuel code in Massachusetts is going to change because of this.  Plumbing and Gas Inspectors may put an end to ventless regulators. All regulators regardless of low pressure gas or high pressure, residential or commercial  will require vent piping off the regulators to terminate above roof lines. 

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37 mins ago, The Riddler said:

I have a feeling now our Fuel code in Massachusetts is going to change because of this.  Plumbing and Gas Inspectors may put an end to ventless regulators. All regulators regardless of low pressure gas or high pressure, residential or commercial  will require vent piping off the regulators to terminate above roof lines. 

Do other states already do this?

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What is the pressure difference between high and low pressure lines?

 

I saw an excavator hit a high pressure gas line and it was impressive for how loud and how high the dust plume rose. Had to be serious psi.

I wonder if the prv on service lines are only for normal spikes in the low pressure lines. If a high pressure line was cross connected maybe it blew out the prv.

But you'd have to think that mistake must have been anticipated and safety checks installed. 

 

Sounds like a lot of the fires started in furnaces. My guess is high pressure vented through pilot lights and turned them into torches. Another thing I'd expect to be well guarded by safety checks.

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43 mins ago, mikez2 said:

What is the pressure difference between high and low pressure lines?

 

....

This mornings Globe reported that......…..natural gas comes to communities throughout the state via high-pressure mains, often at around 60 psi. From there, it's routed through a substation that reduces the pressure to about a quarter of a pound psi.

Edited by Joe G

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I can only guess that potential terrorists are taking notes on how easily a catastrophe like this can be created. Another sign of the deteriorating infrastructure in the US.

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The Globe article also pointed out an interesting fact, and that is, the mere presence of gas and an ignition source is not enough to cause a fire.

 

Too much gas would make it unlikely to be flammable, as well as too little.  To cause a fire, just the right amount of gas is required, as well as some kind of ignition source which could be a light switch, a water heater, or even a telephone call.

 

"If you have the right amount of gas, every pilot light could become a blow torch", said Bob Ackley, president of Gas Safety USA,  a leak monitoring company in Southborough.    

Edited by Joe G

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^^^

 

it only ignites between 5-15% gas

 

The lack of public response from Columbia Gas is deafening. I am only a town over and was glued to the TV all night. I bet it will be a while for things to return to normal around there

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1 hour ago, bdowning said:

Learned a lot from this incident. Like we arent quite as safe as we think.

I'm not the conspiracy theories type but I worked utilities right along side the gas guys.

I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around a oops that big. It would have to have been a monumental F up of epic proportions. You would have to try to screw it up. 

Elsewise, this would have happened before. 

 

The timing with nat grid lockout and safety investigations is bizarre to say the least.

I get it, different company, still, looking at a map of gas company coverage, those town are landlocked by nat grid. Their lines have got to be connected. 

Just sayin', makes a good plot line anyway...

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The sharks are right on top of this one...….a MA law firm already has stepped in and is requesting affected home owners to call them and become part of a class action lawsuit against Columbia Gas.

 

Columbia Gas is branded under NiSource, Inc. whose stock, surprisingly opened down only 10% this AM.  

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3 hours ago, zak-striper said:

Do other states already do this?

It all depends on local codes and jurisdiction.

2 hours ago, Joe G said:

This mornings Globe reported that......…..natural gas comes to communities throughout the state via high-pressure mains, often at around 60 psi. From there, it's routed through a substation that reduces the pressure to about a quarter of a pound psi.

A 1/2 pound or less in residential. Not all are the same. Anything above 1/2 pound is high pressure gas and those jobs are engineered and stamped. 

Edited by The Riddler

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