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June 8, 2014

PUBLIC FORUM: Letters for Sunday, June 8, 2014

Thankful for finding the problem early

I would like to express my deepest appreciation to Brad Wilkinson, of Wilkinson Heating Co., for finding a gas leak in my home that could have been catastrophic. He came to my home to work on an air conditioner condensation problem, but when I opened the door for him, the first thing he said to me was, “I smell gas.”

I could smell nothing. It’s a combination of living in the environment, along with bad sinuses and old age. Brad told me that he’d work on the condensation problem later, but he knew that I had a natural gas leak somewhere in the house. He said his first priority was to locate the source of the gas smell.

He checked the oven connections and found nothing. We went into the basement and he discovered a gas connection next to the furnace that was leaking pretty badly.The copper connection was black, he said, indicating that it could have already caught fire at some time flaring and going out.

The leak could very easily have caused an explosion. Since the leak was very close to the furnace, it wouldn’t have been hard to ignite. There have been many explosions caused by the same problem that Brad had located.

I just wonder how many other people are in the same situation, with gas leaks and not able to smell it. Natural gas does have a distinct odor, but you’ve got to have a lot better ability to detect it than I do. We hear of gas explosions all of the time caused by exactly the problem that I had.

It’s a good thing that I had a condensation problem, or the gas would have continued to leak until who knows what would have happened. It’s also a good thing that Brad has a keen ability to detect the natural gas odor.

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