Neighborhood Association

Heating problems – is it gas pressure?

It turned out that our cold house was not the result of a faulty boiler. On several very cold days this winter, it seemed like our boiler just couldn’t keep up, and although the boiler was running all the time, we couldn’t maintain a comfortable temperature in the house. We also noticed that our indirect water heater (which heats our hot water using residual heat from the boiler) wasn’t keeping up with our household needs. There are only two of us in the house now, and it became impossible to take two hot showers in a row!

We called our HVAC specialist, who quickly diagnosed the problem: not enough gas was flowing into our house from the gas main, which turned out to be located on the opposite side of the street. Fortunately, BGE was very responsive, but also insistent that the work be done immediately. They cut off the gas to our house and let us know that the work would take several hours and involve significant digging. Thankfully they agreed to put off the work until the next morning so our neighbors could get some sleep. What they estimated would be a two-hour job ended up taking all day. BGE dug up the sidewalk on the other side of the street, and our section of Tuscany Road was blocked for the entire day. BGE removed the buildup in the pipe that was causing the reduced gas pressure and ran a plastic liner through the 93-year old pipes from the main to our house. They also replaced our gas meter, all at no cost to us. Hopefully it all lasts for another 93 years! Thanks to all our neighbors for being good sports about moving their cars, tolerating the noise and disruption, and to Chris and Cynthia for their graciousness about the unsightly asphalt sidewalk patch that will remain until the BGE contractor comes out to return it to its original condition.

Now that it’s all fixed, we notice that our hot water is actually too hot! We hadn’t noticed that the flames on our gas stove had slowly diminished in size and heat—but now we are back to cooking with gas – literally and figuratively!

Andy and Lu Parsley