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Texas Gas and Pilot Lights
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Kathy Sokolic
Mueller Community

Posts: 275
Joined on March 19th, 2008
Texas Gas and Pilot Lights
by Kathy Sokolic on February 9th, 2011

All,

The Pecan Street Project here at Mueller has also teamed up with Texas Gas to monitor our gas usage. This means that Texas Gas is replacing our gas meters.

The thing about this is that Texas Gas didn't tell anyone they were switching out the meters. I know there have been a lot of questions about if someone coming to the door was ACTUALLY with Pecan Street or not, or if this was at all Pecan Street-related. Since no one told us this was going on, there has been a lot of confusion.

Also, many of us have had pilot lights switched off unknowingly due to the switch out of the meter, leading to cold showers and barren fireplaces.

Pecan Street is looking into this miscommunication and is trying to figure out a way to prevent it from happening again. They are very apologetic and know that the residents are the core of this project, and they do not want this to happen again, as the success of this study will not happen without us. This is a ground-breaking study in so many ways, and there are bound to be hiccups. It's just too bad that one of them happened to include some cold showers on very cold days!

If anyone needs help with their pilot lights, please let me know. I cannot personally go check everyone's (I'm just a volunteer, folks), but I am happy to help those who have no clue (as someone helped me yesterday).

More information will follow...

Kathy
 
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Kathy Sokolic
Mueller Community

Posts: 275
Joined on March 19th, 2008
Texas Gas and Pilot Lights
by Kathy Sokolic on February 9th, 2011

UPDATE - Texas Gas is contacting everyone who had a meter switched out recently to make sure everything is running properly. They will be out in the neighborhood in about an hour and a half (noonish) to start going to houses and re-lighting any pilot lights that may have gone out.

He apologized as well. :)

Progress is challenging and this is just a tiny bump in the road. Thanks to everyone for working through this.
 
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GarrethWilcock
Mueller Community

Posts: 480
Joined on February 23rd, 2008
Texas Gas and Pilot Lights
by GarrethWilcock on February 9th, 2011

I called Texas Gas Customer care this morning and asked them about their meter changing practices.

It seems that when they change out a meter typically the following happens:

- they may not give any warning other than a knock on the door when they do it.

- if they interrupt the flow of gas to your home, they typically leave a tag either on your front door or on your meter to let you know what they have been

- on the tag they leave their number. You can then call them 24/7 to come out and relight your pilot light (if you have a gas water heater) and to check everything else is working

This was all information I received from the call center, so there may be some site specifics that are missing. From what I can tell, my meter has been changed out, though I didn't receive a tag or door hangar.

 
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Grace
Mueller Community

Posts: 311
Joined on March 23rd, 2009
Texas Gas and Pilot Lights
by Grace on February 9th, 2011

This happened to us a week or two ago. We were without hot water for 3 days. It was a total PITA

The pilot light got turned off, then when TX Gas came out to fix it, they couldn't fix it because our water heater has some kind of automatic lighter that wasn't sparking. (Like a gas grill) But the tech did say that it looked like our meter had been switched out to a new one, which neither of us was aware of. No notification was left on our door, no phone calls, no emails.

So then I had to call Christianson to come fix the d*** water heater, and thank goodness their technician was really cool about it and only charged us $89 for a service call, because it took him several hours to get it working. All in all, I and my partner have burned a lot of hours of leave from our jobs, and it's cost us quite a bit of money to participate in this project. It's been very frustrating.
 
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GarrethWilcock
Mueller Community

Posts: 480
Joined on February 23rd, 2008
Texas Gas and Pilot Lights
by GarrethWilcock on February 9th, 2011

To add to that, an official statement should be out shortly. In the interim, if you have concerns:

If your gas was rebooted:

"Customers with this problem should call 1-800-700-2443 (the TGS call center) and say they live in the Mueller community and that their pilot is out. (If they don't receive solid customer service, they can also call the TGS Austin dispatch team at 465-1168, though this phone isn't answered 24/7) The call center has been told to expect calls from these homes that had their meter swapped on the 7th. Additionally, Texas Gas is calling each of these homeowners to find out who is without hot water."
 
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GarrethWilcock
Mueller Community

Posts: 480
Joined on February 23rd, 2008
Texas Gas and Pilot Lights
by GarrethWilcock on February 9th, 2011

Quote:
This happened to us a week or two ago. We were without hot water for 3 days. It was a total PITA

But the tech did say that it looked like our meter had been switched out to a new one, which neither of us was aware of. No notification was left on our door, no phone calls, no emails.

So then I had to call Christianson to come fix the d*** water heater, and thank goodness their technician was really cool about it and only charged us $89 for a service call, because it took him several hours to get it working. All in all, I and my partner have burned a lot of hours of leave from our jobs, and it's cost us quite a bit of money to participate in this project. It's been very frustrating.


That must be so frustrating. I'll pass your feedback to the project and see how things can change so that this doesn't happen again.
 
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Heather
Mueller Community

Posts: 19
Joined on September 18th, 2008
Texas Gas and Pilot Lights
by Heather on February 9th, 2011

I guess this explains how my pilot light went out last Monday. I could not get it re-lit on my own, but a friend suggested that I call David Weekley. One of their guys was very nice and came by and was able to restart it within a few minutes. I lost an hour of work, but was happy to have hot water again, and did not have to call Christianson.

Glad I know have an explanation of why it went out. (I assume I have a new meter, but I doubt I would be able to notice even if i went to look...)
 
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danx111
Mueller Community

Posts: 1151
Joined on November 25th, 2008
Texas Gas and Pilot Lights
by danx111 on February 9th, 2011

Quote:
I guess this explains how my pilot light went out last Monday. I could not get it re-lit on my own, but a friend suggested that I call David Weekley. One of their guys was very nice and came by and was able to restart it within a few minutes. I lost an hour of work, but was happy to have hot water again, and did not have to call Christianson.

Glad I know have an explanation of why it went out. (I assume I have a new meter, but I doubt I would be able to notice even if i went to look...)


Here's the new meter. We had ours installed a week or so ago without problem. I was home and watched them do it - they used a device that kept the gas pressure up in the house so nothing went out. Took them about 15 min.
 
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Grace
Mueller Community

Posts: 311
Joined on March 23rd, 2009
Texas Gas and Pilot Lights
by Grace on February 9th, 2011

Just in the last 90 minutes I've gotten two phone messages from people the Pecan St Project and TX Gas asking if I'm having any issues with the pilot light and the install of the new meter. Well, no, I've already taken care of everything.

If for some reason I'm supposed to call some of these people back and tell them my story, I will ... but I'm assuming the phone calls started because of this thread so they've already heard about it.
 
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Kathy Sokolic
Mueller Community

Posts: 275
Joined on March 19th, 2008
Texas Gas and Pilot Lights
by Kathy Sokolic on February 9th, 2011

Just to reiterate, the Pecan Street team and Texas Gas are just making sure that no one is left without their pilot lights / hot water / fireplaces, etc.

There was obviously an issue with some of the meter swaps (this all seems to be coming from the Texas Gas side, a subcontractor, and how they handled everything), and all sides are trying to figure out what happened so that this does not happen again.

If anyone still has complaints, please feel free to contact Pecan Street directly - 782-9213. They will take care of the issue.
 
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