Living in south Florida means living with the possibility of severe weather. The natural gas distribution pipeline system is nearly entirely underground and is rarely impacted by severe weather events, such as hurricanes. This makes natural gas service the most reliable source of energy after the storm. In fact Sunrise Gas did not experience any customer outages of gas service during or after Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
- DO NOT turn off the gas supply at the meter. Once this valve is shut off, only authorized gas employees may turn it back on after performing a pressure test. After a storm it may be quite some time before gas employees will be available to turn the gas service back on.
- If necessary, you can turn off the gas supply to each individual gas appliance. Each gas appliance has its own separate shut off valve near the appliance. Turn the shut off valve one quarter of a turn. Generally there is no need to turn the gas off to an appliance, unless you suspect a problem with that appliance.
- DO turn off the gas supply to pool/spa heaters and outdoor barbecues by closing the individual shut off valves.
AFTER THE STORM
- Check around your home or business for any signs of a gas leak at any of the appliances or the gas meter. Click here for more information on what to do if you suspect a gas leak.
- Most standard water heaters operate without the need for electricity. However, you should check that the vent for the water heater on the roof is still there and has not been damaged. If the vent is missing or damaged, you should turn the water heater off until repairs can be made. Gas water heaters with a power vent and most tankless units require electricity and will not operate until the power is restored.
- The top burners on a gas range will continue to operate but will need to be manually lit using a match or a long barbecue style lighter (recommended). FIRST light the match or lighter THEN turn the burner control knob to LOW to light it. If you have a problem lighting the burner, turn the gas off before trying again. NEVER leave the burner control knob in an on position if the burner is not lit.
Standby Generators - Natural gas is the ideal fuel choice for standby electric generation. The underground pipeline system is normally not impacted by severe weather so there will be an uninterrupted supply of gas for as long as the power is out. While an automatic standby natural gas generator is the ultimate storm preparation, it is not inexpensive to operate. A typical whole house generator can use 250 cubic feet an hour or more. A typical home with a natural gas water heater, range and dryer uses about 75 cubic feet a day.
- Never attempt to modify a gasoline generator to operate on natural gas
- If you have had a natural gas generator installed and have not notified Sunrise Gas, you may need to have a larger gas meter installed for it to properly operate under full load conditions
- Never operate a gasoline generator in a garage, patio or anywhere the exhaust gases can enter the building. Gasoline engine exhaust contains carbon monoxide.