Troubleshooter: Duke gas line inspection program

Troubleshooter: Duke gas line inspection program (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Duke Energy was getting ready to wind down its gas line inspection program for the year.

Although things were getting better, Duke said it still had to turn off the gas to more than 1,000 homes in order to get the attention of homeowners. A spokeswoman told Local 12 Duke Energy's improved gas line inspection program was going more smoothly in 2016, having disconnected 1,200 homes compared with 1,700 in 2015.

Workers turn off the gas if homeowners fail to respond to repeated requests to allow inspectors into their homes. Even one man who did let an inspector into his home still got his gas turned off.

Chris Comer said, “There's a tag on my door that says they shut my gas off so I was kind of mad about that, wanted to know why. The tag said it was for a gas pipe inspection.”

The problem was the gas line at Comer's Hyde Park home had been inspected and approved just one week before. Duke acknowledged the mistake made by a subcontractor and immediately sent a worker out to restore his service.

The gas company said all of it was being done in the interest of safety and when they complete their inspection they'll put a yellow sticker on the pipe.

Gas inspections are required by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation for safe natural gas pipeline operations. Before turning off the gas, Duke workers notify customers at least five times, seeking entry into homes to conduct an inspection of any gas meter located inside the house.

Comer said, “I was concerned that other people are maybe having their gas shut off, maybe somebody who its very inconvenient for or somebody who is more dependent on having their gas lines working."

Duke's inspection program for 2016 will end October 30, and begin again March 2017. If people get notified a Duke worker or subcontractor needs to get into their home for a gas leak inspection be sure to get back to them right away.

The free inspection to check for gas leaks only takes about 15 minutes.

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