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View Full Version : OT Local House Exlosion explained



PhantomKira
05-02-2010, 09:25 PM
A few days ago, local fire departments responded to a house explosion. No, not fire; explosion! As in, a buildup of gas that was ignited, explosion.

Amazingly, the family, who had just moved into their new home, all got out alive, but heavily injured. As of right now, all are still alive, but in bad shape.

As such events are very rare, I wondered what could have caused it, and it seems the Fire Marshal has the answer.

With the cost of metals going up recently, we've had a major increase in thefts of metals such as copper, from piping in the area. Theft of copper piping from farmers' irrigation systems is a well documented ongoing problem. But apparently the thieves aren't content with that. Now they've targeted the plumbing on new houses. (Of which there are many in the area.)

That's right. These thieves went in under this new house before the family moved in and cut out a major section of copper natural gas line.

As my Dad said, I hope they find the guys who did this and nail them to the wall when they do.

Here's the story (http://www.wboc.com/Global/story.asp?S=12408795).

AndyJWest
05-02-2010, 10:15 PM
Here in the UK, where many houses are connected to gas mains, such explosions are probably more common - they can be very destructive, and totally demolished buildings aren't unknown. Possibly the worst example was Ronan Point, in the 1960's:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/55/Ronan_Point_-_Daily_Telegraph.jpg
This was triggered by a gas explosion, though most of the subsequent damage was down to poor construction methods.

Though criminality may sometimes be involved, in the majority of cases the prime cause is probably poor maintenance. I'd say that with any building that is being newly occupied, or is only in use intermittently, gas supplies need to be checked before use - likewise in boats, RVs etc. A 'buildup of gas' might sound like a minor risk, but if you calculate the energy available, filling a house with the appropriate mix of natural gas, propane etc can make a bigger bang than a few sticks of dynamite or even something the Luftwaffe might have left as a present (we still have these turn up occasionally too..)

M0ttie
05-03-2010, 02:19 PM
In my area at the moment the travellers - for want of a better description - are breaking into the electrical substations. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif
Having entered they proceed to remove the copper earthing cables fitted and 'leg it'.
Big headache for the Power company as it requires a shut down of the substation to replace safely. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif
But there is a case for not being greedy or at least knowing roughly what your dealing with.
Not content with stealing the copper earth cable this guy tried to unbolt the big copper bars with all the lovely coloured wires coming off them as well = big mistake. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif
Looked for a link on google but having done so it appears to not be something new or confined to the UK for that matter................
Some heartless, non caring or compassionate people simply state it saves a court case, others that it keeps the prison population down.
Personally.... well, I'd rather not comment. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

Foehammer-1
05-03-2010, 05:19 PM
There have been multiple copper wire thefts from electric substations in Ukraine about 10 years ago. They almost stopped after a series of events.

Almost like Prien, Kretschmer and the other ace (Schepke? I can't remember) were lost almost together, the Ukrainians have found three men electrocuted and charred in three substations, within a few days of each other... One was clutching the melted remains of a hacksaw...

Guess some people got the message

cwhense
05-05-2010, 09:53 AM
PhantomKira, where are you from? around here in most places in the USA use of copper pipe for natural gas lines has been outlawed for many years, I can not remmember when I ever installed a copper line for that use and I have been doing plumbing work for at least 25 years now.

Kaleun1961
05-05-2010, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by cwhense:
PhantomKira, where are you from? around here in most places in the USA use of copper pipe for natural gas lines has been outlawed for many years, I can not remmember when I ever installed a copper line for that use and I have been doing plumbing work for at least 25 years now.

What do you use where you live, PVC? My house here in southern Ontario, Canada, was built in the early 1980s and has copper natural gas lines. Since they are all internal, I don't worry about someone messing with them. My main gas line runs just below the main floor joists, which technically means they are in my basement. A few years after we moved in, we had a branch line run to the kitchen on the first floor we bought a gas range; as well, we use natural gas for our clothes dryer. I know a lot of Canadians complain about the price of electricity, but by switching those two items to gas, we save on electrical consumption. Our heating furnace is also run on natural gas.