Natural gas users urged to have appliances checked

Natural gas users urged to have appliances checked
MidAmerican Energy Company reminds all natural gas users to have their natural gas appliance connectors checked by a qualified plumbing and heating dealer for possible defects.

MidAmerican wants its customers to be aware of the potential hazard presented by a certain type of appliance connector that may be found in the home. Uncoated brass connectors may crack or break leading to a fire or explosion with the potential for injuries or death. These types of connectors join appliances to gas lines and are located in the back of appliances. The connectors may be found on gas stoves, clothes dryers, water heaters and furnaces.

Although these connectors have not been manufactured since the early 1970s, some remain attached to appliances in homes.

It is possible that older connectors also could have been installed with appliances that are less than 25 years old.

If you think you may have an uncoated brass connector on your gas appliance � or are uncertain whether you do � it is recommended that you immediately have a qualified plumbing and heating dealer inspect it. Do not move the appliance because the connector may crack or break, releasing gas into the room and creating a potentially hazardous situation. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also recommends that all gas-burning appliances be inspected annually to avoid fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

MidAmerican recommends customers have a qualified professional replace any uncoated brass connectors with new connectors certified by CSA International or the American Gas Association. These are made of either stainless steel or plastic-coated metal that conforms to American National Standard Institute Z21.24. A qualified plumbing and heating dealer can help with replacement.

If you smell natural gas, leave the premises immediately and call MidAmerican at 1-800-595-LEAK (5325). Providing safe natural gas service to customers is MidAmerican's priority.

MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa's largest energy company, provides electric service to 698,000 customers and natural gas service to 680,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, IA. Information about Mid-American is available on the Internet at http://www.mid americanenergy.com.

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