Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Last night I opened my front door and was greeted with the overwhelming stench of gas. Not just someone farted kind of gas. I'm talking scare the crap out of you because you think your house is about to blow up kind of gas. Before I even had my coat and boots off, I had my head in my cupboard over by my water tank sourcing the smell. I was sure it was coming from the drain. (I was right, but I'll get to that in a minute.)

Next I placed four frantic phone calls. First to my parents (no answer), second to my Dad's cell (no answer), third to my Mom's cell (no answer) and finally to my brother, Eric - who answered! I was so happy to speak to a person! Unfortunately, he doesn't know much about gas leaks or plumbing so all he could tell me was to call Gaz Métropolitain. It was what I did eventually, but not before more frantic calls. Decided to call my parents again, this time leaving messages at all three numbers because there was still no answer. (Just where my parents were at 7pm on a Monday night is beyond me. Shouldn't they just be at home???)

Anyway, I knocked on my neighbour's door and asked her if she had any weird smells in her place. She didn't but offered to come and have a sniff at my place. She smelled the gas the minute the popped her head in. Luckily she is one of the people on the condo board, so had the keys to the "special" doors in our building. We then made a little tour of the building to see if we could smell gas coming from anywhere else. Nothing. Not a whiff. Then she told me that maybe one of the owners upstairs would know because she had a gas stove in her place. So, we knocked on her door and asked the question. Nada. But she did have the number to call in case you smell gas.

What happened next was nothing short of impressive. I called GazMet, they answered on the second ring, I spoke to the guy in English and he responded in flawless English (shock!) and within 30 seconds told me (a) that there had been a gas leak in the area late that afternoon and (b) he'd have someone at my place in about 30 minutes to check out the situation. 15 minutes later my doorbell buzzed and there was the most polite, patient (and dare I say good looking) GazMet guy. He spent the next hour testing for gas leaks in my place (thank goodness I keep a clean home!), throughout my building and outside my building. Finally, after testing with two kinds of machines, he agreed that the smell of gas was coming from the water drain behind the water tank and probably because the drain was dried up. He then showed exactly where the smell was coming from and explained why the drain dried up and even showed me how to put water in it to stop the smells from coming up. Within 5 minutes of him pouring a couple of litres of water down the drain, the smell was already dissipating. Then he told me to open the window and air the place out. I was embarrassed to tell him that I couldn't because the windows were frozen shut, but I did anyway and he ever so kindly asked if I wanted him to do it for me. I did. And he did.

The thing I'm so impressed about is that someone showed up so quickly, the guy knew what he was doing and he was polite. I was expecting some cranky old fart, to be rude and arrogant and pawn me off with a bunch of excuses. The service I got last night was the complete opposite.

My heartfelt thanks go out to M. Riendeau (GazMet guy) and whoever I spoke to on the phone last night. You were both awesome! While I didn't exactly sleep well last night (up every hour checking for smells), this morning there was still no smell and I will consider the problem solved. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

1 comment:

Why said...

Oh man, I would have been pooping in my pants! I HATE unknown sources of funny smells. I'm glad you didn't blow up or anything. I don't blame you for not sleeping well! I have been known to get all worried about a strange burning smell in our living room. I go around the flat, sniffing like mad, going outside to see if outside smells like fire, sniff around some more...only to discover a fly has been fried on my halogen lamp!