Asking for a friend: Two times in the past six months, my oven/stove and a spot near my refrigerator (several feet away) have smelled *very strongly* of some petrochemical, like benzene or kerosene or gasoline or something sweet and fuelly like that (i.e., not natural gas, not propane). There is a similar, faint, lingering odor in the oven. What could be causing this? Some kind of propellant in the gas lines? Illicit neighbor activity? If it helps, I'm on the 4th floor of a 6-floor building in NYC.
Why am I bloating so badly at the end of the day? [more inside]
Oil has fallen by more than 50% since July 2014. How can I benefit from that fall, either by: 1. Gas banking - Is there a way I can buy gas at the current low rate and use it later after prices have risen? 2. Buying stock - Either a sector fund through an investment firm like Smith Barney, or buying pieces of stocks individually like through Ameritrade or Sharebuilder? 3. Or some other way? Or should I just buy the cheap gas and enjoy the reduction as long as it lasts?
We replaced our 40 year old boiler this fall and were expecting to get some energy savings. We ended up using slightly more gas last month than the year before. What's going on? [more inside]
Help me figure out whether I should be heating my small house with the gas furnace or an electric space heater... [more inside]
How, in a multi-apartment setup, do I determine what gas-run appliances are serviced/connected to which apartment? I strongly suspect I am paying for appliances I am not responsible for, but I need to be able to prove it to my landlords or gas company. [more inside]
We just ordered a new vehicle (Volvo V60 with a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine) and I'm trying to figure out the minimum grade of fuel to use. The owner's manual says "Volvo recommends premium fuel for best performance, but using 87 octane or above will not affect engine reliability." In most places in the US, that's regular grade fuel, but we're at higher altitude in New Mexico where regular is 86. If we wanted to meet Volvo's minimum, would that be midgrade 88 to hit that minimum or would regular 86 still meet that spec since we're at higher altitude? Googling returns every answer under the sun, which may be the case here? We'll ask the dealership when it arrives. Thanks!
What administrative roles are there at oil/gas plants or offshore rigs, in addition to HR and office clerks? [more inside]
Looking for Lynchian and Herzogian books and authors. [more inside]
Winter is coming, as they say, and I'm not sure what to do with my fireplaces. The prior owner of my house did next to nothing by way of maintenance on the house, and even from my lay perspective, the flues have lots of creosote that needs cleaning. But is it worth it to bother with a cleaning when a gas retrofit might be much nicer? [more inside]
I've got a propane tank for a gas grill which I estimate to be about 7/8 full. I don't need it, and I'm having difficulty getting rid of it. What should I do? [more inside]
I'm moving for the first time into a house with gas (stove and heat) and I'm completely terrified that my two small children are going to die of CO poisoning. Please help me understand sensors, risks, what to look for and such to help alleviate my paranoia. [more inside]
I would like to cancel my natural gas service this summer. Last year, I didn't use any natural gas during June-August. I have a gas furnace and also a gas stove/fireplace. I do not have a hot water heater since that's supplied by the building. I don't cook or use the fireplace. [more inside]
I have one of those cherry red gasoline jugs that I use to store gas for my lawnmower. Usually I just re-use the gas from year to year, but I know that's bad (OLD GAS!), and I'm trying to take better care of my mower and do things like use new gas and change the oil and, you know, stuff, so I'd like to get rid of it and get some new gas... [more inside]
I currently have 3 gas cans in my garage that may or may not have been mixed with oil. I know one of them has because I know my leaf blower requires it. I know one doesn't because my lawnmower takes straight gas. My challenge is I don't know which is which. Does anybody have an recommendations for how to solve my problem? [more inside]
So, I've had this issue as long as I can remember where if I wait too long between meals my stomach becomes painfully bloated. I've got some techniques for dealing with this when it happens, but what I want to know--and Dr. Google cannot tell me-is: why exactly is the lack of food is causing this? [more inside]
One of the burners of my gas stove does not go "click click click" when I turn it to "light". It does light if I turn it on and then light any of the three other burners. Can anyone diagnose the problem? Any DIY fixes?
We have enjoyed 6+ years of our gas oven/stovetop, but now our NYC landlord is planning to replace all the ovens in our building with electric. This seems like it will make our (already high) electricity bill even higher. Is there anything we can do? [more inside]
We are in a small apartment in Georgia. It's going to be cold by Georgia's standards: the forecasts predict a minimum of about eight degrees Fahrenheit. We're leaving our taps running slightly. We've done all we can to insulate the windows. We want to know whether to leave our gas fire on or off. If we turn it off, we increase the chance of a pipe bursting. But we're worried that leaving it on will be dangerous. We don't have a carbon monoxide detector. The only other heater we have is a small electric storage heater. Please help, metafilterians!
This is just a thought experiment at this point, and probably will remain so. In the back of my mind I have the idea that when my old SUV finally gives up the ghost I might rip out the internal combustion drivetrain and convert it to an electric vehicle, possibly with a removable range-extender generator. Setting practicality aside for the moment, can you help me envision what this would involve? [more inside]
Help me understand why the energy company seems to (somewhat randomly) choose to estimate my energy usage rather than billing me for actual usage. [more inside]
My car weighs 4013lbs (with me in it) and averages 17mpg on my 21.7m (roundtrip) commute. My gas tank holds 20 gallons, but I only ever fill it up half-full. The reason I do this, is because my brain knows how heavy 4 x 2.5 gallon containers of water is, and thinks that not carrying this additional approx 60lbs of weight (1.5% of the 4013lbs) will be better for both mpg and performance (i.e. less liquid sloshing around the tank). Is my brain crazy?
I've had about 10 days straight of distended belly due to bloating. I look 5 months pregnant if I stop sucking in my stomach. I've tried Gas-X and charcoal pills and so far nothing has worked. What should I try? [more inside]
I've become mildly obsessed with trying to improve the fuel efficiency of my old truck. I've already done all the basic things and I realize that I'm fighting physics at this point, but what else might I consider if I wanted to make a bit of a hobby out of it? [more inside]
We bought a house, yay. It’s a small 1910’s bungalow with gas appliances and everything basically works. The foundation’s been replaced in the not-too-distant past and it’s ready for an earthquake. I've never been anything but a renter, so what kinds of regular maintenance should I be thinking about to minimize the risk of catastrophic emergency repairs? Plumbing, gas, heating, electrical, sewers: what’s a good schedule, and what kinds of things do I ask for to make clear that there’s nothing particularly wrong but I’d like to keep it that way? I looked at this old question, but most of the interesting-sounding links are dead.
Who is the absolute best heating contractor in the Twin Cities? [more inside]
Our vanpool just switched to a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan. It's a FlexFuel vehicle and we'd like to know when/if it makes sense to use E85 fuel. We live in Minnesota. Our typical commute is 40 miles at highway speeds. Environmental concerns will be weighed, but so will economical ones.
I have made it to middle age without realizing that other people are capable of holding in their flatulence until a time and location where it can be expelled without offending greater society. My body does not work this way. After a small window of warning, they just. Come. Out. Am I a freak of nature? How did my bowels never learn this marvelous trick? [more inside]
Last night around 5 in the morning, we woke up because it smelled like natural gas--hard. After determining it wasn't coming from the oven, I remembered groggily to check the maintenance closet in our hallway, which contains two water heaters--one for our apartment, one for the apartment next door--and the natural gas furnace that heats our apartment through vents. I think something is happening to our furnace that causes it to do this, but I don't know what; I managed to stop it, but I'm not sure how. [more inside]
We will be building a deck in a few weeks, and another aspect we would like to have with our new outdoor environment is a nice small fire to sit around for the cooler Minnesota evenings. What are our options without risking burning the deck (and/or the house) down? [more inside]
I did something colossally stupid this evening: Put up some pasta on the stove and then fell promptly asleep for a little while on the couch. Woke up to a terrible smell of natural gas. Found the water in the pot had spilled over and doused the flame of the burner it was cooking on. With the gas on high. It was probably like that for about 10 minutes or so. And now, four hours later, the house still has a strong-ish odor. Here is my question: does the smell indicate that gas is still present in the house, and if so, should I be concerned for the health and safety of my small children, who are sleeping a hallway away from the kitchen? [more inside]
Smell that isn't like gas from the oven/burner but is like when radiators go on in winter is in apartment. Freak out or no? [more inside]
Whenever I eat, I get a lot of gas in my stomach. It starts building up shortly after I start eating and makes me feel short of breath, extremely yawny, and tired - even dizzy sometimes. It lasts for hours. It takes dozens or hundreds of burps to clear this up, and when I can successfully burp enough it always resolves. Why might the gas make me feel this way? [more inside]
I'd like to better understand the climate impact of flying, as someone who flies quite a lot but in a rather unusual manner. [more inside]
Do you have a Honda Fit or another compact car that you can recommend for a family of four? [more inside]
I have an old, small gas oven in my new apartment that desperately needs cleaning. The problem is that it has pilot lights. Help me! [more inside]
Why did eating a bunch of dried Apricots cause me to have the worst gas pains of my life? [more inside]
I had a small natural gas leak in my home for 9 days. No one seem alarmed except me. Put my anxiety to rest? [more inside]
I want to test what the composition of a gas is, and I don't even know where to begin. I don't have access to a lab, but I know enough people that might have access to equipment to help, if I knew what to ask for. And I also need some ideas of how to capture and transport the gas. [more inside]
What can I do in the short term to feel better while losing weight when everything seems to make me gassy, swollen and uncomfortable? My doctor's answer to everything seems to be "Lose weight!". That's not going to help these problems in the moment. TMI descriptions follow... [more inside]
Mom wants a fuel-efficient car . . . what should she get? [more inside]
We need to get a new car where the brake pedal and the gas pedal are approximately the same height. We're located in the US. So far almost all of the cars we've tried have a rather substantial height difference between the brake and the gas (some as much as 2"). I'm looking for within 1/2" difference. Does anyone know of a late model cars that have a small difference in pedal height? [more inside]
I have dropped and broken a 20 pound container of CO2 in my basement. It was terrifying. While I air out the basement, I have a few questions: [more inside]
A gas stove in our family room uses a thermocouple, millivolt valve and manual switch to control the gas to the stove. I need to solder a new switch to the leads that go to the old switch (the total wire length is about 4 feet). What precautions do I need to take to ensure that I do not blow out the millivolt gas valve when I do the soldering? [more inside]
You've got insane gas but you need to keep working. What do you do? [more inside]
I know this question is a little bit arbitrary, but any response will be helpful. I live in a 2 family spilt house/condo. I noticed that my electrical box is powering the OTHER unit's gas boiler. I assume that the electrical just feeds the thermostat and maybe triggering the pilot to boil the water?? (My knowledge here is limited.) Without knowing too much about their heating use, I am trying to determine the urgency of getting an electrician to switch it from my electricity to the other unit's electrical box.
Does my gas fireplace have a blower? [more inside]
I frequently feel gaseous. Help me with my digestive system. [more inside]
All other factors held constant, what types of microbes at what temperatures would yield the most efficient way of turning an organic waste stream into a a source of methane fuel for use as natural gas? [more inside]
Home Physics Filter: Does squeezing the bottle of a carbonated beverage help keep it from going flat?
Does squeezing the bottle of a carbonated beverage help keep it from going flat? [more inside]