Do I have a gas pressure problem in my apartment?
March 7, 2009 5:51 PM   Subscribe

My gas stove doesn't burn hot enough, and my gas water heater can't fill a bath tub with enough hot water to bathe. Do I have a gas pressure problem in my apartment, and what can be done to fix it?

I have a General Electric gas stove that takes forever to boil water. I've seen many gas stoves and this one has a noticeably small flame on its strongest element.

I also have a gas water heater, that has a tank. It has enough hot water to have a shower, but when you try to fill the tub, the water gets cold before it's filled.

I'm not sure where the setting for the hot water heater is, as it's above the very high bathroom door in my apartment and I can't get to it. It seems though, that the gas stove not cooking hot enough, would indicate a gas pressure problem in my apartment.

Is there a way to turn up the gas pressure in an apartment, typically? I live in a renovated toy factory in Brooklyn, and the owner doesn't seem to know about any of these sorts of things. The plumber is coming in a couple of days, so what should I have him check?
posted by hoobichu to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
I'm not sure why you need to preempt his job for him. Just explain all the symptoms that you have here, and ask him to fix it. It's his job to understand all this and to know what to check. Your landlord has presumably acknowledged an issue and sent someone trained to deal with it to address it.

I'd stop worrying about it until the plumber has been and gone and offered a solution. Why would the landlord know? Why do you feel you need to know precisely where to point the plumber to fix it?

At the stage you don't get a satisfactory solution, come back. Until then, just let them get on with it, for my money.
posted by Brockles at 7:02 PM on March 7, 2009

I totally agree with Brockles and just wanted to note that for your own safety it might be good to get a carbon monoxide detector for your apartment.
posted by snugglebunny at 7:06 PM on March 7, 2009

The plumber will be able to tell if your gas pressure is low. We had this happen this winter - noticable because the flame in our furnace was yellower than it should be. The gas company came out and replaced the regulator on the line to the city gas supply - end of problem.
posted by leslies at 7:08 PM on March 7, 2009

There is a pressure regulator somewhere near the meter, have the gas company check it out for you. Call the gas company.
posted by hortense at 10:08 PM on March 7, 2009

After we moved into the house we live in now, we noticed problems similar to what you described. I called the gas company and they determined that the gas pipes outside our house were clogged with dirt and rocks. It remains a mystery as to how that stuff got inside the pipes, but they dug up my front yard and replaced the pipes. Fixed the problem.
posted by Dave. at 9:07 AM on March 8, 2009

Response by poster: The appliance guy came over and said the stove was working fine, because the flame was blue, so it had the optimal gas to air ratio.

However the stove is still pretty weak for cooking, so I guess I'll have the gas company come and check out the gas.

The water heater turned out to be broken, and they fixed that. It's electric anyway, so it had nothing to do with the other problems.
posted by hoobichu at 12:32 PM on April 7, 2009

Have a look at this it may help. there is usually an ajustment nut or screw on each burner valve to set the height of the flame when on full blast some times the adjuster is behind the knob,have a look.
posted by hortense at 12:58 AM on April 8, 2009

Response by poster: I have a relatively new stove from GE that's about 5 years old. It's got a digital LED display on it. I had asked the appliance guy, who services GE stoves regularly, that there is no way to adjust the height of the flame with the stove itself.

The stove also has a regulator on it, for whatever that's worth.
posted by hoobichu at 11:20 AM on April 8, 2009

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