MINNEAPOLIS - March 21, 2011 - With potential floods predicted in Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy reminds residents to be safe when dealing with their natural gas appliances. Home Service Plus (HSP) can repair natural gas appliances damaged by floodwater and offer the following tips.
Before a flood:
- Do not turn off natural gas at the meter. The gas meter should be left on to maintain proper pressure in the gas piping within the house and to prevent water from entering the lines should flooding occur.
- If a customer wishes to discontinue gas service, the gas should be turned off at each appliance.
During a flood:
- Call the gas company if flooding is threatening the entire residence.
After a flood:
- If your home was flooded and your gas meter was underwater, call CenterPoint Energy to schedule an inspection. The meter may need to be replaced.
- Have flooded appliances inspected by a qualified technician, like one from HSP before operating the equipment. This includes outdoor gas appliances also, such as pool heaters, gas grills and gaslights.
- If your home did not flood and your natural gas is turned off at the meter, call CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service.
- Be alert for leaking gas as you return to your home or business to assess damage. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to do the same.
- Do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that may cause a spark, including a flashlight or driving your car.
- Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off.
- Once safely away from the area, call the 24 hours emergency gas leak hot line number 1-800-296-9815 and 911 to report the location and description of the leak.
HSP can repair natural gas appliances damaged by floodwater; however, flood damage is not covered under a customer’s Repair Plan. HSP will provide priority scheduling for a diagnostic service call to determine if covered appliances need to be replaced or fixed and will provide a repair estimate. The diagnostic service call can help homeowners expedite insurance claims. Contact HSP at 1-800-247-0638 to schedule an inspection.
About Home Service Plus® and CenterPoint Energy
Home Service Plus® is CenterPoint Energy’s non-regulated business providing repair plans, repair and maintenance services and new product sales and installation in the categories of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and home appliances. HSP serves the Minneapolis / St. Paul Twin Cities metro area and Greater Minnesota.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total more than $20 billion. With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. In Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy is the state’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serving about 800,000 customers in 260 communities. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.