If you’ve ever used a natural gas stove top or water heater, you’ll know that appliances using this fuel source are often superior to electric or other power source options. Modern tankless water heaters that use natural gas heat up water on-demand, and natural gas ranges and ovens provide consistent and on-demand heat for cooking and baking that is more reliable than electric options.
Natural gas is one of the top energy sources in the United States and the world, and has many energy benefits compared to other traditional sources. As a fuel source, natural gas is relatively inexpensive to produce, low-emitting, and widely available. It can also be produced with the help of renewable energy like wind, solar and hydro, but even natural gas produced by more conventional sources is still far more environmentally friendly than increasingly controversial options like coal or oil without breaking the bank for consumers.
What’s the catch then? There really isn’t one, except that natural gas needs to be safely moved with lines and pipes that are installed properly and meet your country or state’s requirements. This means that it’s always best to work with your local energy provider, and a licensed gas line plumber who can ensure that your gas lines meet the standards for safety, and will last for many years to come. Just running gas lines yourself can be dangerous both during the installation process, and down the road due to the increased risk of leaks with improper setup.
Unfortunately not all plumbers provide gas line services, as depending on state laws you have to get special licenses to work on these kinds of lines that are separate from regular plumbing training and laws. Nick Kea, owner of Pristine Plumbing, a family plumbing company based in the town of Puyallup, WA, is one of the plumbers in the Seattle area who offers this service. He and his wife Olivia help homeowners work with Puget Sound Energy, the largest gas provider in King County and Western Washington frequently in both residential and commercial buildings, to help provide gas line installation and maintenance services while staying in compliance with local law.
“We often get referrals from other plumbing companies who don’t have the training or licensing to do gas line work,” said Kea. “We love doing it because it usually has an immediate effect of improving people’s homes and their enjoyment of them!” Kea further explains, “Upgrading to a nice tankless water heater powered by gas or being able to use their fireplace again after getting their lines fixed is a great feeling for any homeowner, as they’re not only getting to enjoy a higher quality of life right away, but also have improved their home’s resale value. It’s a win-win!”
Whether you’re in Washington state, or elsewhere in the United States or the world, Kea recommends having natural gas lines for your home, but to always have a professional provide proper installation according to your local laws and regulations. It’s also important to have a natural gas leak detector installed alongside your carbon monoxide detector, so that if an issue occurs you’ll know right away and can keep your family safe. “Natural gas leaks can potentially be a fire or explosive hazard in enclosed spaces if the percentage of gas in the air becomes too high, so it’s important to have your lines installed properly by someone who is fully licensed, have any repairs done by a professional, and install a detector inside your home too,” Kea notes.