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Gas lines clogged?


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Inspected a 2003 today that had been vacant for about 11 months as per the buyer. The home had a gas range, water heater and forced air furnaces.

The gas was turned on to the home about a week ago and when I tested the range, it took a while (4 or 5 tries over a 5 minute period) to get the burners to ignite. I could hear the gas when turning the burners on and the igniters were working fine. Once one of the burners finally lit, the burners then worked on demand.

The same thing happened with the water heater. It took me forever to get the pilot to light (electronic ignition) but eventually it finally came on.

My question is this: What could the effect be on gas lines that have not been used in a long time that have essentially had "stale" gas sitting in them for almost a year. I hesitated to tell the client that there may have been a clog that cleared because I wasn't sure. Can the inside of the lines rust if there is no "flow?"

If this post is vauge, please let me know. I am sure there is a simple explanation for it, I just don't know what it is.

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After getting multiple phone calls over the years from clients who were "unable to turn their fireplaces on," I now make it a point to explain that the pilot button may have to remain depressed for awhile when the fireplace hasn't been used for a spell. Uh, I also tell them to keep firing the igniter every ten seconds or so to prevent scorched eyebrows.

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