Official website for the City of Aurora, Illinois. Mayor Robert J. O'Connor

Flexible Gas Connector Warning

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Good Gas Connector

Good Gas Connector

Bad Gas Connector

Bad Gas Connector

The Aurora Fire Department is issuing an important safety warning concerning the possible failure of certain flexible gas connectors that supply gas from supply pipes to appliances such as stoves, dryers, room heaters, hot water heaters and furnaces.

One such failure may have occurred in Aurora on May 4, 1996 on Charles Street resulting in a gas explosion and fire destroying one home and severely damaging two adjacent ones.

These flexible connectors are made of corrugated metal tubing-newer models being made from stainless steel or from brass that has been coated with plastic or epoxy. Most older connectors, however, were made from uncoated brass. Some of these uncoated brass connectors have a serious flaw in the way they were made. Solder was used to braze, or join the flexible brass tubing to the end pieces. Over time, the brazing can fail, causing a serious gas leak. This could lead to an explosion or fire.

These brazed uncoated brass connectors have not been made since 1976, but many of them are still in use. The older these connectors get, the greater the possibility of failure. It is very difficult to see whether a flexible connector has been brazed, so don’t take any chances. If you have an uncoated brass connector in your home, it is recommended to be replaced with either a new stainless steel connector or a new plastic coated brass connector. It’s a good practice to replace any flexible gas connector which is more than 10 years old. This is because flexible connectors are not meant to last a lifetime. Older units can wear out from too much moving, bending, or from corrosion.

Locate your natural gas shut-off valve. If you can, check your flexible gas connector without moving the appliance attached to it, to see if it is an uncoated brass connector. If you cannot make this check without moving the appliance, we recommend that you have a service contractor or Northern Illinois Gas inspect the connector for you. For a fee, Northern Illinois Gas will inspect and if necessary, replace the connector. Moving the appliance could strain the connector possibly causing a gas leak. If the appliance must be moved, it’s best to have a professional on hand to do it.

If you think you have a gas leak in your home—from a flexible connector or any other source, please call Northern Illinois Gas at (888) 642-6748 or 911 for emergency service from the fire department. If the odor of gas is strong, leave immediately and make the call from a neighbor’s telephone or a pay phone. On the way out, open up windows and doors, and alert others to leave. Make sure not to operate appliances or turn light switches on or off.

If you have any questions about this safety warning you may contact the Aurora Fire Prevention Bureau at (630) 256-4130.