You use natural gas in your home to cook meals, dry your clothes and keep warm. It’s a relatively clean burning fossil fuel that’s energy efficient and typically costs less to use than electricity or propane.
But even the smallest natural gas leak can be dangerous to you and your environment. When natural gas escapes into the air, it can cause health problems or fires from even the slightest spark.
If you’re one of the 62 million homeowners using natural gas, you should know the warning sings to look out for to detect gas leaks. Ben Franklin – your Dallas gas leak plumber – will tell you what to look out for.
What Causes a Gas Leak?
They’re uncommon, but gas leaks are typically caused by poorly fitted appliances, lack of maintenance or faulty structures.
Like water, gas travels into and through your home via a network of pipes. Over time these pipes and connections can wear or corrode. If they weren’t installed properly to begin with, they’re likely to fail sooner.
If you move your stove or dryer, you might bend the connecting hose in a way that creates a small leak. You may not notice it at first, but over time it can become an issue.
What Does a Gas Leak Smell Like?
The easiest way to detect a leak is by the distinct sulfur/rotten egg smell. Some people also describe the gas leak smell as dirty socks or rotting cabbage. If something doesn’t smell right in your home, it may very well be natural gas leaking.
Yes, it’s awful, but that smell is there to save you. Natural gas is actually a colorless, odorless gas in its pure form, but a chemical called mercaptan is added to the substance so you can notice a leak when it occurs.
Check for gas smells around your stove, dryer and water heater. These are the most common gas connections that fail.
Signs of a Gas Leak in Your Yard
If the line that delivers gas to your home cracks or corrodes, you may see signs in your yard. These pipes are buried under the ground and usually connect to your home at the basement level where your gas meter is.
Discolored vegetation in your yard is never a good sign, but it might be due to more than your forgetful watering or a lack of rainfall. Discolored grass or plants could mean a gas leak, as the natural gas escaping the pipes restricts oxygen to plants.
The gas is also capable of blowing dirt around in your yard or causing bubbling in standing water. Don’t ignore the little things — they could be warning signs of a bigger problem.
Not only is a ruptured gas line dangerous, but you may also be paying for that unseen, unused gas that escapes into the ground. If you suspect a pipe leak in your yard, contact your Dallas gas line experts right away.
Hissing Sounds in Leaky Gas Pipes
Do you hear a hissing or roaring sound in your home or around your yard? It could be the sound of gas escaping through a leak or crack in a pipe. The noise won’t go away on its own, and it’s crucial to take immediate action if gas is leaking.
An easy way to confirm the presence of a gas leak is to spray a solution of soapy water onto the pipe. If it bubbles up, gas is leaking out.
Natural Gas Leak Health Symptoms
Another sure sign you have a gas leak in your home is changes in your health. Breathing in natural gas regularly can create health problems for your family and your pets. These are some of the common symptoms of gas poisoning to be aware of:
- Fatigue/ tiredness
- Chest pain
- Reduced appetite
- Ringing ears
- Vison problems
If you suddenly experience any of these symptoms, it could be due to natural gas exposure. Get away from the source and contact a professional to repair the problem as soon as possible.
Take Action Against Gas Leaks in Home
If you believe you have a natural gas leak in your home, don’t try to solve the problem yourself.
When you notice signs or smells of a gas leak, promptly call your local gas company. If there’s a very strong smell or you can hear the gas escaping, leave the premises and dial 911.
You should also:
- Avoid the area of the odor
- Open windows and doors
- Do not use light switches, electrical outlets or appliances
- Do not light candles
- Do not use a telephone in the area of the leak
Stay safe around combustible gas and let the professionals handle it.
Dallas and Plano Gas Line Repair
At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, we’ll respond quickly for gas leak detection and repair. If you’ve experienced gas leak symptoms, we’re available 24/7. Call our punctual plumbers today or fill out our quick service form.