How to Address a Gas Leak

September 01, 2023

In today’s world, while natural gas has become an integral part of our daily lives, it’s crucial we use it responsibly and stay vigilant. We might take the natural gas running silently through our pipes, water heaters and appliances for granted, but keeping an eye out for potential problems is key to ensuring our safety.

Gas leaks are a significant concern and pose a real danger if not addressed promptly. Such leaks often arise when gas escapes from its containment system, be it the pipelines, water heaters or appliances, affecting the surrounding environment. Such accidental leaks could harm humans, animals, and plant life.

Swift action combined with an awareness of how to manage such situations can be lifesaving. Here’s a guide on how to do it:

Step 1: Spotting the Leak

  • Smell: One easy way to detect a gas leak is its peculiar odor. Though natural gas doesn’t have a natural scent, for safety reasons, utility companies infuse it with a substance called mercaptan that gives it a sulfur-like smell. If you detect such an aroma in your house, it might be an indicator of a leak.
  • Hear: Sometimes, gas leaks can emit a hissing or whistling sound near the source. Always be attentive to any unusual noises around appliances or pipelines.
  • Physical Symptoms: Exposure to leaking gas can lead to symptoms like headaches and nausea. The release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when natural gas leaks can irritate your respiratory system and cause other health issues.
  • Visible Clues: A gas leak may reveal itself through certain physical signs around your home. This can range from corroded metal on fittings and pipes, moisture on walls and floors, to discolored patches or dying plants near pipelines.

If you observe any of these signs, it’s crucial to get in contact with your gas company, turn off your main gas valve and reach out to a licensed professional for assistance and repairs.

Step 2: Turn Off the Gas Supply

Upon detecting a leak, it’s essential to immediately cut off the main gas supply, preventing any further leak and potential ignition sources. This is to minimize the danger till the time you get some professional help from a licensed technician to tackle the situation.

Step 3: Freshen Up the Air

Open all windows and doors to let in fresh air, ensuring that the gas doesn’t get trapped within confined spaces. This is a good way to let the gas smell go out of the house, keeping the danger of explosion at bay. If gas has been leaking inside your home, refrain from flipping any electrical switches until the area has been cleared.

Step 4: Seek Expert Assistance

After ensuring proper ventilation, call your utility/gas provider and a licensed plumber who specializes in handling gas leaks. At Show Plumbing, our licensed professionals will inspect the situation, locate the problem, and fix it safely. Avoid trying to handle this on your own, as gas leaks and repairs are meant to be addressed by a licensed professional.

What Else Should You Know?

Another often-overlooked sign is an unexpected rise in your monthly gas bill. Sure, utility expenses can fluctuate with seasonal changes. However, an unusual spike, particularly when there hasn’t been a drastic change in usage or weather, might be indicative of a gas leak.

Should these concerns arise, it’s wise to get in touch with your utility provider. Discuss your suspicions and ask them to arrange an inspection. They’ll usually send a qualified technician to check your gas lines and meter, ensuring everything is safe and leak-free.

Summing Up

Navigating a gas leak can be nerve-wracking, but with these steps, you can manage the situation effectively. We at Show Plumbing are always there to assist you in diagnosing and repairing a gas leak. Always prioritize safety, act promptly, and don’t hesitate to contact our experts by calling us at 281-860-2000.