Even small undetected gas can increase the size of your energy bill. Worse yet, they can negatively affect the air quality in your home. Breathing in natural gas can lead to harmful consequences to your health. Lastly, natural gas is highly flammable and it can lead to dangerous explosions in the presence of even a small spark or flame. To best ensure your safety you should familiarize yourself with some of the most common ways that you can detect a gas leak and what to do if you suspect you have one.
What To Do if You Suspect You Have a Gas Leak?
Often it is better to err on the side of caution and call a professional plumber immediately, if you suspect you have a gas leak, and they can perform a water or gas leak detection. If you suspect a gas leak, leave the area (evacuating the house) and avoid operating electrical equipment or anything with an open flame in the vicinity.
Causes of a Gas Leak
Gas leaks have a variety of causes, which include: a damaged gas pipe, an underground gas line that has ruptured, or due to faulty and poorly fitted appliances or pipes. Since there are many different things that can cause a leak, it can be difficult to detect them yourself, especially without the right tools and experience. It is best to have a have your appliances and gas lines serviced by professionals.
Telltale Signs That You Have a Leak
A reduction in the amount of oxygen in the air can lead to physical symptoms, which include: breathing difficulties, dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Pets will likely experience similar symptoms, so be aware of any changes in a pet’s behaviour.
Smell of Gas or Rotten Eggs
Gases such as propane have an additive known as Ethyl Mercaptan because in its natural state these gases have no colour or oder. Once Ethyl Mercaptan has been added to the gas it strongly smells like rotten eggs or sulfur. If you notice this distinct smell that persists in your home, then you should call for gas line repair immediately.
High Gas Bills
Since gas may be escaping from gas lines or appliances into your home or outside, you might be racking up a higher than normal gas bill. You can also save your hundreds of pounds with usave if you are paying too much for your gas and electricity bills.
Abnormal Behaviour of Gas Appliances
A gas leak can prevent gas appliances from functioning properly. For example a cooktop won’t light or the heating is not working.
Appliances Have a Discoloured Flame
If the flame from your appliances is an orange or yellow colour, rather than a strong blue colour, then your appliances may be leaking gas. A pilot light which keeps going out might also be an indication of a leak.
Natural gas in large quantities can cause grass or shrubs to turn brown. Plants dying might be an indication that an underground gas line has ruptured. Houseplants that wither and die may be an indication of an indoor gas leak.
You may be able to hear gas escaping from gas lines. This usually takes the form of a hissing sound.In fact, if you hear hissing, it usually indicates a serious leak in the line and getting it professionally repaired is even more important.
In addition to the potential cost of a larger energy bill, there are potentially serious physical symptoms associated with gas leaks. Several deaths and hundreds of hospitalizations per year can be attributed to gas leaks. With this in mind, it is probably a good idea to take your safety seriously and learn the telltale signs of a gas leak’s presence. If you suspect you have found a gas leak, evacuate the household and call a professional to repair your gas line.