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How to Tell if You Have a Gas Leak in Your Home

Published: June 14, 2024
gas leak in house. inflating bubbles of soap mixture on gas pipe to indicate gas leak

Natural gas is an excellent resource for cooking, heating, and a variety of other uses in your home. It is also extremely flammable, and gas leaks can put homes at risk of explosion or fire. There are numerous signs that your gas furnace is leaking. Knowing how to identify these signs and when to call for professional assistance is critical to keeping you and your family safe.

The experts at LimRic provide comprehensive gas plumbing, heat pump, and air conditioning services, including residential and commercial repairs, to meet the needs of our customers. We aim to exceed their expectations for quality gas line, plumbing, and HVAC service, and we are available to serve customers in the Charleston area.

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What is a Gas Leak?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas is a fossil fuel energy source. It is found deep under the surface of the Earth, and it is mostly made up of methane and non-hydrocarbon gasses. It originated in plants and animals and was initially buried under silt, rock, and sand before being turned into natural gas, oil, and coal by heat and pressure.

Gas leaks occur when natural gas seeps from pipelines into an area where it doesn’t belong. This poses a substantial risk since they can generate large concentrations of the dangerous gas, causing explosions and fires. It will also release greenhouse gasses into the environment.

6 Signs of a Gas Leak

Smell of Sulfur

Since natural gas is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, natural gas companies add mercaptan to give it a distinct and unpleasant smell, which aids people in the detection of leaks in natural gas pipes. Mercaptan is a nontoxic chemical with a smell similar to sulfur or rotten eggs. As a result of this, if you smell sulfur or rotten eggs in your home, your furnace may be leaking gas.

Different Pilot Flame Color

Your furnace’s pilot light should always be blue. If you notice the flame has turned orange or yellow, it could indicate that your unit is emitting hazardous carbon monoxide gas.

Dead or Dying Plants

Dead, withering, or stunted plants inside or outside your home may indicate a natural gas leak, especially if your plants have been properly cared for. The presence of natural gas stops plant roots from absorbing oxygen, which can cause them to wither. Natural gas leaks can also result in smaller-than-average leaves on trees, withered vegetation, and yellowing areas of grass.

Hissing Sounds

A hissing sound around your gas furnace indicates gas leakage. Large leaks in pipes or appliances can produce hissing noises even when turned off. Regularly check pipes and appliances for any hissing noises.

Higher Gas Usage

A rise in your home’s natural gas use may signal a leak in your furnace or stove. Seasonal increases in natural gas use are normal when using a gas furnace, but unexplained increases may indicate a leak somewhere in or near your home.

Air Bubbles Outside Your Home

Natural gas leaks can also happen in underground piping outside the house. If you notice bubbles in standing water, including puddles and dirt, it could be a sign of natural gas diffusing through the earth and into the surrounding air.

Physical Gas Leak Symptoms

Gas leaks can cause a reduction in oxygen, leading to physical symptoms such as natural gas poisoning. These symptoms can affect both humans and pets, including vomiting, breathing difficulties, lethargy, and loss of appetite. It’s important to be aware of potential gas leaks to prevent potential health risks. Some of the physical symptoms you may experience during a natural gas leak include:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Severe headaches
  • Decreased appetite
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Chest pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Nosebleeds

If you feel you are suffering from natural gas leak symptoms, contact a healthcare expert right away.

What to Do if You Notice Signs of a Gas Leak

To prevent a gas leak, evacuate the premises and gather at a safe location. Open all doors and windows on your way out, allowing natural gas to vent outdoors. Call for help as soon as everyone is outside and at a safe distance from the home, ensuring everyone is evacuated and safe from the gas leak.

limric-truck How to Tell if You Have a Gas Leak in Your Home

Expert Gas Line Repairs & Replacement in Charleston, SC

The licensed plumbers at LimRic are your trusted South Carolina partner for gas line repairs and replacement services in Charleston, Summerville, Goose Creek, Mount Pleasant, and surrounding areas. Our certified experts  are equipped to handle a range of installations, from gas stoves and fireplaces to outdoor grills, dryers, and whole-house piping. Whether you need a quick repair or a complete gas pipe replacement, we have the expertise to ensure your home operates worry-free. We provide comprehensive gas line services, including:

  • Gas safety tests and leak detection
  • Gas line repairs for issues such as rusted or corroded lines
  • Installation of propane and natural gas systems for residential properties
  • Remodels and renovations of gas systems

Choose LimRic Plumbing, Heating, and Air for reliable, efficient, and safe gas line repair and replacement services in Charleston and other surrounding areas of Lowcountry South Carolina like Summerville, Mount Pleasant, & Ladson. Your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities. Schedule your gas line service today and experience the LimRic difference.

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