Gas leaks are both a dangerous and common incident in many homes.
Luckily, professionals can fix gas leaks rather quickly, especially when you catch the leak early. In this article, you will find valuable information about finding a gas leak and what to do after you’ve found it.
Here is what you should know.
Check For A Gas Leak
There are several places where gas leaks can occur in and around your home.
The most common place for a gas leak in the home is where pipes join together at the fittings such as old shut off valves, tees, unions, flex lines, regulators, and risers. If these connections are not tight enough, or the thread sealant becomes dry leaks can occur.
Additionally, leaks can come from corrosion of black iron piping that is not properly protected from the elements.
Signs of a Gas Leak
If you are not sure whether or not you have a gas leak, there are several signs that you can look for either to confirm or deny your thoughts of repairing a gas leak.
First, if you have a gas leak you’re going to be smelling something that has a sulfur type smell. Think rotten eggs, and there is your sulfur smell. If you smell this near any gas pipes or gas appliances you may be very close to your leak.
Questions to ask yourself:
Who smelled the leak? Many times women have a better sense of smell than
What did it smell like? Sometimes people confuse other smells for gas.
When are you smelling gas? Is the smell constant?
Where do you smell the leak? Look for gas appliances and gas piping close to the smell. If the smell is outside you may even notice dead grass. Yes, that’s dead grass, if your line is leaking underground it could cause the grass above it to die if it has been leaking long enough.
Any information you gather can help reduce the time it takes for your plumber to locate the leak, which will save you money.
Have you had a roof installed recently?
Another common place for gas leak comes after a new roof is installed.
Corrugated stainless steel lines can easily be punctured by roofing nails when the line has been installed too close to the roof. Sometimes the leak is evident immediately and other times it can take months for the leak to appear.
If your roof has been replaced, it could be worth a visit from a plumber to check the gas lines. The plumber should also check the vent piping on top of your water heater to make sure it is properly attached to the heater to protect you against carbon monoxide.
Who repairs gas leaks?
Usually, plumbers and gas company professionals make repairs to gas lines. Gas companies are responsible for leaks on their side of the meter and you are responsible for leaks on your side of the meter. A majority of the time if you are smelling gas on your property a plumber will make the repair.
Gas companies in our service area will not repair any gas line on your side of the gas meter. At that point, it becomes your line and your liability.
Normally when a professional plumber arrives they will normally ask the who, what, when, where questions to minimize time locating your leak. If it is a major leak it may shut off the gas immediately. They will conduct the proper testing to locate the leak.
This could include pressurizing the line with air, soaping down all exposed fittings, isolating lines, accessing lines in the wall and excavating lines underground.
Once the leak is located they should be able to give you a price for the repair that is needed and set a possible timeframe for repairs and inspections to be made.
Gas Leak Safety Tips To Remember
There are several things to remember should you encounter a gas leak in your home.
- If the smell of gas is overwhelming, leave the house immediately and contact your local gas professionals to shut off the gas.
- Always use a licensed and insured plumber to make sure the job is done
correctly and safely.
- Never smoke or have an open flame in the area of a gas smell.
- You should not try to attempt gas repairs on your own.
- You should know where your gas shut off valves are and how to operate them in case of emergency.
- If you smell gas, call your local plumbing professional or your gas company to address the issue.
If it is a minor leak your plumber may be able to repair the leak and get your gas back on that day depending on what is leaking.
Be aware that if the gas company shuts your gas off, you may be without gas until the leak is repaired, tested, and inspected by the city inspector. This could take days depending on the city and additional cost may for city inspection services.
Always use caution with gas!
Gas leaks can be dangerous, and they are common issues in many homes. Make sure you are prepared to protect your family and property.
Always use a professional to repair the leaks. Plumbers are qualified and know how to repair gas leaks in your home.
Contact Legacy Plumbing if you suspect a gas leak, or if you need assistance with any residential repairs or light commercial plumbing. We are here to help.