More than 50% of US households use natural gas for cooking and heating water and their homes. The use of natural gas should be generally safe. However, it could spell disaster if there are poorly maintained or installed gas lines that could cause gas leaks and endanger your home and health.
It is important to know how to detect and repair simple gas leaks to keep potential dangers at bay. If you see signs of a gas leak, make sure to call a professional plumber immediately to ensure your family and property’s safety. Read on to learn more about natural gas, how to detect a gas leak, and how to fix them ASAP.
What is a gas leak?
Natural gas comes from a fossil energy source under the Earth’s surface. It is usually made up of methane, hydrocarbon gases, and other gas liquids. Meanwhile, a natural gas leak is a release of natural gas from an underground pipe.
Natural gas leaks are the leading cause of the odor that people often smell near their homes and businesses. It can be caused by corrosion or damage to a pipe, an accidental break in the line, or other underground construction work. In some cases, pipes are installed too close to each other, and they eventually corrode together, causing a break in both pipes.
Natural gas leaks can also occur when water enters the system and mixes with methane in pipelines carrying pressurized natural gas. This causes the water vapor to expand, which may cause cracks in pipes or lead to pipeline ruptures.
When you smell a natural gas leak, it is important to leave the area immediately and call 911 or your local emergency number.
How to detect a gas leak
Gas leaks are a serious issue that can be dangerous to your health. They can cause a lot of damage to your home and even lead to a fire if not detected in time. Many signs indicate a gas leak, but the easiest way to see it is by using the gas detector. Other ways to detect a gas leak are the following:
The smell of rotten eggs or sulfur
Most gases are odorless and colorless. That is why natural gas companies put mercaptan into natural gas to give it its distinct rotten egg smell. If you detect that kind of smell, it is best to check where it’s coming from and have it fixed immediately.
A hissing or whistling noise near your gas line could indicate a gas leak. Some hissing sounds may also mean other things, such as a damaged compressor or a leaking valve in your AC unit.
Red or orange flames
You will notice blue flames when you open your gas stove. But if you see red or orange flames instead, it could indicate a gas leak.
The best way to prevent gas leaks is to inspect and maintain appliances that use gas, including stoves and fireplaces. Check for signs of corrosion and damage to your gas lines. For any signs of gas line damages, better to call a professional plumber in Mt. Pleasant, TN, immediately.