Every household must take gas leaks seriously, as the outflow of either a natural or propane gas could lead to hospitalizations or fatalities. The problem usually arises due to faulty, poorly maintained or badly fitted appliances, such as a cooker or boiler.
To ensure your home and family are safe, read the below advice on how to spot the signs of a gas leak.
A Rotten Egg Smell
Utility companies often incorporate mercaptan into their gas, which is an additive that will provide both odorless and colorless natural or propane gas with an unmissable smell, which could be described as rotten eggs, Sulphur or sewage.
A Hissing Sound
Never disregard a hissing sound that comes from a gas line, as it could be a major warning sign that you have a substantial gas leak. For example, if you have an air conditioning unit in your home, a hissing sound could indicate a leaking valve, a leaking refrigerant line or a poor-quality compressor. If in doubt, turn off the system and call one of the most reputable local plumbers in your neighborhood to review the appliance.
It is also possible a gas leak could cause various physical symptoms that might seriously impact your health. For instance, you might experience:
- A dull headache
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- A loss of consciousness
- A reduced appetite
If you and/or a loved one are struggling with the above symptoms, you must step outside of the home immediately to breathe in fresh air and avoid succumbing to the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Review Your Household Appliances
Even if you cannot smell gas or have experienced no physical symptoms, there could be other signs that could indicate a leak from a household appliance.
For example, an orange or yellow flame instead of a crisp blue on your burner could be a sign of a leak. Also, you must keep your eyes peeled for soot, brown or black scorches or excessive condensation on your windows.
Perform the Bubble Test
If you suspect you have a gas leak in your home, you should perform the bubble test.
All you must do is follow the below steps:
- Add a small amount of dish soap into a large container with water
- Use either a wet sponge or cloth to wipe the suspected area/appliance
- If bubbles form, you most likely have a gas leak
If you ever notice bubbles forming in any wet areas throughout your home, it is possible you are experiencing an underground gas leak.
Dead Garden and Indoor Plants
Have you noticed that your garden or house plants are struggling to survive, let alone thrive? It could be a clear warning sign that you have a gas leak in your home or yard. If you spot noticeable dead garden vegetation, it is possible you have a leaking gas pipe underneath your soil, which you must resolve immediately.
Expensive Gas Bills
While you might believe a gas company is responsible for your rising gas bill, it could be due to a leak within the home. As gas will be escaping from a line or appliance, you will be using more of the energy than ever to power your systems. It might, therefore, be wise to contact your gas company to review your bill and request a visit to your address.
What to Do If You Find a Gas Leak
If you believe you have a gas leak in your property, you should not delay in taking action. To protect your home and loved ones, you must follow the below steps:
Step One: Open your windows and doors and immediately leave the property. Evacuate all loved ones and pets from your home as you leave. Never attempt to turn off the gas to avoid causing damage or a spark to an appliance or your pipes.
Step Two: Call your local fire department and/or gas company immediately to identify and fix a leak in a safe manner. Depending on the situation, you could call a plumber for an emergency visit.
Step Three: Avoid using any matches, lighters, or appliances in or near your home, and do not make a call using a phone inside your home. Do not start your vehicle to avoid lighting a spark that could lead to an explosion.
Step Four: If the gas is turned off, do not turn it back on. Leave this to your utility company.
Never ignore the warning signs of a gas leak, which could lead to serious repercussions for both your home, family, and others. It is imperative to call in the professional should you suspect you have a gas leak, such as an experienced plumber, the local fire department or your gas company.