What are the signs of a gas leak?

Millions of homes and business buildings use natural gas as an energy source for different heating purposes. Natural gas is energy efficient and typically costs less than electricity or other forms of heating. At the same time, natural gas is a reliable and safe utility when it is properly installed and maintained.

Even if these are quite uncommon, as a homeowner or business owner, you should learn to detect the signs of gas leaks. Faulty structures, poorly fitted appliances or lack of maintenance can result in gas escaping into the air, which can dangerously lead to explosions and fires from even the slightest flame or spark.

Here are five ways to detect signs of a gas leak:

  1. A strong distinct smell of rotten egg is a sure sign that there is a leak. Natural gas is odorless and colorless, but as a precaution, utility companies add mercaptan to create the odor in the system and make the gas leaks easily detectable.
  2. A hissing sound around the gas lines is another clear sign that there is a leak or crack in the pipe. Take immediate action, by calling the gas company and then a plumber.
  3. Take the soap test. Sometimes the leaks are so small that they are undetectable to your eyes or nose. Mix some dish soap with water and wipe it down with a rag on pipes. If there is a leak, bubbles will form around that pipe area.
  4. Browned, wilted, or dead vegetation in your yard might be a sign of a gas leak in the underground pipes. Natural gas restricts oxygen to plants, and it can also cause bubbling in standing water, like low spots where water pools after a rain. Don’t ignore these little things!
  5. Physical signs: if you and your family members or your employees experience headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, or respiratory problems, you might have been exposed to a natural gas leak.

If you identify a gas leak, don’t try to solve it on your own – never!

  1. Open windows and doors to let the air in
  2. Avoid the area of the leak
  3. Do not use light switches or other electrical appliance, and do not light candles
  4. Call the gas company and a professional plumber

First Response Plumber is a 24-hour emergency plumbing company, but we also provide maintenance services. Stay safe and call us: (858) 203-0930!