What To Do if You Suspect a Gas Leak in Your Home

Friday, January 25th, 2019
home gas line inspection

Gas is Safe and Serious

When properly installed, gas is a safe efficient way to heat your home, heat your water for cooking, or taking a shower. It is also used for a gas fireplace or BBQ grill. Gas leaks are a common but serious issue that require professional service. There are many do-it-yourself projects you can do around the house to save money, but gas line repair is not one of them. There are safety codes to follow, special considerations in installation, specific testing, and special tooling. There is absolutely no room for error, so hoping you have done it right is not an option. And watching a YouTube video is not a substitute for experience and training. For your own safety, and the safety of your family, please use a professional plumber!

How can you tell if you have a gas leak or carbon monoxide build-up?

Gas is naturally odorless and colorless.  However, gas companies insert a sulfur-like aroma to help you detect a leak. Typically, it smells a bit like rotten eggs.  Carbon Monoxide, on the other hand, is colorless and odorless.

Signs of gas or carbon monoxide build-up inside the house may first noticeably affect your budget with higher than normal gas bills. Health issues affecting people in the home to look for are nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, nose bleeds, difficulty breathing, or feeling tired. Another indicator is houseplants dying or outside grass and plants dying around your meter. Any one of these symptoms could be caused by a gas leak or carbon monoxide build up.

If you have recently replaced your roof, hire a plumber to inspect the gas lines in your home. The plumber should also inspect the vent piping on top of your water heater. Proper attachment to the heater will protect you against carbon monoxide issues.

gas fireplace inspection

What To Do if You Suspect a Leak

Get everyone out of the house immediately and call 911.

Leave the door open to allow fresh air in, but don’t spend time going around opening windows. Call the gas company to come out and shut off your gas, but only after you have reported the emergency. If you are using propane, shut off the valve at your outdoor tank. Then call a professional plumber to find the leak and repair it.

IMPORTANT!  Do not use your phone inside the house.  Go outside to make calls.

What NOT to do if you suspect a leak

Do not light any kind of flame.

Do not turn on or off any electric switch. It could create a spark and an explosion.

Do not use your house phone or cell phone while in the house.

Do not try to find the source of the leak.   

Gas Problem Prevention

Having a system that is properly maintained can prevent emergency gas line repairs later. It can also keep your system working at peak performance and help extend the life of your furnace and appliances. Other ways to help avoid future issues:

Make sure you have good ventilation around your appliances.

Keep vents and ducts clean and unblocked.

Make sure pilot lights are set at their proper level. For appliances that use an ignitor rather than a pilot light, have the ignitor system included in your annual inspection by a professional and for periodical cleaning. Install carbon monoxide detectors in various locations in your house and on all levels of the home.

Do not store flammable materials or chemicals near your gas appliances.

Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher in your home.

Have gas lines, appliances, furnace, vents, flues, and chimneys in your home inspected at least annually. The peace of mind alone is worth it.

Plumber repairs home gas line leak

A Professional Plumber Fixes a Gas Line Leak

Stay safe! Always use a licensed, professional plumber to make sure the job is done correctly. With nearly two decades of experience, Cole’s Plumbing is professionally qualified to install and service your home or business gas lines and appliances. We have the right equipment, tools, and experience to do the job right. Please call us at (806)367-5159 to discuss how we can help you safely get the most out of your gas service.