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Emergency Gas Leak Repair: What You Need to Do

Gas leaks pose a significant threat to a variety of properties and at least 630,000 natural gas leaks happen each year. This is only within local distribution systems alone according to the American Chemical Society. Knowing when you need a gas leak repair or at least knowing who to call if you suspect one can save lives.

Oftentimes, property damage will also occur along with severe injuries. To increase safety measures, ensure that you know the signs of a gas leak and that you understand the severity of emergencies like this. Keep reading as we explain everything you need to know to protect yourself, your loved ones, your property, and even those nearby.


The Dangers of a Gas Leak and How to Be Proactive

How there are ways to tell if you have a gas leak there are also ways to be proactive and limit the chances of detrimental results occurring if you do experience one. Let’s take a close look at ways you can be proactive to help reduce the negative effects that the dangers of gas leaks present and how to know when gas leak repairs are needed.


Gas Leak Repair: Routine Checks Should Never Get Skipped

Every homeowner should have an annual inspection for gas leaks to know if they need a gas leak repair. This will help to make sure your gas fittings are still in good shape and that there are no compromised gas lines. Having your home checked for potential dangers will help determine if you need a gas tank leak repair or complete line replacements.

While it’s suggested to have annual checkups, you can have your home inspected as many times as you feel it’s needed. Doing bi-annual checks or scheduling them as you see fit can give you peace of mind and assure your home’s protected and that your gas lines are well maintained.


Make Sure You Have Proper Ventilation in Your Home

To ventilate your home, try using a ceiling or plug-in fans near windows. Fans will improve the airflow in your home and when you face them towards an outside entrance, you help to flush the contamination out of the home. When you suspect a gas leak, always open a window or crack doors.

You want a good amount of fresh air to keep the gas from building up in the enclosed space of your home. The best thing to do is to also leave the property if you can’t determine the source of the leak. 


Monitor Your Gas Lines

The best way to monitor your gas lines is to have a gas leak detector with a built-in multiprocessor. This type of detector will not only allow you to see how much gas is detected in your home but the type of gas it detects.

This is a more advanced type of detector but they can be found at most larger hardware stores. Aside from doing it this way, routine checks by a professional are the best thing you can do.


Practice Not Flicking Light Switches on and Off

When you are switching switches on and off, you are creating a small spark at the connection point of the switch. This is one reason it’s important not to play with light switches. If you have a gas leak and your light switches aren’t properly closed off, the introduction of air and the spark will combine causing an explosive incident. 


Replace All Old Gas Fittings

If you need a gas line repair, you can often tell from any abnormal noises. You will often hear a hissing noise although it won’t always present this way. To test whether your gas lines need new fittings, do the soap and water test.

All you have to do is take a mixture of soap and water and apply it to your gas line connections. After applying the water and soap mixture, turn on the gas and just look for any signs of bubbling.

If you see bubbles, you have the option to retighten the valves. On the other hand, it might be best to work with a professional to have them replace the valve and check for other gas leaks.


Do Self Checks

Doing self-checks is an important part of keeping yourself and your family safe from potential gas leaks. Doing this will allow you to call for help when it’s needed and to have the chance to react appropriately and in good time. What you want to do is check for a rotten egg smell.

Keep in mind that oftentimes, most gases won’t have any odor or color to them. However, for some gas leaks, you will smell the scent of sulfur which smells exactly like eggs rotting. Try to determine where the leak is coming from and if the scent is strong and doesn’t dissipate, call a qualified plumber for leak detection to find and fix the source.

You also want to use your sense of hearing. Listening closely for hissing sounds or even a type of whistling sound can help you pinpoint the source of a leak. While abnormal noises could just mean that hardware is broken or that a valve is leaking, it’s best to call a licensed plumber for a gas line leak repair if you need it.

The best thing that you can do, however, is to use a gas leak detector. Having something digital that works without your help is an effective measure of proactivity.

Additionally, don’t forget to check your stove top. When you do this, ensure the knobs are all turned off and that the flame isn’t lit on either of the ranges. You can also do a smell test here to determine if this is where the leak is coming from.


Your Shut-off Valve Might Need Replacing

Corrosion gets the best of shut-off valves over time. This valve is responsible for cutting or reactivating the gas supply connected to your home. You should always ensure that you know where this valve’s located and how it’s supposed to be used.

You also want to make sure it’s checked during scheduled routine checks. You can also incorporate your gas shut-off valve into the evaluations you do on your own. What you want to do is ensure there is no buildup of corrosion and that there is no damage to the valve itself.

If you suspect a gas leak or you’re just checking to make sure the valve is closed, you need to know how to tell what each direction means. If the lever is parallel, this means that the gas is on but if the lever is perpendicular, this will mean the gas is off. Ensure that the lever is fully turned off if you suspect a continuous leak.

Overall, having an operational shut-off valve gives you a fail-safe if you think that there is an active leak although it is manually operated. If it’s damaged in any way and dysfunctional, this could pose more of a threat during a concern of an active leak.


Pay Close Attention to Other Signs

Additionally, pay attention to other signs that your shut-off valve needs replaced. For example, a complete shutdown of your furnace is a bad sign. This could be a sign of your gas valve malfunctioning.

You can tell if the furnace is shutting down based on the power of air being delivered and its temperature of it. Also, your furnace flooding is just as bad of a sign. Furnace flooding does happen and is more usual in places where climates are milder such as California.

When your furnace and air conditioner are used during the same season there is a chance of the condensation pan filling. When this happens, there is a possibility that the water will drip onto the furnace. Water then leaking from the furnace will lead to a variety of problems.

From the high costs to repair the issue and the potential for mold growth, a gas leak will only be an added problem. If the issue goes unfixed, this can cause furnace failure and the water exposure also makes the furnace unsafe to operate. A professional will need to come to fix this issue because all of the components within a flooded furnace will need replaced.

Gas leaking will often come from the heat exchanger and when a furnace floods, the heat exchanger is more susceptible to rust which can contribute to the potential issue of gas leaking. If your heat exchanger begins to rust, replace it right away because after rusting, carbon monoxide along with other gases could start to leak from it and spread through your airflow system.


What to Do When You Suspect a Gas Leak

Knowing what to do when you experience a gas leak will limit the chances of injuries and irreversible causalities. If you notice a light gas smell, you can investigate to determine where the source is coming from. If the smell is strong or you are already exhibiting a decline in your general health, the first thing you should do is leave your home right away.

This will allow you to start recovering from being exposed to the gas and your health should return to normal with some time in the fresh air. Ensure you get far enough away from the property in the case of an explosion. If you can, try to leave windows and doors open as you leave.

The last thing to do will be to call for help. You will either need to call for emergency services to assess the damage done to yourself or a plumber to assess the damage done in your home and to counteract the threat if there is an active leak. Oftentimes, you made need to call for both.

While it’s suggested to go to the emergency room, if you are still experiencing dizziness and drowsiness, it’s best not to drive yourself. This will keep you out of the way of additional danger and limit dangers to others as well.


How to Tell if You Have a Gas Leak

It’s important to know that if you suspect a gas leak, you should call a plumber immediately. If you are exhibiting psychical symptoms of a suspected gas leak, always call 911. The main things you want to look out for are;

  • Plants that are dying
  • Hissing or any abnormal sounds near gas lines or other gas sources
  • Known damage to gas piping
  • White clouds near the gas line

These are signs to help you determine if you have a leak within your home based on what you can see or smell. You also want to consider how a potential gas leak can affect your health. If there is a natural gas leak in your home you may experience a few things such as;

  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Lightheadedness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Changes in mood
  • Noticing these signs in someone else in your home

In some cases, you may even experience nose bleeds and chest pain. You also want to pay close attention to any irritation in your throat, ears, or nose that you might be experiencing.

If you notice a combination of physical effects and signs around your home, leave the property immediately and leave the door open as you leave along with windows if you can. This will limit the chances of an explosion since you will reduce the chance of the gas building up.


Know Who to Call When You Have an Emergency

A gas leak can cause a series of unfortunate events and can put yourself, your family, and your pets in danger. This is when a gas leak repair is needed and Double O Plumbing works hard to provide emergency services for those that need it.

Instead of putting your health at risk or potentially causing damage to your property and those near you, as soon you suspect a leak, reach out to professionals. Reach out to us today if you need an inspection or guidance through a problem in your home. 

One Comment
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