Many people prefer to use natural gas for heating their home, heating their water, and cooking. While most of the time using gas in the home doesn’t give us any problems, gas leaks in the home do happen and can be very dangerous. Read on to learn how to prevent gas leaks and what to do if you suspect one.
What Causes Gas Leaks?
There are a few different ways that a gas leak can occur. It can be a leak from the line itself, from wear and tear of an appliance, or an opening where the appliance is attached to the gas line. Knowing how gas leaks are caused can help you prevent gas leaks in the home.
Hole in the Gas Line
High pressure can cause a tear or scratch in a gas line.
Badly Fitted Appliances
If an appliance was not installed correctly, a gas leak could develop where the line is connected to the appliance.
Poorly Maintained Appliances
Gas leaks can occur just from an appliance’s age, so they should be checked regularly for signs of wear and tear which could lead to a gas leak. Taking this preventative measure to check and repair your appliances reduces the chances of you having to call a professional in an emergency.
Ways to Prevent Gas Leaks
Know the Signs
Natural gas has a rotten-egg odor that gas companies add to it to help alert you to a leak. Other signs of a gas leak include a hissing sound, dying houseplants, dizziness, and higher than normal gas bills.
Check Your Appliances
You should look at the valves, fittings, and pipes of your gas range and any other gas-using appliances, and make sure it all looks to be in good condition. Applying a soapy solution to the pipe and turning the gas on to see if it bubbles is a tried and true way to check for gas leaks.
Have Your Appliances Serviced
Just like any component of your home, your appliances need periodic maintenance. An appliance service includes an inspection and cleaning according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Install Natural Gas and/or Propane Detectors
Home Inspections and Beyond recommends installing a natural gas and/or propane detector(s) to alert you to a natural gas or propane leak. You should also become familiar with the procedure for leaving the house if you suspect a gas leak including refraining from turning on or off electrical switches, appliances, or lights, opening or closing windows, using the phone, etc. Ask your local fire officials about the proper type and installation of gas detectors and evacuation and emergency procedures in the case of a gas leak.