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How can I Tell if I have a Gas Leak in My House?

by Guest Post on Jul 26, 2020

Gas lines, both above and belowground, can corrode over time. Several factors can hasten this corrosion, but no matter how careful you are gas line corrosion is always a possibility. It is, therefore, imperative that you can recognize when you have a potential gas leak and take the right steps to remedy the situation. Here are some signs that may indicate that you have a gas leak in your house and what you should do afterward.

Dead Plants

Even though you can’t observe underground gas lines on your property and examine them for possible corrosion and leaks, some indicators can alert you that an underground gas line has begun to leak. One of the most common and obvious signs is large, unexplained dead spots in your lawn or garden. In addition, even indoor plants may be an indicator that something has gone wrong. Plants are more sensitive to changes in air quality than humans are, and therefore if your potted plants die unexpectedly after you have mastered caring for them you should consider looking over your indoor gas lines.

Hissing Noises

If you hear a hissing sound near your gas lines, you might have a gas leak. A hissing sound normally means you have a substantial leak. If you hear a hissing sound near your A/C, then it could be a leaking refrigerant line, a leaking valve, a bad compressor, or another issue with the gas system in your house. Turn your system off and call a professional to come to check it out. Odd sounds coming from your HVAC system are never a good sign.

Rotten Egg Smell

This is probably the most famous tell-tale sign of a gas leak, and for good reason. For a long time, companies have added mercaptan to their gas so that it can be smelled by anyone who has a gas leak. The smell is purposefully unpleasant, with most people describing it as smelling like rotten eggs, sewage, or sulfur. If you smell a terrible rotten egg smell, that is a good indicator of a possible gas leak. You should leave your house immediately and contact a professional to sort things out.

The Bubble Test

If you have been examining your inside gas lines and see signs of corrosion but do not have any of the other signs of a gas leak, the bubble test is an easy way to test whether or not you have a gas leak on your own without the expense or time-consuming nature of calling a professional. To perform the bubble test, mix a small amount of dish soap into a large container of water. Make sure the gas is on and, using a cloth or sponge, wipe down the suspected area. If you see bubbles forming on the surface of the mixture, that means you have a leak. Even if you don’t have a leak, though, it is advisable to alert a professional about the potential corrosion that you saw. An ounce of prevention is, as always, worth a pound of cure.

If You Do Have a Gas Leak

After you see the signs or perform the bubble test, you may ask what to do next. Though DIY line replacement may seem tempting in the heat of the moment, this is one area where trying to do it alone can be potentially deadly. When you find a gas leak or a corroded gas line, open up some windows and doors and leave the area immediately. Do not try to turn off the gas as you could cause a spark or damage pipes and appliances. You should then contact a professional who will be able to find the source of the leak and replace the failed line quickly and safely. For more information on the kinds of professionals who deal with gas leaks.

Gas lines corroding or breaking over time is, unfortunately, a fact of life. By studying these signs and the steps you should take after you detect a leak, you will be better prepared in the event of a gas line corrosion or a gas leak.

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