Derks Plumbing

All you need to know about a gas leak

In a world where you can learn about anything and everything on the internet with the click of a button or the touch of the screen, there is so much information on the web, we tend to get confused when deciding which is actually authentic and which isn’t.

We bring to you an article that contains all you need to know about a gas line leak or a gas pipe leak, how to check for gas leaks, causes of leaking gas lines, and gas line leak detection.

The information given is authentic and up to date. We aim to help you in times where the internet is your only source of aid.

WHAT IS A GAS LINE LEAK?

A gas line leak in your house can be extremely dangerous. Small leaks in the gas line can go unnoticed but major leaks tend to engulf the house with a distinct sulfur smell that will result in unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, headache, and dizziness.

If you ever feel like you are inhaling a lot of natural gas that shouldn’t be in the air freely, you have to immediately vacate the premises and call the designated authorities.

The reason why it is important to know about gas line leak detection is that natural gas is combustible and hence any small trigger can light up the entire house as gas diffuses quickly.

CAUSES OF LEAKING GAS LINE

  • Poorly fitted appliances 
  • Faulty boilers or cookers
  • Bad maintenance of appliances
  • Older appliances 
  • Pipe corrosion 
  • Low-quality lines and fittings
  • Defective pipe threads 
  • Older valves

HOW TO CHECK FOR GAS LEAKS?

To make sure that you are safe and well aware of how to call for help immediately, the following paragraph contains different methods of identifying a gas line leak or gas pipe leak.

  • The smell: Usually natural gas does not have a distinct smell, but when it is processed for use in residential buildings, a chemical is known as mercaptan is added which gives it the characteristic strong smell usually resembling rotten eggs or sulfur. Almost everyone is well aware of this smell and can identify it within minutes. This smell can be smelt when using appliances, but when the smell becomes overpowering and no appliance is in use then it is time to call the appropriate authorities to check for gas leaks professionally and take action to prevent damage to you and your home.
  • The bubble test: Another method to check for gas leaks is by missing dish soap with a small amount of water and using a sponge or a small cloth, wiping the solution onto the area where you suspect the gas might be leaking from, such as a gas line. Now the diagnostic result would be if you can see the appearance of soapy suds, this points to the fact that you have a small leak from the line.
  • Pilot light which becomes unreliable: if the pilot light on any of your kitchen or household appliance sporadically goes out or fades, this points to a leak in the gas line which is causing an interruption to the fuel service of the appliance.
  • If the gas leak has been going on for a while and it is undetected by the above methods, look for plants in the area where you suspect a gas leak. The plants will be dried out and dying with no explanation, this is one of the ways to check for an underground gas leak.
  • Because we live in a modern era that is taken over by the latest technology, home testing is available for gas leaks. There are testers that can be ordered online or bought from home décor stores, these testers check for different types of gas leaks due to electronic appliances.

WHAT TO DO AFTER YOU’VE DETECTED A GAS LEAK?

  1. Do not panic
  2. Call the emergency service for gas using a mobile phone 
  3. Make sure to open wide the doors and windows
  4. DO NOT SMOKE, or light a match
  5. Avoid using any electrical switches for appliances as this may lead to a spark that might trigger an explosion