A gas leak is nothing to wait on; it’s a dangerous situation and needs immediate attention!
If you suspect a leak (you can smell it – like rotten eggs), call a professional plumber to come and “sniff” (yes, that is a professionally used term) for the source of the leak & repair it. You may have to shut off the gas until the leak is repaired.
Leaking gas could cause an explosion if exposed to a flame or spark. Carbon monoxide is also a product of gas fumes. You can’t see, smell or taste carbon monoxide, but it is deadly or could cause brain damage or worse. There are several products on the market that you can install in your home, garage, or out-building to help identify if you have a carbon monoxide leak.
Gas pipes can be made out of a variety of materials, depending on the location of the gas line. The gas pipe from the meter to the yard is made out of specially coated iron. A plastic composite pipe is used to connect from the meter to the pipe.
Iron pipe or corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) is generally used for gas pipes inside the house. Iron pipe is usually placed up and over the home through the attic with one large main trunk that runs the length of the house. Tees come off of the main line to feed different appliances in the home. With CSST, it will go up from the main line to one central manifold where it feeds an individual line to each appliance in a radial type formation (picture bicycle spokes).
A leak could occur anywhere. At the meter, underground, in the attic or near a stove or fireplace. It’s smart to know that your pipes have the proper protection (wrapped with special gas piping tape). Many times, underground pipes aren’t protected. They should be double wrapped where the riser comes through the ground. A gas leak typically occurs where the connection isn’t wrapped with the special black tape six inches in both directions.
Some typical gas leak problems:
- Connections at the manifold and shut-off valves that have not been properly installed
- Improper installation of flex lines, and gas lines in older homes, that have had pipes run with copper tubing
- Natural gas eats right through copper, especially at connections where the copper has been flared
Things to watch for: A gas line can leak when it has been improperly installed right next to the roof decking. Most of the time roofers don’t look to see what’s under the roof before nailing new roofing down. It’s common for gas pipes, especially corrugated stainless steel tubing, to be punctured by roofing nails.
- Always look for a crisp blue flame, rather than an orange or yellow flame.
- Likewise, look out for a pilot light that always seems to blow out.
- On the outside of the appliance watch out for soot or any black or brown scorched areas around your appliances.
- Watch out for excessive condensation on the windows, or a musty smell in the air.
- If you are feeling light headed and/or dizzy for no apparent reason, it’s possible that there is some kind of gas or carbon monoxide leak in your house; it’s important that you get outside to fresh air and call either 9-1-1 or the gas company to identify the source of the leak.
- If you do suspect a gas leak, do not operate any electrical switches inside the home, as there could be a spark when you flip the switch that could cause an explosion.
Being safe is in your own hands -Don’t learn safety by accident