Gas Leaks: Warning Signs to Recognize

Using natural gas in your home allows you to cook meals, dry your clothes and keep warm. It’s a beneficial substance that’s energy efficient and typically costs less to use than electricity or propane.

But even the smallest natural gas leak can be harmful to you and your environment.

They’re uncommon, but gas leaks are typically caused by poorly fitted appliances, lack of maintenance or faulty structures. When there’s natural gas escaping into the air, the flammability of the substance can cause fires from even the slightest flame or spark.

Over 62 million homes utilize natural gas as an energy source, and if you’re one of those homeowners, there are warning sings to look out for to ensure your safety before things get worse.

Strong smell

Natural gas leaks are often detected by their distinct rotten egg smell. Yes, it’s awful, but that smell is there to save you. Natural gas is actually a colorless, odorless gas in its pure form, but a chemical called mercaptan is added to the substance so you can notice a leak when it occurs.   

Unhealthy vegetation

Discolored vegetation in your yard is never a good sign in the first place, but it might be due to more than your forgetful watering or a lack of rainfall. Discolored grass or plants could mean a gas leak, as the natural gas escaping the pipes restricts oxygen to plants.

The gas is also capable of blowing dirt around in your yard or causing bubbling in standing water. Don’t ignore the little things — they could be warning signs of a bigger problem.

Hissing sound

Do you hear a hissing or roaring sound in your home or around your yard? It could be the sound of gas escaping through a leak or crack in a pipe. The noise won’t go away on its own, and it’s crucial to take immediate action if gas is leaking.

Taking action against natural gas

If you believe you have a natural gas leak in your home, don’t try to solve the problem yourself. In addition to causing potential fires, natural gas leaks are also harmful to your health, resulting in headaches, nausea and other symptoms that can get worse over time.

When you notice signs or smells of a gas leak, promptly call your local gas company. If there’s a very strong smell or you can hear the gas escaping, dial 911 and leave the premises. You should also:

  • Avoid the area of the odor
  • Open windows and doors
  • Do not use light switches, electrical outlets or appliances
  • Do not light candles
  • Do not use a telephone in the area of the leak

At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Dallas, we’ll help you with gas leak detection and repair. Don’t try to solve the problem on your own. Whenever a problem may strike, we’re available 24/7 — call our punctual plumbers today to schedule a service.