Whether they are underground or above ground, gas lines can deteriorate and corrode over time. Scheduling professional plumbing maintenance every year can help you detect plumbing and gas leaks before they occur, but you should always remain vigilant to these sights, sounds, and smells.
1. Dead Plants
Even though you can’t directly observe the gas lines underneath the soil, if there is a noticeable patch of dead vegetation, you may have a leaking gas pipe underneath.
2. Hissing Sound
If you hear a hissing sound near your gas lines, you might have a gas leak. In fact, 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, or a bad compressor. 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.
3. Rotten Egg Smell
Natural gas and propane have a distinctive smell for a reason. For safety purposes, utility companies use an additive called mercaptan that gives the colorless and odorless gases a smell that is hard to miss. Most people describe this smell like something like rotten eggs, sewage, or sulfur.
4. Small Bubbles
One quick way to tell if you have a gas leak is to perform the bubble test. This also works for anything that contains pressurized gas, such as tires, inner tubes, and propane tanks.
- Mix a small amount of dish soap into a large container of water.
- Make sure the gas is on.
- Using a cloth or sponge, wipe down the suspected area.
- If you see bubbles forming, that means you have a leak!
If you see bubbles forming in wet areas around your home, you may have an underground gas leak. Other signs might include dirt getting kicked up in the air or the presence of fog or mist.
5. White Mist or Fog
If you see an unusual cloud of mist or fog around your property, it could mean a ruptured gas line. Call your gas company right away.
If you find a gas leak:
- If you detect a gas leak, 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.
- Don’t try to find the source of the leak. Have a professional find and fix the leak for you.
- Don’t operate any electricity or use any lighters, matches, or appliances. Don’t even start your car. Even a small spark could cause a huge explosion.
- Evacuate all household members and pets from the area and call your local gas company. If they can’t be reached, call your local fire department.
- If the gas was turned off, never turn the gas back on yourself—let the utility company or a professional do it.
Depending on the situation, call a qualified professional to fix the leak.
Carbon Monoxide Dangers
The other problem related to your gas lines and appliances is leaking carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide is produced whenever fuel is burned.
Make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed in the right places and that they are working correctly.
If you have any questions or concerns about CO or gas leaks in your home, give us a call at [[INVALID_TOKEN]].
More plumbing safety advice:
- Avoid Plumbing Problems with Penguin Air, Plumbing & Electrical
- Don’t Let Emergency Plumbing Issues Ruin the Holidays
- Now is a Great Time for a Plumbing Inspection
At Penguin Air and Plumbing, we want to help make your home a safe and beautiful space for you and your loved ones to enjoy for many years to come.