When Is a Gas Leak Dangerous

Gas stove with leak

What to do if you think you have a gas leak?

While natural gas is one of the cleanest, efficient, and safest ways to provide a way to cook and heat a home, it can be dangerous too, but everything has an element of danger. What can make gas safer is knowing how to use it, when to use it, and when to get a gas line repair done. How dangerous is a gas leak?             

There are greenhouse gases produced when natural gas is burned, but it is still greener than other fossil fuels. It burns cleaner than a  wood burning fireplaces or electricity, but any gas leak issues are not addressed, and needed gas line repairs are ignored,  can lead to explosions, fires, and even poisoning when inhaled too much for too long. 

Anytime you suspect you may have a gas leak and there is no apparent issue like a burner left on, you and everyone in the house should evacuate immediately. Make sure everyone is out and safe then call 911 and the local natural gas company. Do not light any matches or turn anything electrical as both can cause a spark which will cause the gas to explode. Once the gas line repair is completed and local officials have declared it is safe, you can return home.

What does gas leak smell like?

One of the most commonly known gas leak in house symptoms is the smell of rotten eggs.  Mercaptan, a harmless chemical, is added to natural gas giving it that awful rotten eggs odor.  Without Mercaptan, natural gas has no odor. 

However, chemical and/or physical processes can dilute that odor,  then any gas line repair needed isn’t detected because the smell has been diluted or removed.. Odors fade by being absorbed, oxidized, or a combination of these actions. 

What type of situations can cause the odor fade or dissipate when a gas line repair is needed? 

  • New manufactured steel pipe that hasn’t been used with odorized natural gas 
  • A high gas pressure that occurs in natural gas piping systems 
  • When there is intermittent or limited natural gas flow, liquids, pipe thread compound, condensates, cutting oil, other substances, or air in the line
  • A small gas leak may not be enough to release an odor

Other ways that can alert you to gas line repairs needed when odor isn’t there, would be any of the following: 

A hissing sound: Large gas leaks, usually from the main line or an appliance, may have a hissing noise, even when all the gas powered appliance are turned off. If you hear any hissing sounds, check all gas powered appliances and make sure the gas line is turned off. 

Air bubbles: A natural gas leak can happen underground if there is a gas line repair needed. An indication of that gas leak is bubbles coming up from the ground in mud and any standing water. 

Dead and dying plants:  If you have plants dying, dead or appear to have a stunted growth, inside or outside, you could need a gas line repair.  Natural gas will use up any oxygen around it, keeping the oxygen from the plant roots, causing them to wilt, or keep them from growing. 

Higher gas usage: If your monthly gas bill shows an unusual increase than the previous month, check all the gas lines or have a plumber check them. If they find any issues with the gas line, repairs can be done then. 

Can fumes make you sick?

 Yes, there is a strong connection between gas leak and health of you and your family, making gas line repairs even more important. Another telltale sign of a gas line repair needed are physical symptoms by you or a family member. The symptoms that you or your family are exposed to a low level of natural gas are: 

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache, 
  • Irregular breathing
  • Loss of concentration
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Suffocation
gas line nozzle

Do plumbers fix gas lines?

As we stated earlier, if you smell gas and cannot find the cause immediately, like a burner left on or an oven didn’t light, evacuate, and call 911. If you need a gas leak fix, or a gas appliance installed, you can call a plumber, but not every plumber is equipped, experienced, and prepared to make gas line repairs.  As you search for a plumber, you need to find a specialty plumber, which should be in their internet or yellow page ad.  As you call for an appointment, advise them what you’re experiencing in the way of a gas leak, and they can confirm if they are the right plumbing service. 

While natural gas is a great source for cooking and heating, and many homeowners prefer it, most restaurants use it, safety should always be practiced. With caution exercised and safety measures followed, your family, home, and/or business will be safe. Call 317-677-4918 today for your gas line repair in Indianapolis, IN.