Signs You Have a Leaky Gas Line (and it’s affecting your health!)
Leaky Gas Lines
Owning a home comes with general maintenance duties. Broken pipe repair, gas line repair, leaky faucet, toilet repair (10% of U.S. homes have plumbing leaks) – all common maintenance needs. Perhaps the least obvious among these, and one of the most important to catch and fix, is when your home is in need of gas line repair.
Each year, 17 people die from explosions because of a gas leak in the home. That is 17 people too many. Many more become ill because of the exposure to these gases. The dangers of a gas leak can be divided into two categories: home damage and personal health.
Because natural gas is highly combustible (aka flammable in an explosive manner), if there is a large leak in a home it could mean a small spark can cause a fire or explosion. This obviously can cause significant home damage but is also a huge danger for anyone inside the home at the time of combustion. This is just one reason gas line repair is so important.
Many people think there aren’t many chances for a spark to catch fire in the home. However simple actions such as plugging in an appliance or flipping a light switch can cause a spark. If you suspect a leak, get your gas line repair done immediately.
In addition to being dangerous to the home via fire hazard, natural gas is toxic when inhaled. If inhaled in small amounts, natural gas can cause nausea and headaches. Long term exposure can cause more severe health issues to develop. When gas line repair is done correctly, there is nothing dangerous about using natural gas in the home for cooking and heating. However unattended leaks pose a great risk.
Symptoms of a Home Gas Leak
Gas Bill Spikes Unexpectedly: This isn’t something most people pay attention to or realize. Typically, a homes gas bill should be relatively stable. It might increase slightly if you have guests staying over for a couple of weeks or decrease when you go out of town, however, it will on average be stable. If there is a significant spike in your gas bill with no apparent reason, that could be a sign that there is a gas leak in the home.
Dying or Wilted Plants: Like a canary in a coal mine, plants can be a great indicator of a gas leak. If you have indoor plants and they suddenly start wilting or dying (despite proper care for them), it could be an indication of a gas leak in the area.
Odors and Noises: Strange odors or noises coming from gas appliances is another big tip-off that you need a gas leak repair. If there is a strange smell in the kitchen, or if you notice lightheadedness or nausea from being in the kitchen too long, that is a strong indication of a natural gas leak. Additionally, if there is a hissing sound coming from any gas appliances, that is a 100% confirmation of a gas leak and should be investigated and repaired immediately. If there is obvious hissing or odor, use the shut off valve for your home gas to stop the gas from spreading and leaking. This will help protect you and your home while you wait for gas line repair services.
Aged Appliances or Homes: Though not as obvious a reason, age does wear down appliances in homes. The older a gas line is, the more susceptible it is to leaks. Same goes for appliances. While replacing a gas line can be an extensive process, it is always worth it. There is no reason to put the safety of yourself, your pets, and your loved ones in danger because of a leaky gas line.
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and think there may be a gas leak in your home, call an expert to get it checked out right away. Gas line repairs can be more complicated than just fixing a leaky faucet, and for your safety and your peace of mind, you will want to make sure it is done the correct way. Once the gas line has been repaired, use the appliances worry free.