What Are the Signs of a Gas Line Leak?
Faulty gas lines are a serious concern. They can cause long-term and expensive damage to your property, such as through irreversibly destroyed appliances.
At worst, they even endanger your health and safety if they lead to house fires or physical ailments like dizziness, poisoning and, on occasion, death. Because of the magnitude of these concerns – which are literally life-threatening – people must take every step to ensure their gas lines are always in good working condition.
This does two things: it prevents the need for costly maintenance work and protects people from safety and health hazards. Experts, such as those at Spartan Plumbing, are uniquely qualified to assess gas lines and make the necessary repairs or replacements.
There are several warning signs people can look out for to help identify whether their gas line needs check-ups, repairs, or even replacement:
Appliances not functioning correctly
Many home appliances depend on a gas line to function. These appliances include furnaces, stoves, water heaters, grills, and heaters. Although appliances malfunction for many reasons, strange noises or performance issues could point to a gas leak.
A problem with the gas line is especially likely when multiple appliances that operate independently of each other begin to malfunction.
Spikes in the gas bill
When the gas bill increases unexpectedly, and there have been no changes in the household’s consumption or living patterns (or an increase in gas prices), problems with the gas line could be to blame.
A leak, for example, increases the amount of gas needed to run the household’s appliances even if the appliances are not being used to a greater degree.
Physical evidence of gas-line damage
Leaking gas will have a physical impact on the surrounding area. Plants, grass, and other vegetation that come into contact with the gas will wither and die, while land hardens and cracks.
Gas in the air will also cause condensation on windows and other plastic or glass fixtures near the lines. In the long term, gas leaks can damage the landscaping of outdoor areas by causing unintended and unsightly depressions or lumps in the land.
If gas lines are exposed, pay attention to whether there are cracks, kinks, corrosion, or rust in the metal. Whether the lines are exposed or concealed, also pay attention to unusual sounds (e.g. hissing or rattling) from the gas-line.
The smell of sulfur
Gas is naturally odourless. However, gas suppliers generally add sulfur to the gas to make it more noticeable in case of leaks. Sulfur is often described as smelling like rotten eggs, but the smell may still be too subtle to pick up, depending on the severity of the leak.
Nausea, fatigue, or other health concerns among household members
While gas leaks are not obvious culprits for people’s health problems, gas permeating the air does lead to many serious health problems such as fatigue, nausea, dizziness, poisoning and, in extreme circumstances, loss of consciousness and death.
If the damage is bad enough for gas to have permeated the air to the degree of causing illness, the situation is very dangerous and people must immediately remove themselves and their pets from the area.
Unfortunately, all of these indicators may be explained by other factors, and it may take a while for homeowners to realize that gas-line damage is the culprit for these concerns. Even if the damage does not reach the point of being life-threatening, it will likely still result in long-term expenses for the homeowner that could have been avoided.
Thus, it is important for people to remain on their toes and be mindful of the need for regular check-ups for gas lines.