You may know how to detect a gas leak by smelling it, but many people don’t know that gas has other signs of leakage. Natural gas has no odor or color, and the supplier has to add an odorant to make leaks detectable. In the event you can’t smell it, use these other warning signs that a hazard may be present:
- Hissing or whistling sound. Gas going through pipes is under pressure, and when it starts escaping from a broken or otherwise compromised pipe, it can make noise. If you hear the noise anywhere near a gas appliance or outside, a leak may be present.
- Bubbling water or soil. If a gas line runs through a wet area and its leaking, you might see bubbles coming to the surface, or the soil is moving in a strange manner.
- Dying vegetation. Gas lines run underground, and if you see vegetation dying around the line where the pipe enters your home, you may have a leaking pipe beneath the soil.
What to Do
- When you detect a gas leak, identify the source and turn the appliance off. If it’s coming from a pilot light that’s out, turn off the appliance’s safety valve, open the doors and windows for five minutes before trying to relight it.
- If your appliances use electronic ignition, turn off the gas safety valve and call a professional for help.
- Extreme natural events like earthquakes and flooding can cause gas leaks. Turn the main valve off for your home and contact 911.
- If the signs of gas leaking are coming from outdoors, get safely away and call 911 elsewhere. Do not make a phone call near the vicinity to avoid a fire or explosion.
- Avoid problems by having a professional inspect your combustion heating system annually.
- Periodically having other gas appliances checked will also assure you that the connections are tight and clean.
The pros at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal can help you when you detect a gas leak associated with your heating system. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC services for Northwest Arkansas homeowners since 1968.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about detecting gas leaks and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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