Many homes rely on gas lines as a source of heat – they connect directly into your water heater, stove, furnace and various other gas-using appliances. Gas lines serve a vital role in your daily home routine and you always want to ensure that they are operating optimally at all times. Although natural gas is relatively safe and efficient, it can pose a potential safety hazard for home and business owners. Gas leaks can be extremely dangerous because of the flammable and toxic properties of natural gas. You should always immediately address any health and safety concerns that you encounter. These sorts of problems are eventually going to occur and you will need to deal with them accordingly.

Here is what you need to know about gas lines, including the dangers they present and what the repairs will entail:

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a by-product of natural gas and it’s extremely noxious. If you inhale a good amount of carbon monoxide, then it can have a disastrous effect on your health. Carbon monoxide is odorless ad colorless, so it can be difficult to detect if there is a leak in your home or business. Excessive exposure to Carbon Monoxide can lead to flu-like symptoms, including nausea, migraines, and severe dizziness and disorientation. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then you should evacuate your home or business immediately and call a professional plumber to check things out.

There are several steps that you can take to reduce your risk of being exposed to carbon monoxide:

  • Install detectors throughout your home or business that will alert you when there is a strong presence of carbon monoxide.
  • Make sure you have a fully functioning ventilation system in place throughout your home or business. This means that you should inspect the vents and chimneys for your water heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces.
  • Never rely on your gas oven as a source of heat.
  • Never fall asleep inside a room that is lacking proper ventilation – especially if you rely on a gas or kerosene space heater.

Gas Line Leaks

Many homes in the United States rely on natural gas as a source of heat because it is reliable and efficient. However, gas line leaks can be very troublesome. A lot of natural gas in an enclosed area poses a major health and safety risk because it can cause an explosion to occur. You can detect a gas leak typically by a smell similar to that of rotten eggs permeating your home. Here is what you should do in the event of a gas leak:

  • Don’t use your cellphone until you are a safe distance away from the leak
  • Shut off all the gas valves in your home
  • Don’t turn off or on any electronic device in your home and don’t smoke a cigarette or light a match
  • Don’t try to locate the leak or fix it
  • Evacuate your home before calling 911 and your utility company

Common Places for Leaks

Leaks are much more likely to occur where pipes are joining together via the fittings. Once the connection begins to weaken, then a leak will likely occur. Leaks are also going to happen when black iron piping is exposed to the elements. This particular type of piping does not offer a lot of weather-resistance and you can expect the material to corrode very quickly. If this type of piping is underground and unprotected, it will certainly deteriorate and you will then need to replace it.

Gas leaks also happen after installing a new roof. How might that happen? The corrugated stainless steel gas lines in newer homes will get punctured by the nails if it’s installed too close to the roof. Sometimes the leak is immediately obvious, but sometimes you won’t detect it until a few months go by. If you recently installed a new roof – or if plan on installing one – then we recommend that you contact a plumbing contractor to inspect your gas lines.

Repairing Leaks

Hiring a professional plumber is a quick, resourceful, and cost-effective way to repair your gas line. You should only call a plumber, however, when you smell the gas on your property. Anything that’s on the other side of your meter is the responsibility of the utility company.

When dealing with a plumber, they will ask you some basic questions about the what, where, when of your gas leak. This will make it easier for them to locate the leak and go about diagnosing and fixing the issue. If it’s a serious leak, then the plumber will shut off your gas immediately. Then they will then undergo the necessary testing to determine where the leak is occurring.

To get a better understanding of what’s wrong with your gas line and repairing it, your plumber will need to undergo certain inspection procedures. They include pressurizing the line with air, soaping down all exposed fittings, isolating lines, accessing lines in the wall, and excavating lines underground. Once the plumber locates the leak and properly diagnoses it, they should then know how to repair it. They can also provide you an estimate on how much it will cost to fix your gas line.

Always Use Caution!

We cannot emphasize how important it is for you to use caution when dealing with a leak in your gas line. They can be extremely dangerous and they are a lot more common than you think. Make sure that you are prepared for a gas leak and that you know the proper safety measures and procedures you will need to undergo to avoid any major calamities. You will also need to hire a professional to repair your gas line. A qualified plumber will possess all the training and experience to ensure that your home is free of any significant safety hazards.

You should also know that you might be without gas for a few days until everything is properly inspected, repaired, and tested. You can also hire a professional plumber to replace your existing gas line for a more up-to-date and integrated system. If you have any other questions regarding gas line repairs, you can always give us a call! One of our knowledgeable staff members will tell you everything you need to know.