A Dangerous Threat Against Your Home
Natural gas plays an essential role in the lives of American homeowners. It fuels our cooking appliances, powers our hot water heaters, and energizes our furnaces during the cold winter months. Many people forget about the toxic, lethal nature of this substance. When the gas lines spring a leak, it puts your family and home at risk.
Today, we’re going to talk about leaks and gas line repair in house. By the end, you should have a firm understanding of how to respond in the event of leak. Let’s get started!
What Happens With a Gas Leak?
Gas leaks may pop up as the result of long-term pipe or hose degradation. Some homeowners accidentally create their own leaks when they tinker with their gas appliances. Whatever the cause, the results can be disastrous! In the United States, these leaks produce household fires and explosions. Natural gas leaks and subsequent carbon monoxide creation also cause a handful of deaths every year.
Thankfully, most homeowners know the signs of a potential gas leak and quickly call for help. We’ll discuss how you can identify leaks in your gas line and appliances.
What are the Symptoms of a Gas Leak?
There are a number of signs homeowners may notice in the event of a leak. Most revolve around the physical symptoms of gas exposure, including those listed below. You may also notice that your gas appliances aren’t getting enough fuel to run effectively.
Physical Symptoms Produced by a Gas Leak
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Difficulty breathing
- Feelings of heaviness and weakness
- Growing headaches
- Sudden nausea
- Smelling rotten eggs or sulfur
With the exception of that last one, all the above symptoms resemble those of a flu virus. Symptoms progressively worsen with prolonged exposure. Because methane (the primary ingredient in natural gas) is an asphyxiant, inhaling the concentrated gas eventually causes a person to pass out. Without help, isolated people die every year.
Thankfully, this is a relatively rare story among homeowners in the US. That’s because utility companies add an extra, smelly ingredient into the mix: Mercaptan. This imbues the normally odorless natural gas with a sulfuric (eggy) scent that warns homeowners of a leak.
What Do You Do if You Suspect a Gas Leak?
The first thing you need to do is warn everyone else in your home about the leak. Don’t use any electric appliances, as concentrated natural gas may be ignited by any electrical sparks. Turn off all gas appliances in your home and call your gas company as soon as possible.
You’ll also need to arrange testing and potential repairs for your gas line. This isn’t something you can delay. For other issues, say roofing damage, you could wait for a highly-rated High Point, NC residential roofing company to drive all the way out to your home. For gas leaks however, you’ll want immediate assistance from someone local.
Do Plumbers Repair Gas Lines?
Yes! Homeowners should always have their gas line repair and installation handled by a seasoned professional. Many plumbers are qualified to handle your gas line repair, though you will need to confirm the leak before repairs can start (obviously). That’s another reason to call your plumber as soon as possible.
How Do Plumbers Check for Gas Leaks?
Plumbers utilize specially equipment for sniffing out leaks. They isolate the leak to the individual fitting or degraded piping. After turning off the gas, they can replace the damaged piping. Finally, they test your system to make sure it’s functioning correctly.
Who is Responsible for Gas line Repair?
Ownership of the gas system is separated by a crucial boundary: the meter. On the street side of your meter, the utilities company is responsible for repairs and maintenance. On the home side of the meter (including the underground line), your family assumes gas line repair responsibility. That’s one more reason to never go poking around in the yard without consulting your utilities company!
Many families mistakenly assume that management of the gas line falls to the gas company. They receive quite the shock if they have to replace their gas line, a project that can run in the thousands. Thankfully, most gas line problems occur due to loose fittings and connections, which are relatively cheaper to fix.
Find Your Gas Line Repair!
Remember, fixing a leak is serious business. For the safety of your family and home, make sure you call a plumber who is certified to handle gas line repair in Mills River and Asheville, NC. Our seasoned professionals at All About Plumbing & Septic would be happy to help you resolve this scary situation. To arrange your plumbing services in Asheville, NC or a nearby city, call our friendly staff at 828-778-2425! We can’t wait to serve you.