Homeowners count on natural gas or propane for hot air furnaces, water heaters, stoves, range tops, clothes driers, pool heaters and more. The abundance of natural gas makes the price attractive, but its use requires us to be on the alert for gas leaks that could result in health problems, fires or explosions.
billyGO’s licensed plumbers are ready to serve you day and night if you should smell gas in or around your home. The fastest way to get us to your home is schedule immediate service with the billyGO mobile app.
Gas Leak Symptoms You Should Know
Some gas leak symptoms can be mistaken for other ailments, including headaches, nausea, difficulty breathing, fatigue, dizziness and drowsiness. High levels of natural gas exposure can cause loss of consciousness, severe headaches, lack of coordination, trouble remembering things, and even death by suffocation.
If you experience one or more of these symptoms AND you see plants dying or dead for no apparent reason (including around your gas meter), hear a whistling or hissing sound near a gas line inside or out, or see a damaged gas line connector, start looking carefully for a gas leak.
An Easy DIY Gas Leak Detection Test
For most homeowners, the best gas leak detector is your nose. In its natural state, natural gas has no odor, color or taste. Fortunately, gas service providers add a chemical called mercaptan to give it a distinctive odor that smells like rotten cabbage or rotten eggs.
Natural gas can escape from pipe fittings inside and outside your home, including beneath the surface. It is highly flammable and requires immediate attention. Use a simple “bubble test” to confirm leak by mixing liquid dish detergent with water and spraying it on the suspected areas.
If you see bubbles, you have a gas leak. Mix three tablespoons of detergent to a quart of water. To make bubbles last longer, add two teaspoons of liquid glycerin, available at drugstores. billyGO plumbers also use gas leak detectors with sensors that can find even small traces of natural gas, propane and other gasses in the air.
If the smell is strongest outside you have no way of knowing at first if the leak is above the ground or below. Gas escaping from underground leaks can migrate into voids or air pockets underground and work its way to the surface where it can explode, if ignited by a small spark of any kind.
If You Smell Gas – Act Fast!
Here’s what to do immediately if you smell gas:
- If inside, turn off any stove or oven burners that are on; open windows and doors
- Leave the area; go to the home of a friend or neighbor a safe distance away
- Call you’re a plumber, your gas company, or 911 to report the smell (first responders often arrive before gas company technicians)
- Do not turn any electrical switches on or off
- Do not use any kind of telephone, garage door opener, doorbell or even a flashlight
- Do not smoke, light a match or lighter
- Do not stop or start a nearby vehicle or piece of machinery
- Do not attempt to shut off the natural gas valve
Here’s What to Expect Next
If you call the gas company they will send a technician to your home to shut off the gas supply to your home, and then tell you to contact a licensed plumber to begin leak detection and repair. If you call 911 or the fire department they may respond or call the gas company for you.
If the problem is in your home or between your gas meter and your home, the gas company or first responders will advise you to hire a plumber to locate the source of the leak and fix it. This is a job for a professional, licensed plumber.
If the problem is in the gas line between your home and the street or farther away yet, the gas company will make the repair after they secure or evacuate the area.
City Inspections Required for Gas Leak Repairs
Most municipalities, including those in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area, require inspection by a city inspector to certify the repair was made properly, in accordance with building codes. Any licensed plumber you hire to repair a gas leak will confer with you to schedule the inspection.
Once a licensed plumber makes the repair and the permitting process is followed, the plumber can turn the gas back on. The homeowner doesn’t have to wait for the gas company to do it. If your gas leak detection and repair work is done on a Friday or weekend you will have to wait until Monday (at the earliest) for your inspection.
Get Gas Leak Help Now from billyGO
billyGO’s licensed plumbers provide expert gas leak detection and repair service day or night in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Get help fast by calling 817-761-0166. For even faster service use the billyGO mobile app. Within minutes you will have the name and photo of the background-checked and drug tested billyGO plumber and track his location with the app.