How to Detect a Gas Leak

Natural gas is used as a fuel for heating and cooking in many homes. When working properly, a natural gas system is safe to use and increases energy efficiency.

However, if there is an issue either due to improperly installed components or components that have not been maintained, a natural gas leak can be a danger to your family and your home.

Knowing how to prevent a gas leak, how to spot a gas leak, and what to do if an issue arises can be the difference between life and death.

Why Gas Leaks are Dangerous

In high concentrations, natural gas can lead to suffocation. There is an emission of toxic fumes (such as carbon monoxide) when gas does not burn completely. Inhaling excessive carbon monoxide can cause serious health issues and can be fatal.

Gas is also highly flammable, meaning there is the potential for a fire or explosion if the leak goes undetected. A heat source or electrical spark can cause serious injuries or fatalities. Even a small gas leak can catch fire or trigger an explosion.

How to Check for a Gas Leak

One of the first signs that there is a natural gas leak could be a strange smell. What does a gas leak smell like? If you smell sulphur or rotten eggs, it’s likely a gas leak. Most often there is a sulphur-containing compound added to natural gas to create that warning odour, but this is not always the case. Other identifiers that there may be a gas leak are:

  • breathing difficulties or chest pains,
  • light-headedness or dizziness,
  • eye or throat irritation,
  • or headaches.

In addition to the smell and the listed physical ailments, there are a few different gas leak detection tactics you will want to know if you suspect an issue but are unsure.

Listen for a whistling or hissing noise. Such sounds are most noticeable near the gas lines in your home. An out-of-the-ordinary sound near your gas pipes could indicate a high-pressure leak.

There may also be visual signs denoting a gas leak. You may notice bubbles in still water or dirt or dust bubbling up from the underground pipes outside. You might also notice dead vegetation, such as houseplants that are discoloured or dying without a known cause.

Prevention Tips

A gas leak is serious, and prevention is key. There are tools available to reduce your risks of poisoning, fires, and explosions with one of these being a carbon monoxide detector. Making sure your chimney, stove, or furnace is vented correctly, are other simple preventative ideas.

The best way to avoid a gas leak is to ensure that all pipes and the natural gas system in your home are in good condition and operating properly. We can help you fix any issues that need to be repaired and spot potential issues before they escalate into larger problems.

If you think you’ve identified a gas leak in your home, leave the house immediately and call the local fire services and a qualified inspection service company.

Get Prepared for an Emergency

Santos Water Service & Drain offers a 24/7 emergency service. Our team has years of experience and can help you resolve your issue and get the necessary repairs done. We are a number you want to have on your emergency list.

Be prepared for any household emergency by calling us at 416-824-3352 or filling out our online contact form to learn more about how we can help protect you, your home, and your loved ones.