A gas leak isn't the type of problem that you can simply ignore. The extra expense on your gas bill means very little compared to the major risk a gas leak poses. Collected gas in the home can combust easily with a single spark. This spark can occur when you do something as simple as turning on a light switch. Know the signs of a gas leak and how to prevent one so you can keep your family and your home safe.
Your nose is often the first thing to pick up a gas leak in the house. Utility companies add a substance to natural gas that has the distinct odor of sulfur or rotten eggs. If you catch small whiffs of the scent, such as when operating a gas appliance like the stove, you may have a minor leak that is only present when you open the gas valve. If you pick up a strong or persistent odor of rotten eggs, there may be a major leak in one of the gas lines.
You can sometimes hear a gas leak, especially in a quiet house. Since the gas is being delivered under pressure, it will make a hissing sound as it escapes the leak in the line or gas valve. Depending on the size of the leak, you may also hear a whistling sound. If you hear this sound in combination with the foul odor detailed above, then you most definitely have a leak that needs to be addressed immediately.
A visual inspection of the lines and valves that feed into your gas using appliances can sometimes alert you to the development of a leak before it occurs. Check the valves and lines, at least the ones you can see easily, at least once a month. Look for damages like corrosion, pinched lines, or wear around the fittings. If anything looks out of place, bring in a professional service to check the lines and make any necessary repairs.
Fortunately, you don't have to wait until the leak occurs before you can act. Preventative measures can help ensure your home never suffers a gas leak. Schedule regular maintenance of the appliances that use gas, like your furnace and stove. Request that these service calls include a gas line inspection, or bring in a separate gas line inspection service if necessary. You can also have a gas monitoring and leak detection system installed to add another layer of safety.
Contact a gas leak detection service if you are concerned about a gas line leak in your home.