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Reasons You Should Call a Plumber for Gas Leaks

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Plumbers can help with any water or sewer line issues, fixture leaks, and issues with water-using appliances. But they’re also qualified to deal with other dangerous problems in your home, such as gas leaks. A gas leak in Sacramento, CA, isn’t something you should attempt to locate or fix on your own because leaks can be hazardous to your health, and trying to fix the leak on your own is dangerous since the gas is highly flammable. Here are some reasons you may experience a gas leak and why a plumber is the person to call.

Why Call a Plumber for Gas Leaks?

Signs of Gas Leak

Major leaks are usually noticeable right away because of the odorant that’s added to natural gas. However, in some cases, the leak may be small enough that the residents don’t notice an odor, so there are other signs to watch for as well. If the leak is where the gas line connects to an appliance, you may hear a hissing noise as the gas escapes the pipes. Pets and humans alike will display symptoms of exposure, but you may notice them earlier in your pets. These symptoms include nausea, dizziness, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Your house plants may all begin to die at the same time, and often this will happen very quickly. If you notice any of these signs, you need to contact a plumber for gas leak detection before symptoms get worse.

Dangers of Gas Leaks

The health effects of a gas leak should be enough cause for concern and reason for having the repairs made, but there are two other significant dangers to know about. If the gas leak is serious enough, it will start to replace oxygen in the body, which means the body can’t continue to function properly. The initial consequence is loss of consciousness, but if exposure continues, then asphyxiation will occur. The other major danger from a gas leak is fire. A small spark can easily ignite gas, and if the leak has caused one or more pockets of gas to accumulate, an explosion is both possible and likely. That means that even if a flame or spark is far away from the actual leak, your whole home is at risk because the gas in the air could quickly ignite.

When There’s a Gas Leak

If you suspect you have a gas leak, the first thing you need to do is get everyone out of the house, including pets. Then you can call the gas company to have the gas turned off and then the plumber to find and repair the leak. You shouldn’t stay in the house and try to find and repair the leak yourself because of the danger of fire or explosion.

Sources of Gas Leaks

One reason to contact a plumber about a gas leak is because the source is often from an appliance that a plumber is familiar with. Water heaters, furnaces, and kitchen stoves are supplied with natural gas using pipes similar to those used in water plumbing. A plumber is trained to fit the pipes perfectly so that there’s no leaking from the fitting. A gas leak might also occur from a break in the line in an area other than the fitting, so it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact location without the experience and tools necessary to locate the leak. If you need gas leak repair in Sacramento, contact Bullseye Leak Detection, Inc., today.

Causes of Gas Line Leaks

A gas leak is dangerous, not only to your property but to the safety of your family and anyone else in the home. If you suspect a gas line leak, you should take immediate action, starting with getting out of your home and calling a professional to locate and repair the leak. Once this is taken care of, you may wonder what the likely cause of the gas leak was. Keep reading to learn the most likely culprits for a typical gas leak in Sacramento.

How Do You Know If You Have a Gas Leak?

Once again, we want to stress the importance of evacuating your home if you have any reason to suspect you have a gas leak. But if you’re unsure of whether or not you should call a professional for gas leak detection, here are a few signs you should look for that indicate there’s a leak in your home somewhere:

  • A teapot-like whistling sound that emits from where your gas lines are
  • A sulfur-like odor, especially near a gas-operated appliance
  • Blowing dust near where your gas line is located

These are the signs of an immediate gas leak that is a danger to your home and family. Some homeowners often don’t notice small gas leaks until they get their gas bill and see an unexpected rise in the total. While this may feel less urgent, it is still something you should have handled quickly.

Now, let’s discuss the most likely sources of those leaks.

Malfunctioning Appliances

Many home appliances that you use every day rely on different types of gas to operate. A few examples include water heaters, stoves, clothes dryers, and fireplaces. If any of these appliances in your home use gas, then they could be a source of a gas leak. Over time, the seals that connect the piping of these appliances can wear out or begin to erode. Corrosion of the seals (or the pipes themselves) is a common source of gas leaks in many homes.

Bad Home Piping

Of course, the appliances have to get their gas from somewhere. You have a maze of pipes inside your home’s walls and beneath your floors. Many of these pipes are responsible for bringing gas to your gas-powered appliances. While most homes have very reliable piping, some older homes might have outdated gas pipes that can wear out or simply disconnect. If your piping system erodes or becomes faulty somehow, it can cause a gas leak in your home.

Lack of Ventilation

A lack of ventilation is often seen in conjunction with malfunctioning home appliances. Many appliances, including home heating systems, generate carbon dioxide with regular operation. However, this is dispelled through the use of a chimney or exhaust fan. If that ventilation system breaks down or becomes clogged, carbon dioxide can fill your home. While naturally occurring, in large quantities, carbon dioxide can be dangerous.

Gas Stove Sacramento

Protecting Your Family from Gas Leaks

Now that you understand the dangers of a gas leak and the likely causes, what can you do to protect your family? First, ensure that any gas-powered appliances you have are correctly maintained. Please make an effort to regularly inspect them, paying close attention to the connections to the gas lines.

Second, if you have an older home, have your gas lines inspected by a professional for any signs of corrosion or loosening connections.

Finally, invest in a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous, odorless gas that is often emitted by malfunctioning appliances, like the ones described above. Without a carbon monoxide detector, your family could suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning without even knowing it’s happening. Like a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector can alert you when carbon monoxide levels become dangerous, so you and your family can evacuate.

If you have any reason to suspect a gas leak in your home, evacuate immediately. Call the fire department to inspect the home and turn off the gas lines. They may be able to confirm for you if there is, in fact, a leak. Once everyone is safe, if a leak is found in your home, you can contact us at Bullseye Leak Detection for residential gas leak repair in Sacramento, CA.

Understanding the ABCs of Gas Line Leaks

Important: If you currently suspect that you have a gas line leak, leave your home now. Call Bullseye Leak Detection for gas and slab leak repairs in Sacramento.

The ABCs of Gas Line Leaks

Most of today’s homes have appliances that work on natural gas. Stovetops, fireplaces, and water heaters are the most common gas appliances, but many homes also have gas-powered washers, dryers, and outdoor grills. These appliances burn natural gas to generate heat and the natural gas they use enters your home through a series of pipes that run underground beneath and around your home’s foundation.

Any deficiency in the integrity of your natural gas system must be taken seriously. Natural gas is highly flammable and high concentrations of gas in the air can lead to suffocation and death. To keep your family and home safe, it’s important to appreciate why gas lines leak, be aware of the signs of a leak, and call the experts to make the necessary repairs.

Why Do Gas Line’s Leak

Natural gas systems are carefully designed to be stable and reliable. That said, there are a few things that can and do happen to cause a leak.

  • Age. The seals and pipes that connect natural gas lines to the appliances in your home weaken and corrode with age and need to be replaced.
  • Pressure. Gas pipes are under tremendous amounts of pressure at all times. Sometimes the pressure is enough to loosen joints and cause breaks or splits.
  • Movement. Growing tree roots, earthquakes, and other events can move pipes and compromise the integrity of the pipes and joints.

Knowing and understanding the causes of gas line leaks will help alert you to a possible increased risk at your home.

Be Aware of the Signs of a Leak

Even though natural gas is invisible, it’s possible to detect a leak in a number of different ways.

Inside your home:

  • Smell. An additive is included in gas that makes it smell really bad. Even the smallest amount of gas in the air is possible to detect by the telltale odor.
  • Sound. Bad seals around appliances may cause a hissing sound. If you hear a soft whistle or hiss, this is a sign that significant quantities of gas are escaping from the joint.
  • Health symptoms. If you or your family members are experiencing dizziness or difficulty breathing and there is no other explanation, you may have a gas leak in your home.

Outside your home:

  • Air movement. Dirt, dust, or debris moving near gas connections may be signs of gas leaks.
  • Bubbles or dry spots. Bubbles or dry spots in wet areas may be the result of a leaky gas pipe below the surface.
  • High gas bill. A higher-than usual gas bill may indicate that your home has a leak.
  • Flames. A blue or yellow flame in or above the ground is a sign of an underground gas leak.

Gas Leak Detection Service

Signs That Indicate a Gas Leak in Your Home

If you have natural gas in your home, you might be concerned about safety issues. The good news is that natural gas is non-toxic. You can survive in an atmosphere that is 25% natural gas! However, if the natural gas concentration gets too high, it will displace the oxygen in your home and can create the conditions needed for suffocation. Fortunately, there are some tell-tale signs of a natural gas leak.

Rotten Eggs

Natural gas is odorless and colorless. Gas companies add a chemical to natural gas to give it an unpleasant, sulfur smell. If you smell rotten eggs in your home and you don’t have actual rotten eggs, you might have a gas leak. Open the windows and create ventilation. Then call a professional.

Natural Gas Leak Repairs

Health Issues

While the smell of rotten eggs is the most likely way to detect a gas leak. Certain health issues can become prevalent:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty or irregular breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Chest Pain
  • Depression
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nose bleeds
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Dizziness or light-headed
  • Drowsiness
  • Ringing sensation in the ears

Unfortunately, many of these symptoms are also associated with other health issues. However, if you experience any of these symptoms around the same time that you smell something unusual in your house or suspect a gas leak, then seek medical attention as soon as possible. A gas leak in a small-enclosed space could result in a lack of oxygen in the air and symptoms of hypoxia, which is when your body doesn’t have enough oxygen.

Dead Plants

If you’re usually pretty good with plants and they start dying for no reason, it could indicate a gas leak. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, your plants shouldn’t be dying without reason, especially if you’ve had them a while. Plants need carbon dioxide to live. When natural gas replaces the CO2 in the air, they can’t survive.

High Gas Bills

It’s possible that you may not smell a slow gas leak, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Even if it’s not affecting your health or plants, a gas leak could be costing you a small fortune every month. Keeping track of your usage over time gives you a baseline that you can use to figure out if there’s an issue with your gas system. Fluctuations may occur, especially seasonally or if the utility raises gas prices, but overall, a large gas bill is likely to mean an undetected gas leak.

Natural Gas Leak Detection in Pipelines

Unusual Noises and Visual Changes

If you hear hissing noises or whistling sounds near or at your main gas line, that may indicate that there is a gas leak. Shut off any noise-making appliances and electronics and walk around to listen to any unusual noises.

If you notice white cloud dust near a gas line or see bubbles in water, that is another indication of a gas leak.

Detecting & Preventing Gas Leaks

While it may not seem like much, a small gas leak in your home can prove to be both costly and dangerous. Not only do gas leaks cause you to pay more in monthly bills, but they can physically take a toll on you if you’re not careful. In order to ensure you’re out of harm’s way, take time to inspect your gas pipes and call on professionals when necessary. Doing so will give you total peace of mind when it comes to your utmost well-being.

Look, Listen, Smell

Gas leaks are often associated with the smell of rotten eggs, but also have other symptoms that you ought to be wary of. If you notice dead plants in your home or a high-pitched whistling sound, there’s a chance you may have a gas leak. It’s important that you address any gas leaks early on and repair the issue promptly. When left unchecked, faulty gas pipes can end up costing you a fortune in maintenance fees. To ensure the safety of you and your family, be sure to contact your local gas leak detection service if you think you may have a leak.

Avoid Anything That Could Spark

If you do suspect that you have a gas leak in your home, try to refrain from using anything that could cause an explosion-starting spark. The electricity generated by light switches, a telephone, your car, and other appliances can ignite gas if there is a leak.

Preventing Gas Leaks

Invest in Detectors

Gas leaks have the potential to cause major problems when left untreated. A microscopic leak can allow carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless, and fatal gas, to enter your home. Having a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home will help identify when there is a dangerous level of toxic gas in the air. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to taking care of yourself, and be on the look out for any gas leaks to avoid potential problems. Remaining in a home that has traces of carbon monoxide floating through the air poses major health risks, so prioritize your wellbeing by leaving home right away if you suspect something’s not right.

Take It Seriously

Gas leaks can be incredibly destructive and need to be taken seriously. While the most extreme consequences of a gas leak can be fatal, the milder ones can still greatly disrupt your life. Gas leaks can end up costing you a fortune in energy bills due to the gas being wasted, and can cause permanent damage to you and your home when not dealt with. The time it takes to prevent gas leaks in your home is surely worth avoiding the potential consequences down the road.

Be Proactive

Make arrangements for regular inspections of your gas pipelines and gas-burning appliances. Some gas leaks are almost impossible to detect, making it difficult for you to know if your pipes are in good working order. That’s why it’s always best to have your gas pipes inspected by proven professionals who can properly assess your gas system. If you have a gas leak, don’t wait until it’s too late. Call on local experts who can inspect and repair your gas pipes in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Gas Leaks in Sacramento

Top 3 Causes of Gas Line Leaks

Natural gas provides a safe, reliable option for heating, drying clothes, and cooking in millions of homes across the country. Under most circumstances, gas is delivered to appliances that burn it flawlessly, providing an excellent source of heat and flame for cooking. However, because gas is a flammable, combustible substance that must be delivered into the home through piping infrastructure, there are opportunities for dangerous circumstances to develop if there are leaks in gas lines or gas appliances.

If you have a gas leak in Sacramento, CA, you must quickly work to resolve the issue before it becomes dangerous. If leaking gas becomes concentrated in a closed space, the results can be devastating. That’s why if you notice the smell of natural gas, you should call a service that provides gas leak detection in Sacramento, CA, to help you identify the source so that it can be repaired. There are a few common causes of gas leaks, some obvious and some that may require thorough investigation before they are found. Read on to learn more about the most common causes for gas leaks at homes and businesses.

Worn or Damaged Appliances

The reason gas is piped into a home or business in the first place is so that it can be burned by gas appliances such as furnaces, stoves, and hot water heaters. One of the most common failure points in your home or business gas system is the very appliances that utilize gas. Like any other appliance, gas appliances experience degradation over time and years of use. Seals that usually prevent leaks may break down or disintegrate, which will allow gas to leak into the home or business. That creates a potentially hazardous situation. If gas leaks from an appliance, have the appliance serviced to bring it back up to a safe standard.

Damaged or Improperly Installed Interior Gas Lines

The next step back from appliances in the hunt for a gas leak should be the gas lines in the walls that supply gas to your appliances. Gas lines can be made from many different substances depending upon the era during which your home or business was constructed. Gas lines may be copper, steel, flexible steel, or even plastic. Gas leaks can occur if appliances are moved abruptly and gas lines become pinched or overstretched, or if the lines are bent past their tolerances during repair. Depending on the material from which they’re made, it could result in cracks in the gas lines that may be difficult to see with the naked eye, though your nose will alert you to the presence of gas.

Old Gas Line

Severed or Damaged Exterior Gas Lines

Exterior gas lines are a little more robust than the lines inside your home, but they can still be damaged by errant digging. Even a shovel point can easily dent or crack gas lines, which will result in gas leaking into the atmosphere. A trencher or bucket loader used carelessly near your gas lines can also create a potential break in the line. The best remedy for this cause of gas leaks is to always call for a gas utility marking service prior to digging. They will mark your gas line so that you can dig with confidence, whether you’re digging with a shovel or machine.

If you think that you may have a gas leak from one of these three causes, it’s best to immediately contact a gas leak detector in Sacramento to help you trace the source of the leak and repair it. Doing so can preserve your safety and the safety of those around you. To learn more about the causes of gas leaks, visit Bullseye Leak Detection.

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