Accidental carbon monoxide poisoning annually sends around 50,000 people to the ER. It kills at least 430 people each year. CO poisoning is just one issue caused by natural gas leaks.
You may need a gas line repair if you notice a gas leak smell in the house or your CO detector alerts you to a problem.
What can you expect when you have gas line problems?
This article answers your questions about issues with your home gas line. Read on and explore everything you should know about repairing a gas line.
Why Would I Have a Problem with My Gas Line?
If you’ve never dealt with a gas line problem, you may wonder what would cause such an issue.
The gas line may wear out if you live in an older home. Aging gas lines sometimes develop leaks.
Here are a few other common causes of gas line problems:
- Incorrect gas line hookups
- Pinched gas line hose
- Tree roots
- Severe weather
- Excavation accidents
With so many potential reasons why a gas line could develop issues, it’s not always simple to determine the cause without seeking a professional opinion.
What Are the Signs of Gas Line Problems?
Carbon monoxide is often called the silent killer because the people affected by it have little to no warning of a problem. A working CO detector can alert building occupants to high levels of gas. Still, if a detector isn’t functioning correctly, it’s often too late by the time anyone realizes the gas is present.
CO poisoning is potentially deadly, but other dangers are associated with gas line problems.
How do you know you have issues with your home gas line?
The most obvious clue is the odor of rotten eggs or sulfur. Since natural gas is odorless, gas companies add Mercaptan—which smells like rotten eggs—as a warning.
Other signs of gas line problems include:
- Hissing sounds
- Fog or mist clouds
- Dead plants
- High energy bills
- Low pressure to a gas-fueled appliance
If you don’t detect a problem, or ignore one of the signs above, eventually, you could experience health problems. The human body cannot function for long when high levels of carbon monoxide are present.
A Broken Gas Line Could Result in Health Problems
Over time, exposure to natural gas deprives the body of oxygen. Ultimately, without treatment, a person may die from CO poisoning.
While natural gas is generally safe, once a gas line develops leaks or breaks, it becomes a safety and health hazard. Natural gas is toxic. Physical symptoms caused by gas line leaks include:
- Chest pains
- Difficulty breathing
- Flu-like symptoms
Since various things can cause any of these physical symptoms, you must be careful about making incorrect assumptions. If you’re experiencing any health issues and have no medical explanation, you’re possibly dealing with overexposure to natural gas.
What to Do If You Suspect Gas Line Problems
When you think there’s a broken gas line, the first step is to leave the area quickly. It’s a safety precaution, and you should not re-enter your home until a professional locates and turns off the natural gas supply.
While most assume they should call the gas company, it’s more efficient to call a local plumber.
While your gas company can send a service crew out to determine whether you have a gas leak, the gas company will not make the repairs unless there’s an issue on their side of the gas meter.
On the other hand, if the problem is with a home gas line from the meter into the house, it’s the homeowner’s responsibility. Calling a plumber can save precious time and allow you and your family to quickly get back into your home.
What Not to Do If You Suspect a Broken Gas Line
You may feel led to try to find the gas leak while waiting for help. That could prove dangerous, especially if you don’t have the experience or tools to do so.
To protect your safety and that of the people living in your household, you should also avoid the following:
- Turning on lights and appliances
- Lighting a match or lighter
- Turning on the stove or oven
- Using the phone inside the house
- Starting a fire
Knowing what not to do when you smell gas or suspect a gas line problem could save your property and your life.
A Word about DIY Gas Line Repairs
With the abundance of online home repair tutorials, some homeowners feel like they should be able to take care of gas line repairs on their own.
Be careful about following instructions seen on social media platforms. People making home repair tutorials may or may not be professional plumbers, and following their advice on fixing gas line issues could prove deadly.
A professional plumber must have a license and certifications to repair gas lines. Certifications mean the plumber is adequately trained to handle gas line repair and maintenance safely.
But Why Do I Need a Plumber?
You might not realize that broken gas lines aren’t the only culprit when you suspect a gas leak. Another common source of gas leaks is your home appliances. Many appliances in homes and commercial buildings use natural gas, including:
- Water heaters
- Kitchen stoves
Sometimes the pipe fittings on these appliances wear out and loosen, creating the ideal situation for gas leaks.
The pipes used to run gas to the applicable home appliances are similar to the ones used for plumbing. Plumbers know everything about those pipes, including how to locate leaks.
When plumbers need to make gas line repairs, they know how exactly how to fit the pipes to eliminate the risk of another gas leak in the future. Gas leaks aren’t always caused by improperly fitted pipes. If that’s the case, plumbers use specialized tools to pinpoint the exact location of the gas leak.
Contact Us for Help with a Gas Line Repair in Rockwall, TX
When you notice a gas leak smell—rotten eggs—it’s serious. Attempting to investigate and fix the problem on your own could put you and your household in danger.
If you suspect you need a gas line repair, the professionals at Intown Plumbing are ready to help. Located in Rockwall, TX, we have over 20 years of experience handling gas leaks and all other plumbing-related repairs.
We make it easy to book services online and look forward to hearing from you.