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Natural gas is the most common fuel used for home heating, water heating, and cooking. While natural gas is considered a safe, reliable power source, gas leaks are always a possibility. A natural gas leak is dangerous because this fuel is highly flammable and can explode when exposed to a spark or open flame. This is why everyone with a gas line should know the symptoms of a gas leak.

The man checking gas leak with tool at Houston, TX

Do You Suspect a Gas Leak?

If you spot any of the signs outlined below, take these steps:

  • Open windows and doors to air out the interior.
  • Do not do anything that could generate a flame or spark, such as lighting a match, smoking, turning on a gas burner, flipping a light switch, or operating electrical equipment.
  • Turn the natural gas shut-off valve to stop the flow of gas. (Before an emergency strikes, make sure everyone in your home knows where the gas shut-off valve is located and how to use it.)
  • Evacuate all people and pets immediately and stand a safe distance away from the house.
  • Call 911, the local fire department, or your gas utility provider and explain the situation. Do not call from inside your house, as this could potentially ignite the gas.
  • Call an emergency plumber to request gas line repair.
  • Wait outside for emergency responders to arrive, assess the situation, and perform the necessary repair. Only go back inside when you’ve been notified that it’s safe to do so.

7 Signs of a Gas Leak

Older homes with neglected gas lines are vulnerable to damaged valves or connections that can cause a gas leak. Here’s how to identify whether you have a gas leak in your Texas home.

1. Rotten Egg Smell

Natural gas is odorless, so to help homeowners detect a leak, utility providers add a foul-smelling gas called mercaptan to the natural gas supply. If you notice a mysterious rotten egg smell, you could have a gas leak. Just remember, you may not be able to detect this distinctive odor if:

  • You have a reduced sense of smell
  • You have allergies, a cold, or a sinus condition
  • You use tobacco, drugs, or certain medications that affect your sense of smell
  • The odor is masked by other scents

2. Dying Plants

Slow leaks may not produce enough natural gas for you to detect a rotten egg smell. That’s why you should know what other gas leak signs to watch for, such as dying plant life in or around your home. Be on the lookout for smaller-than-normal leaves on trees, wilted shrubs, and yellow or dry patches of grass.

3. Damaged Gas Line Connections

Check your gas appliances and connections regularly for signs of damage. Cracks, gaps, and loose connections are a sure sign that you have a gas leak.

4. Hissing or Whistling Sounds

A significant leak from a gas pipe or appliance could produce hissing or whistling sounds, even when the appliance is turned off. While checking your gas line connections, listen for any noises that could signal a leak.

5. Air Bubbles

Natural gas lines run underground before entering your home. If you see air bubbles rising from standing water around your home, this could mean a buried pipe has been ruptured. While health problems and explosions are less likely when the gas leak is outside, you should still address the damaged pipe as soon as possible.

6. Rising Gas Usage

If you notice other signs of a gas leak, examine your gas bills from the past year. Usage typically rises in the winter, but an unexplained increase in the last month or two might suggest a gas leak.

7. Symptoms of Natural Gas Poisoning

Breathing low levels of natural gas can cause several physical symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Ear, nose, and throat irritation
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Irregular breathing

High-level gas exposure is characterized by:

  • Severe fatigue and headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Chest pain
  • Mood swings
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Suffocation

Gas leaks can also impact your pets. Watch for disorientation, lethargy, vomiting, shallow breathing, and red, watery eyes. Take immediate action if you notice these or any other signs of gas leaks.

Request Gas Line Repair in Harris County

At Redfin Plumbing, your safety is our number one priority. Turn to us for reliable gas line repair, and our knowledgeable team will pinpoint the leak’s location, perform the necessary repair, and restore safe operation. We listen to your needs and concerns and won’t deem the work complete until you’re satisfied with a job well done. Call us today or contact us online to request gas line repair in Houston, Cypress, Katy, Sugarland, Pearland, the Woodlands, Kingwood, and the surrounding Greater Houston area.