Gas leaks are nothing to joke around about and should be taken very seriously. Since they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, early detection should be at the top of your list.
When left undetected, gas leaks pose a personal risk to your health, such as illness or death, and risks to your home, such as causing a fire, or explosion. Small leaks are also not always identifiable by the classic “rotten eggs” odor, which means they can not only increase your utility bills but also slowly make you feel worse and worse.
Luckily detecting gas leaks in your home is now easier than ever.
What Can Cause Gas Leaks
A variety of items can cause gas leaks, however, most commonly it has to do with your gas appliances. If they are not properly installed, maintained or become faulty without your knowledge, items such as gas stoves or boilers, can cause both slow and big leaks. Mostly, when you do find that you have a leak, it will be something minor, as the hose attached is improperly fitted at the seal.
How Do You Know You Have A Gas Leak
There are a few different easy ways you can tell if you have a gas leak. One of the most common and widely known giveaways is the rotten smell that gas gives off. However, as mentioned above that only happens when you have a big leak.
Here are a few things you should keep an eye out in your home.
Dead Plants and Grass
If you notice that your grass or your plants outside your home are dying, but only in one area, double check and see if your gas pipe runs underneath that part. This is a sure sign that you have a leak.
If you hear hissing coming from anywhere near your lines or appliances, it means you have a considerable break or hole, causing the gas to escape.
The Bubble Test
This, even though being a lesser known one, is a quick and easy way to check for gas leaks in your home.
You will want to mix some soap into a bucket of water, or if you happen to have the sink full of dishes, just grab your sponge from there. Once you have the sponge soaked, wipe down the area that you suspect. When you do this, if you see bubbles forming, it means that you have a leak. It is worth checking multiple spots around your home because there is always the chance that the leak is under your house.
The Presence Of Fog And Mist
You will find that a cloud which resembles fog or mist can form around your home. As this will only be present if you have a major gas leak, as soon as you notice it, make sure to call your gas company. It takes a massive leak to create the appearance of this cloud.
If you still don’t feel 100% after going through some of the aforementioned tests, you can always buy a CO detector, such as First Alert CO600 or something like the First Alert SCO5CN, which is a dual smoke and CO detector.
As well, we recommend using a Radon gas detector. Radon can be detected using something like the Airthings Wave, which is a smart detector that communicates straight to your phone. Alternatively, and a little less expensive, you can use the First Alert RD1, in which you send your results away, and within 72 hours get them back.
If your appliances are a little older, it is recommended that you get a regular inspection every 6 months, to ensure all they are in perfect working order. And if you find that your pilot light is a strange orange or yellow color, and keeps blowing out, definitely call someone in right away. As these are sure signs that there is something wrong.
Also consider when you purchase any second-hand appliances, to have them checked before you buy them, and have them installed by a professional. This way any items that the untrained eye may miss is caught right away. While it’s not easy to detect gas leaks, getting someone to check your appliances is the wise thing to do.