3 Clearest Indicators Of A Gas Leak

Most homes use natural gas to run their gas appliances such as furnaces and ovens. However, everyday use can cause your appliances to wear out and develop leaks. Your gas pipes can also succumb to elements and begin to leak. When left untreated, gas leaks can cause carbon monoxide poisoning or, even worse, gas explosions. 

Here are three gas leak signs you should watch out for. 

Dead Plants 

You can't easily detect an underground gas leak. However, if you usually take good care of your outdoor plants, they can help you know when a gas leak is underway. For instance, the plants could begin to look sickly or die without reason if they're exposed to a gas leak. Stunted plant growth and yellow grass patches in the midst of lush vegetation are also signs of an ongoing gas leak.

Houseplants are likely to react to a gas build-up in your house before you can even detect the gas leak. Excessive amounts of natural gas impede oxygen absorption in plants, which causes them to die or wilt. So if your houseplants begin to wither or show signs of weakness, you need to take the necessary action immediately.

Health Issues and High Gas Bills

Natural gas exposure can also be detrimental to your health, evidenced by some physical side effects. If health concerns such as fatigue, nausea, headaches, and drowsiness are rampant in your household without explanation, a gas leak may be to blame. Other symptoms of gas leaks are:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Flu-like symptoms

These symptoms indicate that you may have inhaled carbon monoxide for some time. On the same note, if you have observed a sharp rise in your gas bills, a gas leak is the most likely cause.

Obviously, gas usage will skyrocket during winter as you run your gas furnace. But if it's hot in the summer and the usage hits abnormal levels, you should quickly set up an appointment to have your gas plumbing inspected for leaks. 

Fog and a Rotten Egg Smell

Do you see an unusual white mist or fog around your home? If so, you may have a broken gas line, and you should contact an emergency plumber right away before things take a turn for the worst.

Generally, natural gas is odorless. However, gas companies put an additive called mercaptan (a non-toxic chemical) that's hard to miss. This chemical has a pungent smell, often likened to rotten egg or cabbage, sewage, or sulfur. If you notice such smells, know that a gas leak is in progress. 

Natural gas is highly flammable. So, keep off light switches where a huge build-up of natural gas is present to avoid an explosion. Also, don't attempt DIY gas line repairs. Instead, contact an emergency plumber as soon as you can to repair or replace your gas line. 

To learn more, contact a company like Merrell Plumbing.

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