Formerly Jim's Plumbing

How to Check for a Gas Leak

One of the main reasons that our customers contact us here at Plumber Near Me is when they suspect that there may be a gas leak in their home. A suspected gas leak can be particularly hazardous; not only does it pose a fire risk to your home, but can be just as harmful to the health of you and your family as well.

In its natural state, gas is odourless. However, due to its hazardous nature, all gas has the odourant Mercaptan added to it so that it smells distinctly like sulphur or rotten eggs. That gas smell is easily identifiable, and can potentially save your life. So, whether you’re dealing with a faulty gas appliance or damaged gas pipelines, let’s look at the common signs of a gas leak and what you need to do when you’re facing one.

Common Indicators Of Gas Leaks In Your Home

Gas leaks can pose serious risks, so knowing the common indicators that can tell you when a gas leak occurs is crucial to protecting life or property. They include:

  • An unmistakable smell of rotten eggs or sulphur indicates a gas leak, as natural gas companies add this odour for easy detection.
  • A hissing or whistling sound near gas appliances or pipework could indicate the presence of leaking gas.
  • The presence of dead or dying vegetation in your garden can be a tell-tale sign of a major gas leak in the underground pipes.
  • A significant drop in gas pressure can make your gas stove or gas heater underperform.
  • If you notice bubbles in water puddles around the gas meter or gas lines, this could indicate a leak.
  • Your pilot lights might go out frequently or change colour, indicating that a gas leak might be affecting the gas supply.
  • Your local gas distributor may turn off the gas meter to your home if they detect a leak in the midst of routine testing or a gas meter replacement.

Protecting your home from gas leaks is paramount; stay vigilant, and take immediate action – including a call to emergency services and your gas distribution network – if you smell gas or notice any other signs of a leak.

Smell Gas? Time to Call the Professionals

So you smell gas in your home, or have found yourself dealing with one of the above indicators, and are pretty certain you have a natural gas leak. What, therefore should you do about it?

  • First and foremost, if you suspect a gas leak, do not use electrical appliances, light matches, or create a spark; leave the area immediately. The combination of gas and naked flames or an electricity supply can be particularly dangerous.
  • Turn off the gas at the meter if safe to do so, open all the windows and doors for ventilation, and get out of the house.
  • Check for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as headaches or dizziness, as gas appliances can leak this deadly gas.

The Importance of Using A Licensed Gas Fitter

Now, fixing a gas leak is NOT a DIY job by any means. Once you’ve vacated the house and called your local gas distributor to report the leak, call a licensed gas fitter immediately. We’ll come to your home with a gas manometer to test existing gas pipework which will tell us if a gas leak is truly present.

Should the manometer reveal a leak, we would then proceed to test every visible connection and joint on the gas pipe work. If we are still unable to find a leak, we would then disconnect and isolate all gas appliances from the gas supply pipework and retest the pipework alone.

This will show us whether there is a gas leak on one of the appliances or the pipework from the meter connecting to the gas appliances.

No drop in pressure when re-testing the pipework with the appliances disconnected means that the gas leak was in fact only on one of the appliances. We would then reconnect the appliances in succession, retesting as we do so to find the faulty appliance.

In an emergency situation, we are often able to replace gas pipework the same day – and we’re available 24 hours, 7 days a week!

Contact The Experts in Gas Appliances When You Have a Gas Leak

In summary, checking for a gas leak is a process of elimination by testing, disconnecting, reconnecting and re-testing again of the gas pipework and associated gas appliance.

The best way to handle a gas leak is by booking a qualified gas fitter from Plumber Near Me immediately.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.