Natural gas is a resource that we use to fuel a large majority of the appliances in our households and businesses, like water heaters, furnaces, or even gas stoves. Without natural gas, these appliances would be unable to operate properly and efficiently. In addition, gas is a totally irreplaceable element in our lives, since it is used so often and is very resourceful.

However, as important as gas is to the major appliances that many homeowners have in their homes, it is equally important to handle natural gas carefully. Because natural gas is dangerous, it is essential to handle the carrier of the gas — the gas lines — with care, especially when it comes to gas line repair in Southern California. Because natural gas is hazardous, a common emergency plumbing problem we see is gas leaks. Not only are gas leaks harmful to your health, they can also increase your energy bills. Because gas safety and gas line repair in Chino Hills, CA and the surrounding areas are important, in this blog, we are going to answer some common questions about gas leaks and cover some of the signs that may indicate your home has a gas leak!

Why do gas leaks occur?

As mentioned, many appliances in the average household need gas to run efficiently. Appliances that are not properly maintained or fitted can lead to a much larger problem that raises safety concerns.

When these gas-fueled appliances aren’t legitimate or have no warranty, there is no real guarantee of safety when they are being used. For the safest measures, homeowners should only use gas-powered appliances from reliable and trustworthy brands, and have them installed by a professional.

When appliances are badly fitted, they can leave gaps in the gas line that connects the gas supply to the appliance. When this happens, hazardous gas can escape and fill the room, eventually spreading into other areas of the house. With that, older appliances in homes are usually refurbished and close to the end of their effectiveness. Homeowners that have older appliances should be extremely cautious, as these appliances are more susceptible to gas leaks. Although natural gas has no odor, an odor was added so that people can better detect a gas leaks. Homeowners who smell a sulfur or rotten egg smell in their home may have a gas leak. In that case, they should call and emergency plumber for gas leak repair services.  

What if a gas leak goes unnoticed?

As mentioned above, the sulfuric odor added to natural gas can make leaks easier to detect. While large gas leaks are easier to identify —  because the smell is stronger — smaller gas leaks will often go unnoticed for a long period of time. Any gas leak, if not noticed shortly after occurring, can cause the inhabitants within a residence to start showing signs of carbon monoxide, another odorless gas, poisoning.

Unnoticed gas leaks will allow gas to spread throughout the household. Gas can be pulled into the vents of a home and dispersed into other areas of the house. It can even be pulled into a home’s HVAC system and mixed into the air.

In addition, gas leaks can easily cause combustion if the gas comes into contact with a flame or a spark. Believe it or not, a common cause of kitchen fires around the world is gas leaks. In the worst case scenarios, gas leaks can cause explosions. This happens when pockets of gas and a large fire come into contact with the oxygen-rich air outside.

Any appliances that are unfit for use can still make their way into homes, and without the proper inspection and installation of these gas-fueled appliances, you could put your property at risk of a fire or an explosion, and put your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

What are some good gas leak detectors or signs?

Whether the gas lines in your house are above ground or underground, over time, they will become susceptible to corrosion and deterioration. While smell is one of the main indicators a gas leak, if the leak is small, it might not be as easy to detect as you think. However, there are other signs throughout a household that can be an indication of a gas leak. While there are many signs of a gas leak, we are going to cover some of the most common signs noticed by homeowners. Once these signs are detected, it is important to call an emergency plumbing service to perform gas leak repair right away.

Sulfuric Smell

As we have mentioned, this is probably the most common sign of a gas leak that homeowners notice. Because natural gas is odorless, utility companies add mercaptan to it, a component that’s smell has been compared to the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs. If you catch a whiff of this unpleasant smell in your home, it may be a good reason to call a 24-hour plumber.

Hissing Sound

Many homeowners are surprised to find that the quiet hissing sound they have been hearing was actually a gas leak! Any hissing sound that comes from the gas line is likely an indicator that there is a sizable leak in the line. Ignoring this sound can lead to more problems, like causing serious harm to the property and its inhabitants.

Dead Plants

When plants located near gas lines are dying, it is a good sign that there is a gas leak. While plants can die from not getting enough sunlight or water, if they seem to be dying for no apparent reason, you may have a gas leak on your hands. When natural gas is leaked near plants, it acts as a barrier, blocking the plant’s source of oxygen. Plus, if you notice any fruits and vegetables changing colors, it could be caused by being exposed to natural gas.

White Fog or Mist

In the event that you notice abnormal clouds of fog or mist around your household, it can be a sign that a gas line has been ruptured. When you notice this unusual activity near your home, it is best to search for gas line repair services, and your best bet is to call a Southern California plumber.

Health Issues

As you know, exposure to natural gas leaks can be harmful not only to a property but to its inhabitants as well. Small gas leaks accumulate over a period of time and add a heavy amount of pollutants to the air that is breathed in by you and your family members. These pollutants eventually will weaken your immune system, as well as other bodily functions. If anyone within a household experiences certain health conditions without any reasonable explanation, it could be a good indicator of a gas leak. Some common symptoms to look out for that can be triggered by gas leaks are:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness

To add to that list, a major health effect of gas leaks is asphyxiation, which is when the body is unable to get a sufficient amount of oxygen. Gas leaks can also have some effects on the respiratory system and can trigger certain physiological effects.

Increased Gas Bills

When gas leaks remain unnoticed, there is nothing stopping the gas from silently continuing to leak. When this occurs, you can end up with a gas bill that is higher than what you normally receive. A price spike in the gas bill, without an apparent reason, could be due to a gas leak. If you are noticing increased gas bills, that is good motivation to call a professional to come inspect the gas lines.

Gas leak? Call your trusted 24-hour plumber in Chino

Hopefully, this information has been helpful and will be beneficial the next time you suspect a leak in your property’s gas line. If you’re located in Chino, CA or in the surrounding Southern California areas and are in need of an emergency plumbing service to provide gas leak repair, call the Southern California plumber that is trusted by many; Complete Plumbing and Rooter! Our reliable, professional, and friendly plumbing services will quickly arrive on-site and eliminate the risk of natural gas exposure. Our company not only specializes in gas leak repair, but in other plumbing services, like water heater repair, fixing common toilet problems, drain cleanings, and much more! In addition, we are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, making us one of the only emergency plumbing services in Chino! To learn more, contact our Southern California plumbing company today!