Common Signs of a Gas Leak in Your Home

Gas leaks pose serious risks to your home and health as they can cause fires, explosions, carbon monoxide poisoning and even death. Therefore, it is essential to detect and fix any gas leaks as soon as possible, but how can you tell if you have a gas leak in your home? Here are some common signs that could indicate a gas leak and what you should do about them.

A Hissing Noise

If you hear a hissing noise coming from your gas pipes, appliances or hot water system, it is a clear sign of a gas leak. The hissing sound is caused by the high-pressure gas escaping from a crack or hole in the pipe or appliance. This is a very dangerous situation, as the gas can ignite easily and cause a fire or explosion and you should not ignore this audible alarm.

Strange Smells

Natural gas is typically odourless, but gas companies add a chemical called mercaptan to give it a distinctive smell of rotten eggs or sulphur. This is done to help you detect a gas leak by your sense of smell. So if you notice a strange smell in your home, especially near gas appliances or hot water system, it could indicate a gas leak. Recognising and acting on this distinct odour can prevent a hazardous situation.

Soot on Your Gas Hot Water System

Soot is a black or brown substance that is produced by the incomplete burning of gas. If you see soot accumulation on or around your gas hot water heater, it could sign a gas leak. It could mean that the gas is not burning properly and is producing carbon monoxide, a colourless, odourless and poisonous gas.  Having your gas hot water system regularly inspected will help catch these issues before they escalate.

Yellow, Orange or Red Flames

The flames from your gas stove, oven or hot water system should be blue and steady. If you see yellow, orange or red flames, it could indicate a gas leak. This could mean that there isn’t enough oxygen for the gas to burn properly, or that there is an impurity in the gas. Either way, this could affect the efficiency and safety of your gas appliances and hot water system. Identifying and addressing the issue promptly is vital for your safety and the well-being of your home.

Feeling Unwell

It can also affect your health in various ways. For instance if you are exposed to gas, you may experience symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, fatigue, headache, chest pain or loss of appetite. These symptoms could be a silent warning of a gas leak, especially if they occur when you are at home and disappear when you leave.

Dead Houseplants

Surprisingly, dead houseplants might not result from neglect. They could be a subtle indicator of a gas leak. This can reduce the oxygen level in your home and affect the health of your plants. If you notice that your houseplants are wilting or dying, it could mean that there is a gas leak in your home.

What to Do if You Suspect a Gas Leak

Gas leaks are not something to be taken lightly. They can pose serious threats to your home and health, and even cause fatal accidents. If you suspect a gas leak, you should act quickly and follow these steps:

  • Turn off the gas supply at the main valve, if you can do so safely.
  • Open the windows and doors to ventilate the area and disperse the gas.
  • Do not use any sources of ignition, such as matches, lighters, candles, cigarettes, or electrical appliances.
  • Do not use any phones, including mobile phones, inside or near the affected area, as they can create a spark.
  • Leave the area immediately and go to a safe location.
  • Call a licensed gas fitter or plumber to locate and fix the gas leak.

Sweeney’s Plumbing offers comprehensive plumbing and gas fitting services, ensuring your home stays safe and secure. Whether you need a gas leak detection, repair, installation, or maintenance, they can handle it with professionalism and efficiency. Schedule a servicing today to safeguard your household from potential gas related risks.

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