Natural gas appliances are extremely popular, practical, and efficient for cutting costs on your overall utility bills. Millions of people worldwide have them in their homes and use them daily. However, just like everything else, these appliances eventually begin to feel the wear and tear of consistent use and need proper maintenance.
Gas leaks can occur in the house and are much more common than you think. In fact, gas explosions happen once every two days on average. And when a leak does happen, you might consider fixing it yourself to save a few extra dollars. Of course, there’s always a YouTube tutorial for anything, even gas leak repairs—they make it seem so simple! But when it comes to gas repairs, you don’t want to end up playing with fire—pun intended.
You’ll know there is a gas leak present in your home if you notice the following, but a note of caution, DO NOT rely solely on these signs alone. A natural gas detector is really the only sure way to be protected.
- A rotten egg smell
- Hissing, whistling, or roaring sounds near an appliance or gas line
- White or dust cloud near a gas line
- Bubbles in puddles in the yard
- Damages connected to a gas appliance
- Dying or dead houseplants
- Higher-than-average gas bills
Recognizing these signs of a gas leak can make a huge difference. If you think there’s a leak, take the following actions:
- Evacuate the area: Everyone in the home should leave immediately and regroup a safe distance away to limit exposure to gas. Also, avoid starting your car or using any electrical appliances or sources of ignition.
- Call for help: Call your gas company or emergency services from a safe location to report the suspected gas leak. Do not attempt to turn off any gas valves yourself.
- Wait for assistance: Call emergency services or a qualified professional as soon as everyone is outside and at a safe distance from the home. Follow any instructions provided by emergency personnel and avoid using gas appliances until they have been inspected and deemed safe.
If it isn’t obvious, dealing with natural gas leaks alone can be pretty dangerous. Here are a few reasons to reconsider your DIY plans.
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You’re not a professional.
The fact is no number of “how-to” videos online or home improvement blogs will give you the expertise to handle what you’ll encounter if you try to DIY a natural gas repair. There are certain rules and regulations that you have to follow, and you need to use special equipment and follow the correct steps. Even after that, you can still make a mistake.
Gas repair technicians are not only well-trained to handle such situations with ease but they are also equipped with the right tools. Moreover, they have undergone training on how to cope if something goes wrong.
Precision is necessary.
When attempting to repair a gas leak, you must also know what to look for to get the job done while preventing potential dangers that can arise. Repairing gas leaks requires precision because it involves identifying the source of the leak and repairing the damaged section of the pipeline or equipment without causing additional damage. Detecting gas leaks requires specialized equipment such as gas detectors, infrared cameras, and trained personnel who can accurately identify the leaks' location and severity—the trained eye knows what elements to gauge.
DIY can be a costly risk.
Another reason DIY gas leak repairs are a bad idea is that the cost is often more expensive than the money you would save by not calling a professional. Natural gas leaks can lead to symptoms such as reduced oxygen levels, chest pain, nosebleeds, and breathing difficulties. Without the necessary training, you could exacerbate the problem and make the leak a much more serious problem, leading to more fees than initially anticipated.
Don’t jeopardize the safety of yourself and your family all because you want to save a few bucks.
Fire and explosion are real risks.
Many people believe that explosions don’t happen all that often. However, when there’s a leak, it only takes one tiny spark to ignite an explosion—even the flick of a switch can act as a trigger.
The problem is that leaks don’t occur immediately and may happen without sound or smell, meaning you can go days or weeks after your “successful” repair thinking everything is done. Even if there is no explosion, a fire can occur at any point, whether day or night or if someone is in the house or not. Gas is highly flammable, and you cannot contain it immediately.
On the other hand, a professional will be able to detect and deal with these issues before they really become a safety hazard. Using gas appliances may be a breeze, but fixing them should be left to the pros. It is a risk you don’t want to take. Instead, opt for the person with the most knowledge, skills, and experience to successfully fix a natural gas leak. You’ll rest easier in your home knowing your family is protected. We’ve heard from many families who waited until it was too late and regretted that they did.
So, if you suspect you have a leak in your home, don’t look at it as a challenge but as a warning to call a professional. They’ll restore your home to safety and get your gas appliances working like a charm!