Signs You May Have An Underground Gas Leak

There are 74 million commercial, industrial and residential natural gas customers across the U.S. according to the American Gas Association (AGA). Natural gas is used to power furnaces, stoves and water heaters among other household appliances.  Proper installation and maintenance is important for safety.

Is a Gas Leak Dangerous?

When properly installed and maintained, natural gas is a reliable and safe way to supply energy to your home. However, if gas appliances are improperly maintained, general wear-and-tear could lead to a gas leak.

Natural gas is very combustible; therefore, leaks can pose a serious risk of fire and or explosion. Underground gas leaks can be difficult to identify at times, but these indoor and outdoor signs can help you locate and fix the leak before it becomes a life-threatening issue.

Interior Signs of a Gas Leak

Unpleasant Rotten Egg Smell – A sulfuric or rotten egg smell is the most noticeable sign of a natural gas leak. Natural gas doesn’t have an odor or color, but utility companies include an additive that gives the gas a highly distinctive smell. Mercaptan or methanethiol is added by utility companies as a precaution to help identify and locate gas leaks.

Hissing Sound – A hissing sound coming from the area of a gas appliance is another telltale sign of a gas leak. Hissing coming from a gas appliance is a highly dangerous situation because it means that the system is losing large quantities of air. If this happens, do not try to fix the leak yourself and call a trained professional.

Bubble and Soap Test – Another way to tell if you have a natural gas leak is by performing a bubble or soap test. First, mix a small amount of dish soap in water and make sure your gas is on. Next, use a cloth or sponge to wipe down the appliance or area where the suspected leak is. If you see bubbles forming it means you have a leak. Again, call the gas company or trained professional.

Personal Health Symptoms – The most common physical health symptoms to occur during a gas leak include: respiratory problems, drowsiness and increased fatigue, flu-like symptoms, nose bleeds and chest pain among several others. In addition to humans having health problems during a gas leak, unusual behavior or lethargy in pets is another indicator.

Exterior Signs of a Gas Leak

Dead Vegetation and Bubbling Water – Bubbling water and dead vegetation are all indicators of an underground leak in your gas line. Even though you can’t directly see gas lines underneath the ground, noticeable patches of dead vegetation or bubbles forming in moist ground throughout the area are major indicators.

Ground on Fire – A clearly defined blue/yellow flame coming from or hovering above the ground is a clear sign of an underground gas leak. If you see a flame, move far away from the area and contact authorities.

White Mist or Visible Air Movement ­– A gas leak in an underground pipe can cause vegetation to be moved and dirt to be thrown as if there is a breeze. In addition, an unusual cloud of mist or fog can be another indicator of a underground leak.

What to Do if You Have a Gas Leak in Your North Bay Area Home

Several symptoms, both interior and exterior, can indicate that you have a leak in your gas line or utility system. Due to the fact that gas leaks are extremely serious and require immediate action, follow the following steps if you detect gas leak symptoms.

  • Evacuate immediately
  • Call your gas company, or 911 in extreme instances
  • Wait for a certified inspector or technician to examine and fix the leak

Contact Same Day today for more information!