Normally, gas is safe to use in homes and offices. People use both natural and propane gas for heating, cooking, and other purposes. But it gets riskier when there are leaks, small or major.
Understand the small leaks. They can allow dangerous gasses like carbon monoxide to build up in your home. Then, imagine what a larger or sudden leak can do. Possibly an explosion.
That’s why you must know how to check for gas leaks yourself. Before going for a professional gas leak detection service.
Hawley Home Inspections helps you with DIY gas leak detection. We will take you through the alarming signs indicating a gas leak. And how to check for gas leaks yourself. By the end of this blog, you’ll also know how to prevent or stop gas leaks at your place.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started with
How To Check for Gas Leaks with DIY Methods
One thing you should bear in mind is that the sooner you detect a gas leak, the better it is. Because you can prevent its damage like an explosion. Which means, you can ensure your family’s safety and health this way.
DIY is a good idea before jumping on a professional inspector for gas leak detection. You can look for obvious signs that gas is leaking somewhere in your home. That’s also a sign you need professional help later.
So here are the ways how to check for gas leaks with DIY tactics.
Use Your Senses
Your ears and nose are useful here. You can sniff out gas leaks or hear faint hissing sounds. Smell and listen closely to them, respectively. Specifically near gas appliances like stoves or gas lines.
If you feel any smell of rotten eggs or a sulfur-like odor, that’s a gas leak. You shouldn’t ignore these signs even if these odors are not constant and come and go. Instead, you should follow your nose to track down the real gas leak source.
Look for Physical Signs
There could be obvious signs around your gas appliances and lines that indicate leaks. You should look for dirt or dust blowing from a hole or crack. You can also look for other physical signs. Such as vegetation or plants going dead suddenly. Or bubbles and condensation forming in standing water.
If you notice discoloring in vegetation or your surfaces turning brown, infer that these are physical signs of a gas leak.
Inspect Gas Appliances
Whatever the problem, go back to its roots. The same goes for gas leak detection cases. You should look for soot buildup or unusual scorch marks. There could be discoloration on or around your gas appliance unit.
You can conduct a soap-water test yourself. To check for leaks around valves, fittings, and pipes. Wherever there are leaks, bubbles will form. You can also inspect the pilot lights of your gas appliance. To ensure they are lit when appliances are on. If these pilots are doused or sooty, you would know there’s a leak.
Check Stovetops and Ovens
You should check the stovetops and ovens inside and out. Make sure all pilot lights are working properly. You should also look for discoloration or any residue around burners. And you can use a soapy water test here as well. To check for leaks around valves, pipes, and fittings. A gas leak could be stopping your stove top burners from igniting.
Use a Gas Leak Detector
To conduct a more thorough gas leak detection at your end, you can use advanced methods. For instance, using an electronic or chemical gas leak detector. These are affordable detectors that can alert you to any dangerous gas concentrations or leaks in the air.
Start by following the product instructions. And check around all potential leak points. This will give you additional protection by combining with the other DIY methods.
How to Stop Gas Leaks?
If you suspect a gas leak, prioritize your safety. Take a few necessary steps to prevent any major accident, and then go for professional help with gas leak detection. Here are some of those precautions or steps you can take to stop or avoid gas leaks.
Evacuate Immediately – If you suspect a gas leak, evacuate the building or area immediately. Leave the doors and windows open so the fresh air can circulate.
Do Not Use Electronic Devices – You should not use any electronic devices, switches, or appliances when you are sniffing a gas leak. It will be better if you don’t use your phone inside the building. Because it can also create sparks.
Do Not Turn On or Off Lights – Avoid turning on or off any lights, as the switches can also cause sparks.
Do Not Start or Turn Off Vehicles – Do not start or turn off any vehicles near the suspected gas leak. Because it can also trigger ignition and create sparks.
Prevent Flames and Ignition Sources – You should douse any open flames, such as candles or cigarettes. Avoid using matches or lighters.
Signs of Gas Leaks
Gas leaks can be incredibly dangerous if you leave them unchecked. This can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, explosions, and fires.
But thankfully, there are often clear warning signs that point to a leak. Here are some of them.
It’s one of the first symptoms of gas leak exposure. You may suddenly feel breathing difficulty, chest tightness, wheezing, or a chronic cough. This can also lead to headaches, dizziness, and flu-like symptoms. If multiple people in a home feel the same way, a gas leak could be the cause.
Headaches or Nausea
Inhaling fumes from a gas leak can trigger headaches, nausea, drowsiness, and fatigue. These symptoms can develop suddenly and for no clear reason.
Visible Damage to a Gas Line
You should look for obvious signs of damage around gas piping and appliances. If there are any cracks, holes, or loose fittings, that shows a gas leak.
Suddenly Dying Houseplants
Plants need oxygen to survive. If your houseplants start dying off for no reason, there could be leaking gas. That is reducing oxygen levels indoors.
The Bottom Line
Quick gas leak detection is important for your health and safety. Minor leaks can allow toxic gasses like carbon monoxide to enter your home silently. On the other hand, the major leaks bring risks of explosion and fire.
You should try these DIY methods we discussed to detect a gas leak. Also, give a shot at the precautions for stopping those gas leaks. Scroll through our blog section to learn more about inspections.