Natural gas lines are now very common throughout America. The use of this fuel is usually safe, but a natural gas line leak can be highly dangerous since it's a potential fire hazard, and deadly to inhale. Therefore, when spotting a leak, you must take immediate action to fix it.
Because natural gas has no odor or color, nowadays every supplier adds a smell component to it, so every time there is a gas leak you can tell because of the strong smell of rotten eggs. Though this element isn't pleasant, this distinct odor makes noticing a gas leak very easy. After noticing a leak, you must find where it comes from.
Step 1 - Detect a Leak
As soon as you notice the smell of rotten eggs in your house, stop everything you are doing and identify which of your home appliances work with natural gas. It is important to act as soon as possible, so as to inhale the minimum amount of gas. Breathing large amounts of natural gas may cause intoxication or asphyxia for you, children, and pets.
Step 2 - Step Up
Pour equal amounts of liquid soap and water in a bowl. Mix. This solution will help you in detecting any potential gas leaks.
Step 3 - Check the Possible Sources of the Leak
After mixing the solution thoroughly, grab your paintbrush and apply the soapy liquid on every inch of the length of your gas lines and pipes. Be sure to apply this mixture on the fittings, connections, joints, and other parts that have to do directly with the flow of natural gas. If there's a leak on any of these parts, little bubbles will start showing where ever the gas is leaking out.
Step 4 - Identify the Type of Leak
If bubbles are coming from one of the connections, just tighten up the bolt as hard as you can. Use an adjustable wrench for this and the problem should be solved. However, if the leak comes from a tiny hole in the pipe, then it's time to replace the pipeline.
Step 5 - Take the Appropriate Measures
Once you have found your leak, if a pipe replacement is needed, turn off the gas supply immediately. That way, you can work safely in the replacement of the damaged part. Usually, you can turn off the gas flow only to the appliance you won't be using, without having to turn off the main valve. However, it all depends on the particular installation at your house.
These steps should be enough for you to spot and fix a gas leak. Because of the sulfur-based compound companies add to natural gas, noticing the gas leak is not hard at all for most people. However, there are some people with a poor sense of smell that even this distinct odor may not be strong enough for them. For these cases, it is highly recommended to also purchase a natural gas detector. There is a wide variety of them on the market, with different prices and features. In most cases, you'll be able to install them yourself by following simple instructions that also recommend the best places to place them. You must take all the precautions needed when dealing with natural gas at home.