Gas leaks are no joke. An estimated 17 people die every single year due to natural gas leaks. If you suspect a gas leak in your Houston home, get everyone out and call CenterPoint Energy’s gas leak line at (713) 659-2111 and also call 911. Also call your Houston emergency plumber to get quick repairs for the pipes or fixtures responsible for the leak. Natural gas leaks can be hazardous, so take action immediately. In this article, we will explain why gas leaks are dangerous, signs to look for, and steps to take for a gas leak in your home.
Why Call a Houston Emergency Plumber for a Gas Leak?
You probably think of a plumber as someone who works on pipes and fixtures that use water, like your sink or toilet. However, plumbers also work with natural gas lines and appliances. A Houston emergency plumber can help find and repair damages that cause natural gas leaks. This is essential, as gas leaks can be dangerous. Natural gas is toxic and combustible, which puts your life at risk if you have a gas leak. It’s important to address suspected gas leaks immediately to help reduce any risks to you, your family, and your home.
Natural Gas is Toxic
Natural gas actually displaces oxygen when it builds up in your home. Therefore, if you have a leak, it could be life-threatening. Because natural gas displaces oxygen, gas exposure can cause you to asphyxiate from lack of oxygen. Inhaling natural gas can make you feel sick and even cause death. So, if you think you may have a gas leak in your home, it is absolutely an emergency. We will go over some of the things to do if you think you have a leak in a later section. However, if you think you smell natural gas, it’s important to get everyone out of the house (including your pets) to help prevent sickness and death from natural gas inhalation.
Gas Leaks can Cause Explosions
Another reason natural gas leaks are dangerous is that they can cause fires and explosions. Natural gas is a flammable and combustible gas. That means even a tiny spark can lead to a house fire or even an explosion. This spark can come from anything from a lit match to even static electricity from your cell phone. Don’t operate any electrical appliances, switches, or panels if you think you have a gas leak. Also, don’t light a match, smoke, or even use your cell phone. Get out of the area to avoid igniting the natural gas that has pooled in your home before making a call to CenterPoint, the authorities, and your Houston emergency plumber. In addition, avoid starting your vehicle if it’s close to the source of the leak. Always remember that natural gas is highly flammable and combustible and treat any suspected leak as an emergency.
Signs to Call Your Houston Emergency Plumber for a Suspected Gas Leak
There are many signs that you may have a gas leak. It’s important to ensure you and everyone in your home knows these signs and also what to do if they suspect natural gas may be leaking in or around your home.
One of the first signs that people have of a gas leak is the smell. Natural gas is naturally colorless and odorless, making it difficult to detect. That’s why the gas company adds a chemical called mercaptan to the gas supply. This chemical isn’t harmful, but smells like sulfur or rotten eggs to help alert you to a potential gas leak. A gas leak may smell a little differently to each person, but sulfur, rotten eggs, rotten cabbage, or even strong garlic or skunk-like smells are all red flags if you can’t otherwise explain them.
Also, in some cases you may hear a hissing sound coming from your gas lines or appliances. This is due to the gas escaping a small opening, like a crack or a loose fitting. You won’t always be able to hear a leak, but it’s one sign to look out for.
In addition, you or your family may experience symptoms of natural gas exposure if you have a leak in your home. These vary from person to person, but can include headaches, extreme fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and irritation of the throat or eyes.
There are also some visual clues that you may be dealing with a natural gas leak. For instance, if significant amounts of gas have built up in your home, the air may look slightly foggy or misty. Plants near the leak may also look like they are dead, dying or discolored.
What to Do for a Gas Leak?
Any time you suspect a gas leak, leave the area immediately. Make sure everyone in the house, including your pets, exit the house immediately. Because of the risk of fire and explosion, don’t turn off or on any light switches or electrical appliances. Also, don’t strike a match, smoke, or expose your home to a flame or spark of any kind. Avoid using your cell phone until you are a safe distance from your home and don’t start your car if it’s close to the house. These steps are to help you avoid health problems from natural gas inhalation as well as fires or explosions from gas leak.
Once you and your family are safe, call CenterPoint’s gas leak line. They also recommend calling 911. CenterPoint will immediately dispatch a technician to your home to turn off the gas. They also recommend calling 911 because firefighters are often trained to deal with natural gas leaks and any fires or explosions from the leak. Dispatchers may also send police to help block off the area until the leak is under control.
If you have a natural gas leak, you will likely need a qualified plumber to perform Houston plumbing repairs on your leaking gas line or appliance. Therefore, once you are sure everyone is safe and you’ve called both the gas company and 911, call your trusted Houston emergency plumber. Our licensed plumbers can help locate the source of the leak and also make any necessary repairs. Once repaired, you may need an inspection for the gas company to turn your service back on to ensure the leak has been properly addressed.
Common Causes of Gas Leaks in the Home
There are many reasons why you may have a gas leak in your home. As a Houston emergency plumber, we can get to the bottom of the leak and make repairs to get you back to normal ASAP. One common reason for a gas leak is aged or damaged gas lines. Any cracks or pinholes in the lines can cause natural gas to leak into your home. Pipe damage may be from things like overgrown tree roots, digging in the yard, or just age.
It’s also common to have a gas leak if your gas lines or appliances weren’t properly installed. For example, if an appliance was improperly installed, you may have a loose connection between the line and the appliance, allowing natural gas to escape into your home. That’s why it’s important to have your trusted Houston plumbing company perform any installation, maintenance, or repairs on gas lines and you may even consider having our licensed plumbers install gas appliances for you.
Santhoff Plumbing – Top Houston Emergency Plumber since 1974
Our team at Santhoff Plumbing is here for you when you have a plumbing emergency. We are a highly rated plumbing company with 47 years of experience. Our plumbers help with everything from emergency repairs to plumbing maintenance and installation. As a family owned and operated business, it is our goal to provide you with the best service for all your plumbing needs. If you have a plumbing emergency, call our 24/7 line at (281)-759-5000. For planned repairs, maintenance, or installations, you can schedule plumbing service easily online.