Are you suspecting a gas leak in your homestead? Gas leaks can cause massive damages to your house. As you know, gas is highly flammable. It will burn when exposed to a spark or fire. This incident can lead to extensive property destruction and even death in some cases.
In fact, gas leaks account for at least 17 deaths per year in the United States alone. These cases will increase worldwide as people move to green energy to reduce the impact of climate change. Sometimes, detecting a gas leak in your home can save you from fatal incidents.
But how do you go about it? Here are easy steps to detecting and fixing a gas leak at your home, that you should ONLY consider if you live in middle of nowhere and cannot reach a gas plumber.
Detecting a gas leak
Here are some of the signs of possible gas leakage in your home:
A rotten egg-like smell
By nature, natural gas is odourless. The gas from its sources has no smell. With this aspect, it can be hard to detect it when it leaks in your house. The gas company realized this aspect and the danger it carries. For this reason, they came up with a way to help households detect a gas leak.
The companies add a substance known as sulfuric to the natural gas. This element makes the gas to have a rotten egg-like smell. So, when you notice such a smell in your house, there is a possibility of your gas is leaking.
A hissing sound
Like a water pipe leakage, your gas will develop some hissing sound as it tries to get out through the leaking points. Also, the noise can be on the joints in your gas appliances. When you notice such a noise, it is important to identify the sources to be sure whether it is a gas leakage or not.
Dead grass along the gas line
Sometimes, a leak might be in the outdoor pipeline. This gas leak can be a challenge to identify unless there is some smell popping out. Of course even for an outdoor leak you would want to contact a plumbing company like All Day Plumbing.
A good sign of the gas leak in your outdoor space is dead grass. A leaking underground gas line causes the grass above to die. In case you notice such a situation, it is proof of a possible gas leak.
Steps to fixing gas leaks
Upon confirming that your gas line is leaking you should take some precautions. Here are some of them:
- Ensure all your family moves out of the house or property to a safer place.
- Avoid switching on lights, touch, or touching your phone.
- Make sure you do not start your car.
Now you could start the repair process. Remember, you need to have some basic skills in gas plumbing to carry on.
Turn off the gas
The first thing to do after identifying a leak is to turn off the gas. As noted above, gas is a highly combustible substance. You need to ensure no gas flow on the lines before you begin the repair process or contact a plumber for the job. So, head on to the main valve and switch it off.
Remove the gas line outer cover
Your gas line comes with a plastic outer cover that seals the pipes. You need to remove this cover to access the gas pipes and start your repair. Importantly, before you do this, remember to have your gas mask on as inhaling this gas can have some unwanted consequences.
Detach your gas line and release the residue pressure
Certainly, gas leaks occur due to high pressure in your pipelines. You need to detach the lower-pressure pipes from your regulator to start the repair process.
Again, even after turning off your gas line, it will have some residue. So, you’ve to release the residue gas to ease the pressure on the pipes. This step will make it easy to work on the leaking point. What you need is to use a wrench to crack the fittings on the gas line. This action should happen on the high-pressure gas lines, not the lower ones.
Use acetone in cleaning the impurities on the gas line
Now, it is time to clean the impunities on the gas line. Acetone is the best element you need to use for this task. This substance has a corrosive effect that eliminates every impurity on the gas line. Hence, it makes your gas pipes surface clean preventing rust that is a main cause of leaks.
Scuff the surface with a sandpaper
After removing the impurities, you need to scuff the surface with sandpaper. This action will remove any residue of the impurity. You can consider cleaning the part with acetone after scuffing the surface.
Attach the gas line and seal leaks with a rubber tape
You are through with the cleaning part. Re-attach the gas line to its position. Make sure it has a loose fit and do not tighten it as this can lead to another leakage problem.
When done, take a rubber tape and seal the leaking point. The rubber tape seal will enhance the gas line grip and prevent a possible reappearance of a leak at this point. As well, ensure the gas lines have the right angles and no interference between high and low-pressure lines.
Applying the Epoxy and testing your gas line
The next step is applying the epoxy. Place this element on the gas line and give it some time to hold and cure. You can consider leaving it for a night for it to cure properly and become firm. Now, tighten the high-pressure line and put back the low-pressure line in its place.
When through with these steps, it is your time to test the gas line. Turn on the gas and assess whether the leaks still exist. If no leaks, you can now continue using your gas appliances. In case, the leaks persist, consider performing the resealing task until they disappear.
Place the gas line covers back
After confirming there are no more leaks on your gas line, it is time to complete the work. The last step is reinstalling the gas line covers. So, take the covers and put the lines back. When through with this step, you can move on to another task. Your family and household can now come back to the property as it is now a safe haven.
No doubt, a gas leak in your household can be a worrying issue. You understand the possible loss that would come if the leaking gas comes into contact with fire. Chances are that you will lose everything on your property. In the worst case, your loved ones and you might say goodbye to the world.
For this reason, it is crucial to be conscious. You should be able to detect a slight gas leak in your house. If you cannot get a plumber near you, you can fix it by following the above steps. However, working with a qualified and licensed plumber will be the best idea.
Before beginning the repair and fixation process, consider the safety of your loved ones. Ensure they move out of the property. Also, follow other precautions that can reduce the risk of a fire in your backyard.
Natural gas is a good option for reliable and clean energy in your house. But its highly flammable aspect also makes it highly dangerous.