How Common are Natural Gas Problems?

Natural gas is one of the safest power sources available to homes and commercial properties in NYC. But like any power source, it is not completely without risks and whether you are considering installing natural gas in your home or your building already has a gas piping system, knowing the risks means that you will know what to look out for in the rare event of a problem.

Problems with Natural Gas and What to Do About Them

Problems with gas piping systems are not common. Natural gas is the cause of just over 4000 house fires nationwide each year, with only a very small portion of those occurring in NYC. Explosions, although possible, are exceedingly rare with only a few occurring each year.

More often, these fires are the result of cooking with gas powered appliances, which accounts for about 50% of fires, and heating with a gas powered furnace or boiler, which accounts for a quarter of house fires. 

While these numbers are not a reason to avoid gas power, they do indicate that you should still be aware of any potential problem. The leading cause of a natural gas fire is when there is a leak somewhere in the system. This allows flammable gas to escape and if there is a spark for any reason, it can light the gas in the air. Gas leaks at properties in NYC are most often the result of:

  • Incorrect Installation – When a gas piping system or gas appliance is installed by someone other than a licensed master plumber who has the correct training, mistakes are far more likely which can leave your home at risk.
  • Improper Use of Appliances – Homes and tenants that use gas powered appliances in ways not advised by the manufacturer are more likely to start a gas leak, CO2 leak, or fire.
  • Damaged System or Appliances – If any part of your gas piping system sustains damage, it will make it more likely to develop a leak.
  • Aging Pipes and Appliances – All equipment will naturally wear as it gets older and it could start to rust, corrode, or develop loose connections, letting gas escape.
  • Clogged Gas Lines – A line that becomes clogged with debris could build up too much pressure and force gas out in other ways. 

The best way to avoid these problems is to have all of your gas installation and repairs performed by an NYC licensed master plumber who can complete the work at a high standard. You should also know how to use your appliances and always follow the instructions.

Inspections from a licensed master plumber can also identify an early indication of a problem. For many properties in NYC, inspections are required under Local Law 152. But other properties can benefit from inspections as well, especially if you have noticed any sign of a leak. Fortunately, even when leaks happen, they usually develop slowly over time. Inspections offer an opportunity to catch them before they become worse.

If you are concerned about a potential gas leak in NYC or need Local Law 152 inspection, Empire Plumbing Inc can detect any problems and make the repairs your property needs to stay safe. Reach out to our team today.

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