How to Check for Gas Pipe Leaks

A natural gas leak in your home or business can have devastating consequences. Even small leaks can cost you money as they release gas that you are paying for but not using. When a leak is large enough, you will often be able to detect it by the rotten eggs odor added to natural gas.

But if you want to take a more proactive approach to gas leaks and identify leaks in the early stages, there are some additional signs to be aware of and checks that you can perform to help you decrease the risk of experiencing a leak.

Signs of a Gas Leak

Gas leaks can develop for a number of different reasons. Aging or damaged pipes can develop cracks over time. Corrosion to pipes or fittings, or fittings that come loose, can let small amounts of gas out. An initial installation that was not done to code can also leave gas pipes at risk for a leak.

As gas appliances and pipes age, they are more likely to develop cracks, so it is helpful to pay attention and watch for all of the following signs. But you can also look at your appliances and visible gas pipes of all ages regularly and contact an NYC master plumber if you notice any signs of damage:

  • Cracks, Rusting, or Other Corrosion – When there is damage to pipes and appliances, a leak will often follow. You can regularly check the exposed parts of your system for any visible signs of damage, and should call a plumber if you notice them.
  • Rising Gas Bills – Gas prices in NYC stay relatively constant with documented increases. If you notice you are spending more on gas without being able to account for using more (for example, heating in winter or an increase in the number of residents), there may be a leak somewhere causing the increase.
  • Dying Plants or Lawns – Exposure to gas will kill nearby plants. If you have one plant or an area of your lawn, if you have buried gas pipes, that is not doing as well as the surrounding plants, check for a gas leak causing the damage.
  • Clouds Near a Gas Line – When a buried gas line is leaking, the force of the leak can send dirt and dust into the air, forming a cloud of dust. This can be a good indicator of an outdoor leak.
  • Orange Flame on Stove – A stove that is not getting enough fuel can produce an orange flame instead of the expected blue one. Even if you do not notice other signs, this can be a good reason to have a plumber look for a leak elsewhere in the line.

The rotten egg smell of natural gas may be present as well, but not always. When a gas leak occurs outside or the leak is so small that the smell is imperceptible, you may need to rely on these signs instead.

You should also use regular gas piping system inspections in NYC from a licensed master plumber. At Empire Plumbing, we can perform an in depth visual inspection and use a range of techniques to also detect any possible gas leaks out of sight. Whether you noticed the gas leak or we found it during an inspection, we can then manage the repairs to make your system safe and more efficient. Call Empire Plumbing for gas pipe inspection and repair today.

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