One of the more common yet extremely dangerous Santa Cruz plumbing emergencies that the specialists at Anytime Plumbing have had a lot of experience with are gas line repairs. This is the gas that we use for heating our homes, lighting the pilots on our stoves, and for operating our hot water heaters. It is the one gas we are most commonly exposed to. Natural gas is made from methane, a hydrocarbon that is commonly referred to as marsh or swamp gas. Unfortunately, as useful as it is, its colorless and odorless nature makes it extremely dangerous.
What are the causes of natural gas leaks?
In most cases, natural gas leaks result from something that affects the gas line such as moving your gas clothes dry. Furthermore, flexible gas lines are subject to crimping and leaking while other types that are made from low-grade, unsuitable material often get brittle and corrode. Unfortunately, some plumbers install gas lines improperly which will eventually cause them to leak.
Since the Anytime Plumbing specialists have been skillfully trained in all aspects of natural gas line repairs, you won’t have to worry about this about any installations or repairs being done properly. A regularly schedule gas line inspection is recommended and can identify any leaks that exist underground. Gas line ruptures also occur when the ground shifts significantly during a natural disaster such as an earthquake.
What are the symptoms and warning signs of a natural gas leak?
As a homeowner that depends on natural gas to operate the appliances and heating system in your home, it’s important to be aware of leak. Despite its colorless, odorless nature, it is toxic to humans and their pets. Therefore, it’s vital that you contact Anytime Plumbing to determine if this is the case and you need gas line repairs. There are 4 common symptoms and warning signs of a gas leak including:
- Dead grass, plants, or other vegetation – an underground gas leak causes grass, plants and other types of vegetation to die and turn brown in the process.
- Gas appliance issues – in many instances, if one of your gas-powered appliances starts malfunctioning, this could indicate a leak in a gas line.
- Hissing noises – when a gas line gets ripped or torn, it will leak. When this is the case, you will hear a hissing noise.
- Rotten egg or sulfur smell – your utility company puts an additive called “mercaptan” in natural gas which is what gives it that rotten egg or sulfur smell that you can easily detect if you have a leaking gas line.
What are the common hazards of a natural gas leak?
There are a number of ways in which a natural gas leak can put us in danger. That’s why it’s so important to have an Anytime Plumbing specialist come to your business or home and inspect your natural gas lines. This is especially important if you are unable to remember if one was ever done on your property. There are three key safety concerns when dealing with a natural gas leak can put you in danger and warrant the need for gas line repairs including:
- It can replace the oxygen supply in your home and cause hypoxia
- It elevates the risk of fire
- It is a skin irritant that results from continuous exposure
It’s very important that you learn the symptoms and warning signs of a natural gas leak (see above) so that you can determine, if one exists and call us immediately if you have reason to believe there is. We’ll send out our team quickly. If there is an emergency, we have a team of standby 24/7 and ensure that the issue is completely resolved, anytime of the night or day.
What are the health risks posed by a natural gas leak?
The key health risk of continuous exposure to natural gas is carbon monoxide poisoning (the chemical is released when natural gas doesn’t burn completely). With CO poisoning, there are a number of health concerns to be aware of. Based on recent CDC statistics, carbon monoxide poisoning results in over 50,000 ER visits and 400+ deaths each year. The symptoms of CO poisoning include:
- Abdominal/chest pain
- bright red lips
- dizziness /fatigue
- loss of muscle control
- pink skin
One of the easiest ways to determine if you have a potential CO issue is by purchasing a carbon monoxide detector. These work in much the same way as fire and smoke detectors do. However, if you subscribe to our maintenance services, we’ll send out a professional every month or quarterly to check the pipeline system and ensure there is no leakage or issues pertaining to it.
To learn more about natural gas leaks and our gas line repair services, call Anytime Plumbing today. We’d be glad to be of assistance.