6 Signs of a Gas Leak

When used correctly, natural gas is a safe, efficient, relatively clean power source. However, this fossil fuel is flammable and can cause natural gas poisoning if inhaled. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of a gas leak, so you can evacuate your home and call for help before disaster strikes. Here are six ways to tell if you have a gas leak in your San Jose home.

Man tossing vegetables

Rotten Egg Smell

Natural gas is odorless, so to help homeowners detect a leak, utility companies add a foul-smelling gas called mercaptan to the natural gas supply. If you notice an unexplained rotten egg or sulfur smell, you could have a gas leak.

Hissing or Whistling Sounds from Damaged Connections

Check your gas pipes, appliances, and connections regularly for signs of damage, including cracks, gaps, and loose fittings. While doing so, listen for any hissing or whistling sounds that could indicate a leak. A significant leak could produce these noises even with the appliance turned off.

Air Bubbles Outside

Natural gas lines run underground before entering your home. If you see air bubbles rising from puddles and mud around your home, this could mean a buried pipe has ruptured. While health problems, fires, and explosions are less likely with outdoor gas leaks, you should still address the damaged pipe as soon as possible.

Dead or Dying Plant Life

Do the plants in or around your home keep dying despite taking proper care of them? This is a less obvious sign of a gas leak. Watch for smaller-than-normal leaves on trees, wilted shrubs, and yellow or dry patches of grass.

Symptoms of Natural Gas Poisoning

Breathing low levels of natural gas can cause unpleasant physical symptoms, including:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Ear, nose, and throat irritation
  • Nausea
  • Irregular breathing

High-level gas exposure is characterized by:

  • Severe headaches and fatigue
  • Nosebleeds
  • Chest pain
  • Mood swings
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Suffocation

Gas leaks can also affect your pets. Watch for symptoms like disorientation, lethargy, vomiting, shallow breathing, and red or watery eyes. Take immediate action if you notice these or any other gas leak symptoms.

Rising Gas Bills

If you suspect a gas leak, but you don’t feel ill or smell rotten eggs, check your gas bills from the past year. Usage typically rises in the winter, but an unexplained spike within the last month or two might suggest a gas leak.

Mike Counsil Plumbing can test for gas leaks and perform gas line repairs to make your home safe again. We’re so confident in the quality of our work that we offer a satisfaction guarantee for your complete peace of mind. Our team can meet your gas line needs 24 hours a day, so call us any time at 408-916-1226 or contact us online to learn more. We have proudly served San Jose and the surrounding South Bay area since 1994.

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