Detecting and Preventing Gas Leaks in Your Home
are very dangerous, and if undetected they can cause fires and fatal explosions in your home. These leaks can occur as a result of poorly fitted pipes, hairline cracks caused by higher temperatures in the summer months or by earthquake tremors which are both the norm here in Southern California. A gas leak may not be easy to notice at first, as there could be hairline cracks releasing very small quantities of gas. But over time, the gas can build up, and any cause of ignition, such as a spark, an electrical device or a flame from a range can cause an explosion.
Here is some important information for detecting and preventing gas leaks in your home.
Early Detection of Gas Leaks
If you have a gas line into your home, and you live in an earthquake prone area (which here in California you do,) you need to have earthquake valves fitted. These valves will shut off the supply of gas to your home in the event of an earthquake. This will make it less likely your home catches fire or worse yet explodes. Even if you have earthquake valves fitted, after the tremors have stopped, it’s a good time to check for gas leaks and turn off your gas supply. Gas can usually be smelled quite easily, but if there are other strong smells around it may not be as obvious. If a gas leak has been occurring over a longer period of time, there could be dying vegetation around the leak. If you start to feel dizzy, you may be breathing in gas, and you should get out of the area immediately. If you suspect you have a gas leak, don’t look for it with any form of naked flame and be careful not to cause any sparks. If you are in any doubt, vacate the area and call for a professional to check.
Dealing With a Gas Leak
If you have detected a gas leak, and it is safe to do so, you should turn off your gas supply as soon as possible. A plumber should be
called to identify the source of the problem and fix it so that the home is made safe. This is not a task for a layman without formal training, and it is a good idea to use a certified professional contractor
to carry out this work.
Preventing Gas Leaks
When dealing with gas leaks, as with most things in life, prevention is better than a cure. It is a good habit to get your gas lines, and appliances checked on a regular basis. Many people get their system checked on an annual schedule
, and this will ensure that any potential problems are detected promptly. A good plumber will be able to identify areas where fittings are beginning to fail, and they will be able to fit gas detection devices to ensure that your home is safe. As your pipes and fittings become worn, it will be necessary to replace them. Another advantage to having a regular check up is that your plumber will be able to advise you on the latest developments in the field. These could be improved versions of existing infrastructure or improved alarms and gas detection devices.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solutions.