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7 Gas Leak Signs El Paso Homeowners Should Be Aware Of

gas leak being repaired in a home

There are many signs and indicators that you should become familiar with when it comes to gas leak detection. Approximately 50,000 people in the United States have to visit the emergency room every year to be treated for gas leak exposure and poisoning. While gas leaks in our homes may be out of our control, you can prevent serious illness by working on your gas leak detection skills.

Rotten Egg or Sulfur Smell 

Most natural gases and propane have very distinct smells. One of the most common signs that people notice is the smell of rotten eggs or sulfur. In order to detect a gas leak right away, utility companies use an additive called mercaptan. This additive gives the colorless and odorless gases a smell that can easily be picked up. Some people have also described the smell of a gas leak as sewage. 

Hissing or Whistling Sounds 

If you hear a consistent, hissing sound in your home, you could have a gas leak. This often indicates a gas leak if the hissing sound is coming from near your gas line. Hissing sounds are usually the sign of a substantial leak. 

If you hear a hissing sound near your air conditioning unit, you could be dealing with a leaking refrigerant line, a leaky valve, or a worn-out compressor. You are advised to turn off your system and contact a professional right away to find the source of the noise. 

Bubbles Forming in Wet Areas 

Another quick way that people detect gas leaks in their homes is when they notice bubbles forming in areas that are typically wet. These areas include sinks, bathtubs, or wherever you have running water. These bubbles indicate a gas leak coming from underground. In addition to bubbles, you may notice some dirt being kicked up into the air due to pressurized gas escaping your gas lines. 

White Fog or Mist 

Underground gas leaks are also indicated by a white fog or mist in or around your property. This fog or mist is often accompanied by a distinct smell and whistling or hissing sounds. If you notice a fog, do not try to find the source of the leak. It is also recommended not to be using any electricity as a small spark can lead to an explosion. Call a professional right away. That way, they can find the source and fix the leak right away. 

Dead Houseplants

While you do not have visible access to gas lines underneath, your house plants can indicate if there has been a gas leak. If your house plants are suddenly dead or withered, you may have a leaking gas pipe underneath. The presence of natural gas prevents a plant’s roots from absorbing oxygen, leading to wilting and dying. You may also pick up on gas leak detection if there are noticeable patches of dead vegetation in your front or backyard. 

Physical Symptoms 

Most people that are mildly exposed to carbon monoxide may experience any of the following symptoms: 

  • Unexplained feelings of dizziness or nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Sudden memory loss
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Shortness of breath

Even if symptoms are mild, it is important to remember that even if carbon monoxide levels are not fatal enough, they can still lead to illness. Carbon monoxide exposure can happen in homes or cars. When your car emits carbon monoxide and is enclosed in a space, such as a garage, breathing in the CO levels can be harmful. 

Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

More moderate exposure to carbon monoxide often leads to more severe symptoms and accelerated heart rate. Those who are poisoned by the CO levels may experience: 

  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Suffocation
  • Vomiting 
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion 

Extreme exposure can lead to convulsions, cardiorespiratory failure, coma, and sometimes, death. 

What to Do in the Case of a Leak 

If you think you have a gas leak in your home, the first thing to do is ensure that all household members and pets are immediately evacuated. Once you have done so, you should leave the doors open and immediately call 911 and the utility company’s emergency number. When reported, a local fire department and a team of emergency professionals from the utility company will arrive to check the scene. 

Your home may need a few hours to air out, but the timeframe depends on the severity of the leak. 

Avoid Emergency Issues with the Gas Leak Detection Experts at New Age Plumbing 

The team at New Age Plumbing is here to help in the case of emergencies, including gas leaks. Contact us at (915) 822-1865, so we can get started on your plumbing needs and issues! Our El Paso gas leak detection specialists are ready to discuss any concerns.