Gas Leaks – What Virginians Need to Know
Leaking natural gasses are highly combustible. Damaged or worn gas lines are extremely dangerous and should be resolved immediately. Not only are these gasses highly flammable, but in some cases gas leaks can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning in those who occupy the home. The American Gas Association estimates that 76 million industrial, commercial, and residential properties use natural gas. According to the EIA, 35% of the 8.4 million residents of Virginia rely on natural gas. It is imperative for those 2.94 million Virginians who utilize this fuel to understand the warning signs of a gas leak and avoid health risks and higher utility bills.
Homes in Virginia that utilize natural gas are not immune to leaks. Corrosion and accumulated rust are common causes of damaged or worn gas lines. This is often a result of water forming on the pipes and, having not been wiped, causes corrosion. Unless you inspect them daily, it is nearly impossible to maintain pristine gas lines. This is why it is so important to be familiar with common signs of a leak in Virginia residences. If you recognize any of the following symptoms, it is essential to evacuate the area and dial 911 for assistance. First, you must understand how to recognize a leak.
Warning Signs of a Gas Leak
There are many common signs and symptoms to bear in mind. Familiarizing yourself with the signs of a gas leak will allow you to better recognize faulty operation of all lines and appliances. Doing so will help you determine the proper course of action in order to resolve the issue at hand.
- Corrosion of Gas Lines
All gas lines in Virginia are made of metal, with older homes maintaining iron pipes that are best replaced by copper. This is a breeding ground for corrosion under the right circumstances. If liquid spills on them, it is imperative to clean/wipe the liquid clear of the surface immediately. This accumulation of liquid causes the metal gas lines to rust and corrode. This will cause severe damage to them. Instead of attempting to remove rust from your gas lines, it is always best to replace them altogether.
- Faulty Appliances
A total of 2.94 million Virginians relies on natural gas to provide energy to their appliances. Stoves, water heaters, and some ventilation systems require this energy source to operate effectively. When there is a gas leak, these appliances often make unusual sounds, take much longer to serve their purpose, and sometimes suffer complete system malfunctions or failures. Not only will machines that are reliant on natural gas ultimately fail to operate, but their persistence in attempting to function could result in major emergencies, one of which being explosion.
- Strong Odors
In its purest form, natural gas is odorless–which could make it extremely difficult to detect a leak. Luckily, gas companies in Virginia now implement the odor of rotten eggs in natural gas in order to make it easier for homeowners to detect leaks. Once you notice that distinctly foul odor, it is best to contact a licensed technician in order to avoid the following health risks of a gas leak.
- Impacts on Physical Health
When appliances operate at full functionality and you’re unable to detect any apparent odors, you should consider whether or not you are experiencing any changes to your physical health. Natural gas is not meant to be inhaled into your lungs. Common signs that you have been inhaling natural gas include: irritation of the skin, eyes, or throat; difficulty breathing; dizziness or headaches; nausea; fatigue; and more. In severe cases when an individual has been breathing in natural gas too long, they may end up in a coma. Avoid compromising the safety and physical health of both yourself and your loved ones, and contact a technician in Virginia to resolve the leak immediately.
- Increase in Gas Utility Bills
No one wants this. If a gas leak is still undetectable–even after considering its effect on appliances, your senses, and your physical health–you can always spot a leak by an increase in your gas utility bill. The meters in your household account for every ounce of gas used in your home, making it near impossible to overlook a problem. If you’ve noticed an influx in costs associated with your gas utility bill, it may be time to contact an expert for diagnosis and repairs.
Do You Require a Specialist?
Upon recognizing any sign or symptom associated with a gas leak, it is imperative to vacate the premises and avoid contacting your gas company, who will charge a lot of money to red tag the gas line. Instead, contact A1 Sewer & Drain. These expert technicians will inspect the household for more severe implications. In any event, homeowners experiencing a gas leak in Virginia should contact a specialist for repairs. Don’t compromise the functionality of your household appliances or you or your loved ones’ health! Go with the best of the best at A1 Sewer & Drain, where one of our specialists will make quick work of your problem!