When you think about gas pipe repairs, you likely don’t think about plumbers first. It’s typical to think that plumbers only work with water and sewer pipes but many are qualified to repair and install natural gas lines as well. If the gas piping in your home needs to be repaired or extended, you should trust a master plumber to do the job safely, correctly, and in compliance with local building codes.
Leave Gas Line Work to the Experts
Don’t risk your property or physical wellbeing by trying to install or repair a gas line yourself. It’s important to have someone knowledgeable and experienced because of the following reasons.
When working with natural gas, safety is critical. A trained and licensed plumber can install and repair gas lines safely and efficiently. Gas leaks and poor repairs can pose an immediate danger to your family and property.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 400 people in the United States die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning each year. An additional 50,000 visit emergency rooms each year due to CO poisoning, so prevention is important.
2. Building Codes
Some jurisdictions have codes or laws that require gas line installation and repairs to be done by licensed professionals. Even if a license is not required in your area, you should still strongly consider hiring a licensed gas plumber. Having the license indicates they are knowledgeable and experienced with natural gas and pipes and will be able to complete the job safely, protecting you and your property from potentially dangerous situations.
3. Experience and Expertise
Many of the same pipes used for water and sewage are also used in gas lines. An experienced plumber will know which pipes and materials are best suited for your project as well as the proper way to install them. This is especially important if you are repairing or retrofitting an existing gas line system, as some pipe materials corrode over time. When pipes degrade or are incorrectly installed, slow gas leaks can occur which is extremely hazardous.
4. Appliance Installation
Gas-powered appliances are a major part of many homes. Plumbers can install or repair a variety of gas-powered appliances including water heaters, HVAC systems, fireplaces, and outdoor grills. If you are remodeling your home, you may need to have gas lines relocated to accommodate a new layout. An experienced, licensed plumber will ensure that new gas lines and appliances are properly installed.
5. Emergency Services and Repairs
Hiring an expert in gas piping helps protect you, your home, and neighboring properties from damage and physical harm. If you smell the distinct odor of gas inside your home or a sulfuric smell, immediately evacuate pets and people and call for help. Contact your utility company and a licensed professional plumbing company for immediate assistance.
Signs and Effects of Gas Leaks
While there are several signs and symptoms of a gas leak. The most common are:
- The smell of sulfur or rotten eggs
- A hissing or whistling sound near a gas line
- Increased gas bills
- Malfunctioning appliances
Gas leaks are extremely dangerous. When they go unnoticed, gas can build up and explode, consuming an entire structure in a matter of minutes.
A common cause of death from gas leaks is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, which can occur when the natural gas displaces oxygen in the air. In its pure form, natural gas is invisible, tasteless, and odorless. Natural gas companies add a sulfur-like odorant to indicate the “smell of natural gas” in order to alert people to a potential leak.
Symptoms of Gas Exposure
A gas leak in your home can have serious health repercussions for both humans and pets. The symptoms of gas exposure include:
- Dull headache
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of consciousness
If you ever smell gas or have any reason to suspect a leak is occurring, immediately evacuate pets and people. Don’t light matches or use any electrical devices, including a phone, until you are well away from the suspected leak. Then call 911 and your local gas company’s emergency line to report the problem. Stay out of your home until you’re told it’s safe by a professional (gas company employee, police officer, fireman, or other first responder) on the scene.
What Causes Gas Leaks?
Underneath your home lies a maze of pipes that bring gas into the pipe connectors of your appliances. This piping system can become faulty and erode over time. Sometimes pipes wear out and just disconnect and sometimes they can be damaged by surrounding tree roots.
Aging pipes are a common problem in older homes. Leaks can occur where pipes join together at the fittings and at shut-off valves. If these connections are not tight enough or become disturbed, leaks are likely to occur.
How to Prevent Gas Leaks
As a homeowner, you are responsible for maintaining all gas lines carrying natural gas from the meter to the inside of your home. Having your natural gas pipes periodically inspected by a licensed plumber to help identify and repair corrosion or other problems will help prevent dangerous conditions from developing.
There are several steps homeowners can take to prevent gas leaks:
1. Call 811 Before Digging
Always call a professional before you start digging in your yard or around your home. This is the most common reason why accidental damage to underground pipes occurs. Contact the Call Before Your Dig site for more information before beginning any projects that might impact underground utility lines.
2. Inspect Gas Lines
Periodically walk around your home and visually inspect all of your visible gas lines. Look for corrosion and breakage. If you notice anything that doesn’t look right, call a licensed plumber for a professional inspection.
3. Hire Only Licensed Plumbers
Choosing your plumbing contractor on price alone is a bad idea. Only a trained and licensed plumber should install and repair gas lines. Having the job done correctly the first time will save you money and prevent problems.
4. Install an Earthquake Shut-Off Valve
In the event of seismic activity, you can keep your home protected with an earthquake shut-off valve. During an earthquake, your gas lines could potentially be damaged, leading to gas leaks, explosions, or fires. An earthquake gas shut-off valve is a switch that automatically reacts to seismic activity and stops the flow of gas.
Trust the Local Experts for Gas Line Service
Although there are many things you can do to prevent problems, at some point every property will need gas line repairs or maintenance. When you need gas plumbing services, the professionals at Simply Green Plumbing, Sewer & Rooter have the training and experience to get the job done.
We understand the importance of safety when working with natural gas lines, which is why all of our plumbing technicians are highly trained, experienced, licensed, and insured. We offer emergency gas line repairs, gas line installations, and gas line replacement services.
Our technicians have over 30 years of plumbing experience. We understand that plumbing issues can happen at any time, that’s why we offer emergency plumbing services at no extra cost.