The best time to find out you need a gas line replacement is sooner rather than later. However, underground gas lines may not provide any clues until the situation reaches a dangerous level. Unexplained increases in your gas bills are one early indication. Poor furnace performance due to declining gas pressure is another hint. Even in those early stages a natural gas leak can be dangerous and pose both an inhalation threat and a fire or explosion hazard. Once the leak progresses you may begin to notice these signs:
- The familiar rotten egg smell of natural gas in the air outside. However, because natural gas is lighter than air it disperses rapidly and the smell may be vague and intermittent.
- Plants or grass above the leak may be disturbed, as though being blown by a breeze as pressurized gas is emitted from the ground.
- After a rain when the ground is saturated, bubbles may be observed coming up through the wet soil.
- Plants and grass that die for no obvious reason in a limited area may be poisoned by leaking natural gas.
A professional plumber will utilize specialized gas detection equipment to locate the leak. The pipe will be excavated and inspected. A corroded gas line is the most common reason for a gas leak. This can be dealt with either by excavating the entire pipe and replacing it or by inserting a plastic pipe rated for natural gas inside the existing pipe without further excavation. Plastic gas pipes are long-lasting and will not corrode.
At Comfort Systems, we offer 24-hour emergency service for gas leaks as well as complete gas line replacement services to Wichita and surrounding areas. Call us immediately if you suspect a gas leak.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about gas line replacements and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.