Gas line problems are something you should always pay attention to. If you’re unsure whether your gas line is operating safely, schedule a gas line inspection as soon as possible. In the event of a leak, it’s important to have your gas line repaired or replaced immediately to keep yourself and your family safe.
That said, you may not know whether a gas line repair or replacement is necessary. So, to help you learn more about safe gas line operations, let’s review:
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One of the most common signs you need a gas line repair is if your gas line is leaking. Gas leaks are often indicated by foul smells, hissing noises, increased gas bills, or malfunctioning gas appliances.
Natural gas is odorless, but gas companies add a chemical called mercaptan to give it a distinctive smell of rotten eggs or sulfur. If you smell gas, even if it's faint, it's important to take immediate action. Contact a qualified gas line technician for an inspection.
If you hear hissing or whistling sounds coming from a gas appliance or a gas line, it could indicate a gas leak. This happens when escaping gas is forced through a small opening or a crack in the gas line at high pressure, creating turbulence in the air around it.
Sometimes, you might not be able to locate the source of a gas leak, but you can tell something is wrong because your gas bills are sky-high. Very high gas usage on your bills suggests a leak somewhere in the line.
A single gas appliance not working is usually just a sign that the appliance is faulty, but if you can’t get any of your gas-powered devices working, there might be a problem with the gas line entirely.
When installed correctly, gas lines should not leak. However, they can happen. If you see any of the above signs, contact a qualified plumber immediately. They’ll inspect for leaks, conduct a pressure test, and determine if the damage is repairable.
In some cases, your plumber may be able to patch a leak or replace a small section of your gas line. But if the damage is too severe, you may end up needing to replace your entire gas line.
The decision to replace a gas line should be made by a licensed plumber or gas company technician, who will assess the condition of the gas line and recommend whether replacement is necessary. However, there are some signs that could indicate the need for gas line replacement, such as corrosion, old age, the need for frequent repairs, and event-related damage.
Over time, gas lines can corrode or rust, leading to weak spots and potential leaks. Eventually, the metal will be so badly damaged that the gas line can no longer function properly. When this happens, you’ll need to upgrade your entire gas line.
If your gas line is more than 20 years old, it may be at risk of developing leaks or other damage. If you’ve needed to repair it frequently, it might be time to consider installing a new gas line. A quality replacement will be more trustworthy and cost-effective.
If your gas line has been severely damaged due to excavation work, hurricanes, storms, or other factors, it may need to be replaced. For example, high winds, heavy rain, and storm surges can cause trees, branches, and other debris to fall on gas lines, break gas lines, or damage gas meters, leading to gas leaks. Floods and storm surges can also cause soil erosion, which can expose gas lines or cause them to shift or break.
If you suspect a gas leak or damage to your gas line after a hurricane, evacuate the area immediately and avoid turning on any electrical devices or switches. Call your gas company or a licensed professional plumber to inspect the gas line.
Professional gas line repair is usually less expensive than a gas line replacement. However, you need to consider the ongoing costs. If a gas line replacement can prevent you from needing emergency repairs for many years, then a replacement is worthwhile. (Of course, this doesn’t factor in the worth of your household’s safety and health, which is priceless!)
Some factors that affect the cost of gas line installation include:
If you suspect a gas line leak or you see visible corrosion or damage to your gas line, take immediate action to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. Gas leaks are hazardous and can pose fire risks and lethal carbon monoxide poisoning.
That said, nothing beats preventive maintenance. For peace of mind, perform visual inspections of your gas lines regularly. Also, make sure to have carbon monoxide detectors installed near every gas appliance.
If you see any signs of corrosion or leaks, contact a licensed gas line professional for an inspection. They’ll let you know whether to repair or replace your gas line and how to ensure safe and efficient operation.
If you’re experiencing problems with your gas line, don’t wait to call Red Cap today. We treat our customers like family and provide fast and convenient scheduling. In fact, if we don’t show up during your appointment window, we’ll credit you $100 towards your next service!