Four Signs That You Have A Leak In An Outdoor Gas Pipe
If you have a gas leak in your kitchen, you will likely detect it by smell. The gas company adds a rotten-egg scent to natural gas to alert you of this problem. But what about a possible gas leak that is coming from a pipe outside of your home? This type of leak is dangerous, and you need to have it repaired immediately. The following are a few signs that you may have a gas leak.
Your gas bill has increased unexpectedly
This type of detection is no different than suspecting a water leak from an increased water bill. The first thing you need to do is look at past bills and compare the rate you are being charged for gas. Occasionally, gas rates can go up, but you weren't aware of the increase. If there is no change in the rate, then look at how much is being used. You may see a significant increase in this number. However, a leak can be small enough that your gas bill doesn't make it clear that you have one.
You notice plants are dying
It won't be all of your plants, just plants in a certain area, and they will usually be small plants. This location is likely the area of the leak. Your gas line will extend all the way to the street, so if you have a front yard with a lawn, it is possible that you will have a small patch of dead grass where the leak is.
You hear the leak or see bubbles
When natural gas leaks from a pipe, it usually makes a hissing noise. But a leak may make no noise, or the sound may be muffled by the ground. Sometimes you can't hear the leak, but you can see bubbles after it rains or you water your lawn. These bubbles can be slow forming and often small, but if the gas line is too deep or your lawn is too thick, you may not see the bubbles. If you have a low-cut grass or rocks in your yard, you may be able to take a garden hose and wet down the path of the gas line.
Your meter is emitting an odor
You will need to locate your gas meter first. It is often by the side of your house. Because it is both above ground and outside, this is a common area for leaks. You may be able to hear the leak, but because the pipes are exposed, you may be able to detect the smell of rotten eggs.
If you are experiencing one or more of the signs above, you should immediately call for a professional to inspect your gas lines. If needed, a gas line repair company can make the repairs. Never attempt to do this work yourself.