Let’s face it — cooker ovens are one of the essential tools in the kitchen. True, when properly installed, these great appliances are pretty convenient and easy to use. Even so, they are prone to gas leaks that can cause a severe explosion if not fixed at the right time.

The best way to remain safe is to learn how to tell when there is a gas leak and fix it. We have prepared a detailed insight into detecting a gas leak, what to do when you discover a leakage, and the symptoms you might experience after breathing the gas.

Let’s dive in!

What Causes a Gas Leak?

  • Loose Connections

The first thing you should look for if you suspect a gas leak is a loose connection. Check the gas connection to your stove to ensure that there are no loose ends. Hose and piping connection tends to loosen, especially when there is an abrupt change in weather.

  • Corroded Pipes

Spilling water and moisture in your room can drain down the pipes, leading to corrosion of the hose pipes connecting to your stove. To ensure your pipes do not corrode, all you need to do is clean the entire stove, including the gas lines.

Although this problem rarely occurs, it can be catastrophic when it happens. Gas may fill the room, potentially resulting in a severe explosion when ignited. 

  • Improper Cooker Installation

Gas can easily escape to the room if the cooker is installed incorrectly. For this reason, ensure you have your gas installed by a professional. You will avoid a gas leak that can easily lead to adverse consequences.

What are the Dangers of a Gas Leak?

Fire fighters with gas explosion
Gas leaks can cause an explosion, so ensure to get a professional to install your oven correctly

As compared to other types of gas, natural gas is relatively safe and convenient to use. It provides more than half of homes in the United States to cook and perform numerous tasks. 

Even so, a natural gas leak can be harmful to your health in case of a leakage. It can also explode and cause severe damage to your home. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that more than 50,000 Americans are admitted to hospitals annually with elevated carbon monoxide exposure symptoms. Here are some of the advanced symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure.

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Chest pains or breathing difficulties 
  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nosebleeds
  • Eye irritation
  • Depression and mood changes

Technically, a gas leak in your home reduces the oxygen in your room, thereby leading to the above symptoms. Read on to find out how to detect and prevent a gas leak.

How to Detect a Gas Leak

Someone holding a gas detector
Use a gas detector which will sound an alarm if gas levels are too high
  • Use a Gas Leak Detector

What do you do when there is a gas leakage when you are not at home? The best way to identify when there is gas leakage is to install a gas detector. These specialized devices are designed to sound an alarm when the presence of carbon monoxide exceeds safety levels.

Experts recommend placing these devices at the height of 70cm or lower. However, it is also imperative to note that not all detectors are designed to detect natural gas. This is because carbon monoxide is relatively heavier than oxygen. For this reason, ensure you get a model that can detect all types of gases.

  • Use Test Strips

Acetate test strips are the easiest and cheapest way to detect a gas leak. These specialized strips change color when moved near the suspected leak. Acetate strips are mostly used in the oiling business to detect the presence of gases.

  • Bubble Test

Bubble test is another common type of gas leak detection. You need to do soapy water and a wet cloth or sponge to wipe along with the hose. The presence of bubbles will indicate a leakage along the pipe.

Technically, the bubbles will be a result of gas pushing through the soapy water. After identifying the problem, please turn off the gas and fix it before using the stove again. 

  • Discolored Flame

Usually, gas stoves should have a blue flame when ignited. A consistently orange or yellow flame is a tell-tale sign that there is a gas leak. 

  • Check for a Rotten Egg Smell

The easiest way to tell a gas leak is through its distinct smell. The odor smells like rotten eggs or sulfur. Today, most natural gas companies add additives such as mercaptan to ensure it can be easily detected. It helps keep you safe because the majority of gases are odorless and colorless.

Ensure you contact a professional immediately you suspect the presence of gas leakage. You can also use the above steps to help you identify the leakage and act promptly. 

How to Prevent a Gas Leak

The best way to prevent a gas leak is to perform the required routine maintenance on anything that uses gas, such as fireplaces, stoves, and furnaces. Check for signs of breakage, corrosion, warping, or any other default in the gas line.

The most recommended time to conduct maintenance is two or three times a month. What’s more, you can also have a professional company to check for any leakages and put safety measures in your home. They might also provide you with an expert understanding of the gas system in your home and give recommendations for any installation or repairs needed. 

Also, you can replace the valves and old pipes yourself. Replacing these components is vital. It will help prevent corrosion or faults that might occur due to prolonged usage. What’s more, you can also periodically turn off all the appliances and proceed to check your gas meter. If there is no leakage, it should remain inactive.

What is the Best Way to Fix Gas Leaks in Your Home?

There are several steps you can follow to fix gas leaks in the shortest time possible.

Step #1: Remove Outer Covers and Turn Off the Gas

It is imperative to understand that dealing with gas is highly dangerous, and you should ensure you turn it off entirely before you start repairs. After doing so, remove the gas line covers to get access to the gas pipes. Ensure you put on a mask and gloves while conducting these repairs.

Step #2: Disconnect the Gas Line

Identify the gas regulator and disconnect the connecting gas line to lower the pressure. Typically, the main reason for gas leaks is high pressure along with the connecting hose. 

 Step #3: Clean the gas line

Now that you have disconnected the gas line, the next step should be to ensure that the hose is free from any gas residue. Crack the line fittings to relieve pressure using a wretch, and then clean the pipe. It is recommended that you use acetone to clean the tube to ensure you remove impurities that would lead to another gas leak.

Step #4: Reconnect the Gas line

Reattach your gas line and ensure that it fits loosely to avoid new leakages. Hold the grip point firmly with rubber tape and ensure that the area around the leak is completely sealed. 

Also, check the angel lines around the rubber to ensure that the high pressure will not affect the low-pressure line. 

Step #5: Apply Epoxy

If you want to prolong the gas line’s life, you should apply epoxy to the gas line and leave it overnight to dry. 

Step #6 Test the Gas Line

If you correctly follow the above steps, your gas line should be okay. However, it would be best to assume that it is not fixed until you test it again. Turn on the gas and use any of the above detection methods to check for leaks. 

Repeat the process until there are no more leaks. Place the covers back after you are confident that the gas line is okay and conduct regular maintenance to keep it safe.

Step #7: Contact a Professional 

You can always seek the services of a certified plumber if the above steps do not work or if you believe the situation is beyond your expertise. It will give you the required confidence knowing that the problem is taken care of and that no harmful gases are leaking into your home.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that knowing how to detect a gas leak in your home is critical to ensuring you prevent a disaster from happening to your family. If you suspect a gas leak in your home, follow the above steps to detect the source of the leak and conduct repairs or contact your utility company.

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