Nearly half (49%) of American homes are heated with natural gas, many are right here in the Pacific Northwest. Like anything in your home, it’s important to keep them in good working order to help save you money and keep you safe.
What are Gas Lines?
A gas line is a pipe that connects from the source of the gas to the gas-powered appliances in your home. Appliances such as water heaters, stove/ovens, dryers, furnaces, and fireplaces can be powered by natural gas, and if your home has more than one gas appliance you’ll have multiple gas pipes in your home. While the natural gas utility company likes Puget Sound Energy is responsible for maintaining the pipes that lead to your meter, you are responsible for the upkeep of all the consumer-owned lines, which are all the pipes leading from the meter to the appliances.
Maintaining Gas Lines
While there is no set time to do a gas pipe check, the best time to check your gas lines would be at the beginning of winter and again at the beginning of summer – the more extreme temperature months. Even though the Pacific Northwest doesn’t experience extreme highs or lows for long periods, it’s best to check pipes before an extremely high or low-temperature day. When checking the gas lines, you’ll be looking for signs of corrosion or leaks which commonly occur where pipes are joined together such as, tees, unions, old shut-off valves, flexible supply lines, regulators, and risers.
Another indicator of a leak is the smell! Natural gas is mixed with a sulfur compound, which smells like rotten eggs. If you smell rotten eggs in your home, see if it’s near a gas appliance; if you smell the leak outside, you may also witness dead grass where buried lines are leaking. If you smell a suspected gas leak, turn off your gas immediately. If the gas smell is too strong, leave the house immediately and call your utility company to turn off the gas remotely. Familiarize yourself with where your gas shut-off valve is and how to operate it before any potential issues arise.
Repairing Gas Lines
It’s important to repair any unsafe conditions immediately. A qualified professional can help you inspect any buried lines. Fortunately, small leaks and issues are often quickly resolved by professionals and gas can be turned back on quickly. For larger issues, it may require your gas to be shut off for several days or more.
Lifetime Heating & Cooling has experience inspecting and repairing gas lines and knows what to look for. Contact us if you suspect an issue or to perform routine maintenance.