6 Signs You Have a Gas Leak

Few things are more important for homeowner safety than prompt gas leak detection. If your HVAC goes out or your water heater stops working, you’ll be uncomfortable for a bit. But your health won’t be at risk like it will be if you have a gas leak. 

Whether you have a gas fireplace, gas water heater, or another kind of gas-powered appliance, you need to know the common signs of a gas leak. 

Without this knowledge, you, your family, and any other people on or near your property could experience some pretty serious – even deadly – health consequences.  

In this article, we discuss the 6 gas leak symptoms you should be on the lookout for.


1. “Rotten egg” smell

Natural gas is a colorless and odorless gas. But to help make gas leaks more perceivable, utility companies inject it with a substance called mercaptan that gives your home’s gas a sulfur or “rotten egg” smell. If you notice such an odor, it is dangerous to remain in or around your building. Evacuate the property immediately and call 911.

2. Whistling or hissing

When your gas lines are leaking, you may be able to hear a hissing or whistling sound around your gas lines, gas appliances, and appliance connections. If you can hear such sounds, the amount of gas leaking is likely substantial. Evacuate your home or building right away and call 911. Take note of the exact location you heard the sound. This will help firefighters and repair technicians pinpoint and fix the leak faster.

3. Impact on surrounding vegetation

If you have a gas leak, plants both inside and outside of your home or building may show damage, brown, or even die. Why? Natural gas prevents soil from absorbing oxygen. And with no oxygen in the soil, plants wilt or die. This is one of the earliest signs that you might have a gas leak, as plants are extremely sensitive to natural gas. If your plants suddenly start decaying for no apparent reason, it may be worth calling a gas service company.

4. Your own physical response

Although we hope your gas leak never gets to this point, it’s important to be aware of the physical symptoms you may experience if you inhale natural gas. Gas exposure can lead to… 

  • Headaches

  • Dizziness

  • Lightheadedness

  • Nausea

  • Fatigue

  • Irritation of you ears, throat, and/or nose

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Nosebleeds

  • Chest pain

  • Loss of appetite

  • Ringing in your ears

In severe cases, even more serious health problems can arise. If you notice these symptoms and suspect they may be connected with a gas leak, seek immediate medical care.

5. Appliances acting strange

Perhaps your gas-powered appliances aren’t working as efficiently as they usually do. On gas stoves and furnaces, flames may even burn orange or yellow instead of the typical blue color. If something is off about your gas appliances, don’t hesitate to call a professional to determine whether the issue may be a sign of a leak somewhere in your gas lines or connections.

6. White mist

Just like natural gas has no smell, it also has no color. But, if you have a leak, any gas that escapes may pick up some dust or condensation along the way. You may be able to see a mist or dust cloud coming from your gas line. 


What should you do if you have a gas leak?

Have you noticed any of the gas leak symptoms listed in this article? Leave the property right away. Do NOT use any electronic items while on or near the property – not even your vehicle or cell phone. 

Once you have safely evacuated, call 911. The fire department will come to your property to identify the source of the leak and stop it if possible. After you alert the authorities, call a technician who can help fix the damage to your gas system. 

Have a gas leak around Wilmington, NC? Call the Odyssey Mechanical team at (910) 212-6993.


Odyssey Mechanical, LLC | Wilmington, NC Gas & Plumbing

Our gas technicians know how scary a gas leak situation can be. So when we get an emergency call about a gas leak, we act fast! In addition to gas line repairs, the Odyssey Mechanical, LLC team provides same-day service for numerous other gas and plumbing issues.

Need gas or plumbing services for your home or commercial facility? Odyssey Mechanical can help! Contact us today for service quotes and questions.



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