Professional Gas Line Plumbing in Houston
One of the great conveniences we enjoy in our homes today is natural gas service and its related appliances. Water heaters, furnaces, washing machines, and dryers are all appliances that can operate on natural gas energy. Natural gas is far more efficient for heating than electricity in almost every application, as gas allows for higher heat at the ignition source.
Who Can Perform My Gas Line Plumbing Job?
Here in Texas, only licensed plumbers are authorized to repair and install gas lines connected to a city or municipal system. There’s a good reason for that. Working with gas line plumbing has the potential of being dangerous, carrying with it the health risks of inhaling natural gas, as well as the inherent risk of explosions.
Why Would I Need a Gas Line Installation?
There are many reasons a homeowner would consider installing new gas lines. Whether it is a complete renovation project, or want to keep up with current technology and codes. Flexible, corrugated gas lines, like those that connect your water heater or range to the gas supply, have an average lifespan of 20 – 30 years. Steel gas pipes (usually black) can last between 50 and 70, depending on exposure to the elements.
For most folks, the first indication that there is a need for gas line plumbing help is the smell of natural gas. Natural gas is colorless and odorless, but thanks to an additive called mercaptan that gives it that lovely “rotten egg” aroma, we can detect it easily.
What Should I Do If I Smell Gas?
As soon as you smell a strong natural gas odor in your home, the best thing to do is to exit the house, leave the door open, and notify your gas provider. Once the natural gas service has been turned off, have a licensed plumbing company out to visually inspect and pressure test your gas lines to find the leak source.
It is possible to occasionally smell gas in your home without having a gas line leak, usually due to a pilot light that has gone out on a stove or water heater. If you’re in doubt about whether you should or shouldn’t attempt to re-light your pilots, don’t do it. Call your gas company or a licensed plumber to investigate further.
What SHOULDN’T I Do If I Suspect a Gas Leak?
Several of the things you shouldn’t do when you think there’s a gas leak in your home might seem evident as you read them. Unfortunately, many of these simple precautions that will keep you, your family, and your home safe during a gas leak are often overlooked.
- Do NOT attempt to light any pilot lights that may be out that goes for stoves, water heaters, furnaces, and every other gas-powered appliance in the home.
- Do NOT turn on any electrical appliances in the presence of a gas leak. Many electrical appliances can produce small sparks when turned on, and we all know what happens if you mix sparks with a gas leak.
- Do NOT stay in the house if you suspect a gas leak, as prolonged exposure to natural gas poses various health risks.
- Do not use your landline or cell phone when you suspect a gas leak, as again, there is a risk of a spark that could touch off a catastrophic explosion.
Other Signs of Gas Line Plumbing Issues
Aside from the smell of mercaptan, other symptoms may suggest you have issues with your gas plumbing. Listed below are some of the more common indications of gas plumbing problems in and around your home.
- Whistling or Hissing Sounds: Natural gas lines are pressurized to assist the gas flow from the service provider’s location to your home. This makes detecting a gas leak a little easier, as the pressurized gas escaping through a small crack or pinhole break in the line will usually make an audible hissing or whining sound.
- Dead Shrubs or Grass: Natural gas is not only harmful to humans; it can take a toll on shrubbery, flower bed, and even our lawns. Patches of grass that have turned brown or the sudden death of flowers and even trees indicate that you may have a gas leak outside of your home, making detection much more complicated than an indoor leak.
- Physical Ailments: Gas line leaks can cause a myriad of physical problems, especially when a leak goes unnoticed for an extended time. Headaches, nausea, fatigue, breathing problems, and dizziness can often be attributed to a gas leak somewhere in the home.
When Do I Need a Gas Line Inspection?
If the gas to your home has been turned off for longer than six months, the state requires a gas line inspection with pressure testing before restoring service. You’ll need to contact a licensed plumber to perform the test, and once your system passes inspection, your meter will be tagged and can be reconnected by the utility company.
Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services has been installing, repairing, inspecting, and maintaining Houston’s gas lines since 1979. When dealing with a potentially volatile gas line situation, the smartest thing you can do is hire a reputable plumbing company with extensive gas plumbing experience.
Give Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services a call to make an appointment for your cost evaluation or a second opinion on your gas line plumbing needs.