Signs Your Furnace Has a Gas Leak

What’s that nasty smell? If it reminds you of rotten eggs, it could be a gas leak originating from your furnace. While natural gas is odorless on its own, manufacturers are required by law to add a chemical known as mercaptan. This is what gives gas that unmistakable smell.

If you detect the odor of natural gas in your home, get out and call for help immediately. Gas leaks are extremely dangerous and could result in catastrophes like gas furnace explosions. The smell of gas isn’t always the only sign of a gas leak, though. If you notice any of these signs of gas leak, call for help right away.

Signs of a Gas Leak

gas leak signs
Gas meter flickr photo by allenran 917 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Rotten Egg or Sulfur Smell

The chemical that is added to natural gas smells like sulfur or rotten egg. If you notice this uniquely unpleasant aroma, do not ignore it. Even if it isn’t being caused by a gas leak, you could still have a serious problem. Certain electrical issues cause this smell as well.

Hissing Sound

When a leak occurs behind a wall or in a pipe, you may hear it without being able to smell it. When it escapes from the gas line, natural gas makes a distinctive hissing sound. If you hear it, turn off your gas supply, if possible, and call for help.

Dead Patches in your Lawn

Gas lines run underground before entering your home and connecting to your furnace. If there is a spot on your lawn that is dying, you could have an underground gas leak. In addition, if a gas line runs underneath a pond or even a large puddle on your property, persistent bubbling could indicate a leak.

What to Do When You Have a Gas Leak

If you smell or hear a gas leak or if you have another reason to suspect you may have one, vacate the premises immediately. Don’t use anything that could cause a spark – including your cell phone. Wait until you are far away before calling anyone for assistance. If possible, turn off the main gas supply to your home. You may want to contact the fire department or your gas company for fast help in emergency situations. Contact a licensed service company that can respond quickly and repair the damage before disaster strikes.

If you need gas leak repair or heating repair in Hagerstown, Larry & Sons can help. Call 301-733-5428.