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What are the Symptoms of a Gas Leak? A Licensed NYC Plumber Explains

February 04, 2020


Think you may have a gas leak in your home? 

First off, if you’re already pretty sure you have a gas leak in your home, you should leave and call the emergency number for your utility company as soon as possible (or 911). A gas leak can be dangerous and could cause serious health issues if not fixed quickly. 

If you’re unsure whether or not you have a gas leak, the first thing to do is check for common symptoms.

The typical symptoms/indications of a gas leak include:

  • A rotten egg/sulfur smell throughout your home

  • A whistling or hissing noise coming from a gas appliance or line

  • Dizziness, headaches and/or eye or throat irritation

Below, we’ll break down exactly what to look for and what to do if you have a gas leak in your home.

Note: We are not medical or public safety officials. If you think you have a gas leak, you need to consult medical and public safety experts. More information can be found here.

If you've determined there's no emergency and you simply need a gas line repair, contact Ranshaw. Our licensed pros will safely and properly  correct your gas line issues. We’ve served the NYC area for more than 50 years and offer 1-year labor warranties on our gas line repair work!

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Indications of a gas leak in your home:

If you think you have a gas leak, you should check for: 

  1. Sulfur/rotten egg smell- Natural gas is actually odorless, but gas companies add a strong sulfur scent so that if you do have a gas leak, you’re able to smell it fairly quickly. 
  2. Whistling or hissing noise- Depending on where the gas leak is, you may be able to hear a whistling or hissing noise coming from the leak.

  3. See a damaged gas line or connection- If you can see a break in a gas line or any kind of damage to your home’s gas lines or connections, this is a pretty good implication that there is a gas leak. 

Physical symptoms of a gas leak:

The symptoms caused by a gas leak can be difficult to notice because they’re similar to other common health issues like the stomach flu, headache, sore throat or simply being tired. 

These symptoms include:

  • Dizziness

  • Eye and throat irritation

  • Lethargy

  • Headaches

  • Nausea/vomiting

  • And more

It’s important to note that natural gas itself is not what causes the above symptoms, it’s the lack of oxygen that causes your body to react. 

When natural gas leaks into your home, it takes the place of oxygen, and as the amount of gas starts to build in your home, your body breathes in less and less oxygen, which can cause the symptoms listed above.

Don’t confuse high CO levels for a gas leak...

Disclaimer: If you have the symptoms listed above and notice that your carbon monoxide detector is going off, you could be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, not a gas leak. 

Although carbon monoxide poisoning produces similar symptoms, it’s more dangerous than natural gas because you can be greatly affected by a smaller amount. 

Unlike natural gas, which simply takes up the space of oxygen in your home, carbon monoxide actually binds to your red blood cells, preventing them from carrying oxygen to your organs. 

What to do if you think you have a gas or carbon monoxide leak

If there is any indication that you may have a gas or carbon monoxide leak in your home, you should follow the steps below.

  1. Open up your windows- Quickly open as many windows as you can to allow the gas or carbon monoxide to dissipate.

  2. Turn off any gas appliances- Turn off any gas appliances such as your furnace, oven, etc. If you know where the gas meter is, turn that off as well. \

  3. Leave your home- This is the most important step in this process. Leave your home as quickly as possible so you don’t continue to expose yourself to harmful gasses. You should ensure that anyone else in your home (including animals) are removed as well. 

  4. Call the emergency number for your utility company or 911- You should reach out for help as soon as possible. If you think that you have severe gas or carbon monoxide poisoning, we would suggest calling 911. Gas/carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

What NOT to do if you think you have a gas leak:

  • Attempt to repair the leak- Do NOT attempt to fix a leak on your own. This will expose you to more gas and can not only cause harm to you, but to your home and systems.
  • Use any appliances- Do not use any appliances (gas, oil or electric) as it could either release more gas into your home or start a fire.

  • Stay in your home for any reason- Unless you are still getting other people/animals out of your home, you need to leave. Do not stay in your home to call for help or for any other reason. 

Think you have an issue with your gas lines? Contact NYC’s gas service experts at Ranshaw

As we mentioned above, if you think you have a gas or carbon monoxide leak, reach out to your utility company or the police as soon as possible. 

When a gas leak presents itself, the first thing authorities will do is cut off your gas supply. 

At Ranshaw, we can come in afterwards to investigate the leak and provide you with a proposal and upfront pricing to correct your gas line issues and get your gas service restored.

From there, we handle everything—from filing the necessary permit paperwork and submitting work requests to the utility company to repairing the gas leak. We have decades of experience servicing gas lines and we’re one of the few companies in the area that can ensure a smooth and reliable process to get your gas service restored.  

If you’re in need of a gas line repair, contact Ranshaw for pros you can rely on to get the job done right the first time around.

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