Do you smell something? Something strong and certainly unappealing, like sulphur or rotten eggs?
If you’re greeted by a home that smells like the inside of a volcano, don’t hesitate. Chances are you have a gas leak!
Each year, gas sends dozens of Australians to hospital. Earlier this month, four people (including a baby) had to be hospitalised following a suspected gas leak. Barely a week earlier, two workers died after being overcome by gas fumes during routine maintenance.
Yes, gas is no laughing matter.
So what happens when you smell it in your home?
Step #1: how can I tell I’ve got a gas leak?
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to tell when your home is suffering from a gas leak. While gas is odourless in its natural form, providers add artificial odourants, making it easy to pick out when you’ve sprung a leak.
Just follow your nose!
That’s not the only way you can tell, though. Smaller leaks can be hard to identify by smell alone – in these cases, you can also pick out gas if:
- Your gas appliances are emitting a discoloured flame
- You can hear a faint hissing noise
- Potted plants start wilting or dying
- You feel a sudden headache or nausea coming on
- An unusual cloud of mist or fog appears in the home
Step #2: get to a safe distance
If you smell gas, don’t risk it: your first priority should always be safety.
To start, shut off your gas supply at the mains and make sure all your appliances are switched off.
Most properties will have a gas main somewhere. This pipe is the primary way in which gas is supplied to your home – luckily for you, it also lets you shut off your gas supply from a single valve.
Once the gas and appliances are off, it’s time to air the place out. Crack open your windows to let the gas dissipate.
Once that’s done, move yourself and your family out of the home.
Step #3: call the relevant authorities
Now that you’re outside, you can take stock of the situation and think about who you should call.
In severe cases (e.g. a gas fire or a family member passing out from exposure), you should ring Triple Zero (000) immediately.
Fortunately, you’ve caught the leak before either situation has manifested – in these cases, you can call:
They’ll be able to help you identify whether your gas leak is on their end. Your gas company is responsible for problems with infrastructure up to your gas meter and will arrange for a maintenance crew to solve the problem.
Step #4: Call an emergency gas plumber
If your gas company or emergency services inform you that the source of the gas leak is within your home, the next person you should call is an emergency gas plumber!
It’s simple: gas plumbers specialise in fixing gas problems
Licensed gas plumbers are specially trained in repairing and maintaining gas fittings like pipes and gas lines. More specifically, we train in:
- Maintenance and repair of gas plumbing
- Installation and connection of gas appliances
- Setting up gas lines and connections
Many plumbers upskill later on in their careers to offer gas services. Some certifications nowadays even include gas work in them.
It’s important to note however that while many plumbers offer these services, not all plumbers are licensed gas fitters.
Unsure whether your plumbers hold the necessary licenses? Click here to check our plumbing credentials.
While we’re on the topic of licenses…
A gas plumber’s license is more than just a laminated piece of plastic – it’s a guarantee that they know what they’re doing.
To qualify, each applicant needs to hold the required certification and have passed a competency exam.
Furthermore, all licensed gas plumbers must have insurance and provide a minimum 6-year warranty. Only a licensed gas plumber can provide a compliance certificate guaranteeing all their work is up to code.
When we’re talking about as volatile and potentially dangerous as gas, these assurances are crucial. You don’t want to hire somebody that’s not up to the job!
Emergency gas plumbing, when you need it!
Gas leaks present a bit of a dilemma.
It’s not safe to go back into your home until the gas problem is fixed. But on the other hand, you’re stuck outside.
That’s why the vast majority of gas plumbers (including us) offer emergency gas plumbing services.
Our rapid-response team comes to you, fixing problems with your gas lines and appliances, ensuring safety in the home.
Need a gas plumber in Melbourne? Call Watermaster Plumbing!
If you arrive home or at the office to a suspected gas leak, don’t panic. Instead, get in touch with Watermaster’s gas plumbers in Melbourne.