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House Smells Like Gas But No Leak: What Might Be the Problem?

The nose never lies. So, when you arrive home and notice the smell of gas, don’t simply wish it away. It might be a good idea to check and see if the gas is actually turned off, but if you have already ruled that out, chances are that there’s a leak somewhere.

The problem with gas leaks is that they can be major and conspicuous or tiny and super difficult to detect. No matter their magnitude, gas leaks have one thing in common and that is – they can be deadly.

So, if your house smells like gas but you can’t seem to figure out where the leak is, here are some immediate steps you can take to prevent things from getting out of hand.

What A Gas Leak Should Smell Like

If there is a gas leak in your home, you’ll detect the smell of rotten eggs. This rotten egg (hydrogen-sulfide-like) smell comes from a chemical known as mercaptan. It is normally added to natural gas, which is odorless and colorless, to make it easier to detect for safety reasons.

Other than the distinctive odor, you may also detect a hissing sound, higher-than-usual natural gas bills, or even continuous bubbling in stagnant water around your home.

How To Keep Your Home Safe in The Event of a Gas Leak

It is important to take swift action the minute you suspect there’s leaking gas in your home. The following proactive measures can go a long way in not only fixing the issue but also maintaining public safety.

Evacuate The House

In case of gas leaks, it is always a good idea to evacuate your entire house so that should something go wrong and a fire starts your household will be out of danger. Besides that, inhaling gas is not good for anyone’s health. So, you’ll want to get your loved ones, pets included, from the house immediately after you notice the gas-leak odor.

Make Sure the Entire House Is Well Ventilated

Once the house is evacuated, open up the windows and doors. This will allow fresh air to come in and the gas to escape. While at it, you want to be careful not to ignite any electrical appliances or lights. Anything that could trigger a spark that could in turn start a fire should be avoided at all costs.

Inspect For Leaks

With all the aforementioned safety measures in place, it is time to inspect where the leaks might be coming from. A simple way to do this is by looking out for a whistling or hissing sound.

You can also get a little creative by dousing areas where you suspect the gas is leaking from. If the leak is really there, bubbles will show up.

Alternatively, you can use a gas leak detector if you have one.

Check The Gas Stove

A loose connection between your gas stove and the gas line might be to blame for the difficult-to-find gas leak in your home. Listen to a hissing sound or try the soapy water test at the site where the gas pipe connects to the gas stove. Once again, a natural gas leak detector might make the job a lot easier here.

Shut Off the Main Valve of Your Gas

Turn off the gas using the shut-off valve. You may need a 12-inch wrench or a slightly larger but adjustable one for the job. If the smell does not stop you can be sure that it is coming from other sources either inside or outside your home.

But if it stops you can rest assured that the issue is either with the piping somewhere within your house.

Call In the Experts

If you see some tell-tale signs near or around your gas pipeline don’t hesitate to call your gas company. Normally, all licensed gas companies have 24/7 hotlines available. So, don’t hesitate to give them a call no matter what time of the day it is.

They will be able to check the leak and repair any underlying issues. If you’re lucky, the repairs will be minimal but if it happens that the leaks are extensive, costly repairs might be necessary. Whichever the case, never cut corners as this could compromise the safety of your home.

Long-term Measures to Prevent Future Gas Leaks at Home

  • Ensure your gas appliances are regularly inspected and maintained
  • Make sure any new appliances are installed by a qualified engineer
  • Avoid extremely old or run-down appliances
  • Perform regular visual inspections on your gas piping
  • Consider investing in a gas leak detector

Other Reasons Why Your Home Smells Like Gas Yet There Is No Leak

Other than the gas piping in your home leaking, there are other potential reasons why your home might smell like gas even when there is no leak. Let’s break them down for you.

  • Gas Leak from Neighboring Houses: If your neighbor’s house is having a gas leak, chances are that you’ll detect it from your home. Call the gas company so they can assess the problem.
  • Garbage Blockage: If you live in an apartment block with a garbage chute its blockage might be the reason for the rotten-egg smell. Contact your landlord or your local municipal authorities for further assistance.
  • Bacteria Build Up: Bacteria build-ups in and around your home e.g., affecting your heating system, sewage drain, or water well might trigger a gas-like smell. Be sure to have any potential bacteria breeding grounds checked.

Other Things That Smell Like Gas but Are Not Gas

It is easy to mistake some common household smells for the smell of leaking gas. These include rotten eggs, dog poop, skunk, bleach, and burned plastic, to mention but a few. Be sure to rule them out if the foul smell persists.

What If It’s Only You Smelling Gas?

In some cases, you might be the only one smelling gas and everyone else isn’t. This might be because you are ultra-sensitive to smells or that you have phantosmia meaning you smell things that are not there.

If you have been experiencing this for some time and your gas company has ruled out the possibility of a gas leak, it would be good to see a doctor.