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How to detect a natural gas leak in your home

Natural gas is one of the safest fuels to use in your home, but if you have a faulty or poorly installed appliance or gas line, a leak can occur. Since natural gas is highly combustible and can cause a fire or explosion in open air in concentrated amounts, it’s important to know how to detect a leak and what to do if you suspect you have one.

Signs of a natural gas leak in your home

Natural gas — like carbon monoxide — is colourless and tasteless, so you need to pay close attention to pinpoint a leak. You’ll typically notice a strong smell — possibly accompanied by noises or other unusual clues — in your home. While gas leaks are rare, identifying these signs of a natural gas leak early on can help you protect your family and your home:

  • You can smell it. While natural gas on its own is odourless, most providers purposely add a strong artificial smell to their natural gas to help you identify a leak. If you notice an odour of rotten eggs, sewage, or skunk in your home, you very well may have a leak.
  • You can see signs of it. You may notice some odd visual signs that indicate a gas leak, such as your houseplants suddenly dying (despite your green thumb) or mysterious bubbles in still water. Visible damage to your gas line connection is a more obvious sign of a potential leak. If you notice damage to your natural gas pipe, call your gas provider’s 24-hour emergency line immediately.
  • You can hear it. A hiss, roar, or whistle that’s out of the ordinary could indicate a high-pressure leak, especially if it’s close to a pipe.

Natural gas providers add a distinctive odour to their product to help you detect a natural gas leak — if you smell rotten eggs, sewage, or skunk in your home, you may have a leak.