Winter has arrived, and with it comes freezing temperatures and snowy forecasts. You may see an increase in your propane consumption during this time of the year and with it, the danger of gas leaks.
Although propane gas leaks can occur at any time of the year, the severe winter weather we experience here in Northeast Pennsylvania can cause more to occur. And it’s important to know what symptoms to look for when you think a leak has happened in your home.
The Symptoms of a Gas Leak
A Bad Odor: The most obvious sign of a propane gas leak is the odor. Although propane itself has no odor, many propane manufacturers add a chemical to the gas that produces a “rotten egg” smell.
A Hissing Noise: Another sign of a gas leak is a distinct hissing or whistling sound near the gas line. You may also see a cloud of dust near the whistling noise.
Dead Plants: Not only will your shrubs and grass suddenly turn brown, but your houseplants could be dying due to lack of oxygen in the air.
Flame Color: If you have a gas stove or fireplace, keep an eye on the flames’ color. Typically, the flames should be blue; but if they’re orange or yellow, the cause may be leaking gas.
Physical Symptoms: With a reduction of oxygen in the air, you’ll begin to experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. The most common symptoms include nausea, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, breathing difficulties, and much more.
Checking the Tank for Leaks: The Soap Test
The easiest way to find out if you have a leak is by checking the propane tank. Although it’s best to have a professional check for leaks, you can try the soap test on your propane tank if you’re still unsure. Here’s what you need to do: First, apply soapy water to where the propane tank’s cylinder valve and regular outlet connect. Then, slowly open the cylinder valve. If bubbles begin to form, then you have a leak.
What Do You Do If You Suspect a Gas Leak?
The first thing you need to do is put out any open flames immediately. Also, you don’t want to operate any appliances, lights, or even use your phone. Leave the area immediately, and remember to shut off the gas if it’s safe to do so. As soon as you’re secure, contact your propane retailer or emergency services right away. Do not return to the area until a technician checks your system to ensure all leaks are taken care of.
Keystone Propane is Here to Help
Keystone Propane, Inc. is available 24/7 to protect our customers in the event of a gas leak. We will check your system, correct any problems, and will let you know when it’s safe to return to your home. To us, our customers are much more than numbers — they’re family.
If you have any questions about our propane products or service, contact us today. We here to help.