How to protect yourself from a gas leak

What are the signs of a gas leak in your home?
How to protect yourself from a gas leak
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 6:34 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - After investigators determined that the Weinbach Avenue house explosion was caused by an undetected gas leak, many around the Tri-State are concerned about a gas leak in their homes.

Natural gas is essential for many homeowners to keep the heat on in the winter, and provide hot water.

However, if a leak goes undetected, it could become problematic, or become dangerous to people inside the home.

Terry Bruce is a plumber with Ace. He works on gas lines on a regular basis, ensuring everything is running smoothly, and no gas is leaking out.

He says any gas line not connected to an appliance needs to be capped.

“Some of these old valves, they can leak,” Bruce said. “That’s why if you’re gonna leave it undone, you definitely want to cap it off.”

In the case of the Weinbach explosion, the line was left uncapped.

Several plumbers confirm with 14 News that a properly threaded and secure gas cap won’t accidentally fall off. They say it would take a wrench to get it off the line.

Each gas line also has a shut-off valve. Bruce says if the valve is perpendicular to the pipe, the gas can’t flow through. However, if the valve is pointed in the same direction as the pipe, gas will flow freely.

Each house that has natural gas also has a shut-off valve for the entire house located outside the home.

“If you have a crescent wrench, you can turn it off,” Bruce said. “If not, you can call [CenterPoint Energy] and they’ll get to you very quickly and shut that off. If you smell gas, shut the whole house down.”

If you have natural gas in your home, make sure all lines are connected securely to appliances, or have a properly installed gas cap.

If you smell something like rotten eggs, that’s Mercaptan, an additive to natural gas that lets homeowners know you might have a leak.

You can never be too safe when it comes to gas lines in your home. If you think something might be wrong, get out and call for help.

Click here to check out our previous coverage on the Weinbach Avenue explosion.