Many people rely on natural gas to power appliances such as heaters, dryers, water heaters, and stoves. But few people think much about the gas line supplying the gas to their home until there is a problem. Underground gas lines don't last forever, and the time may come when you need to have a new gas line installed. Some common signs that you need to replace your current gas line include:
Big Increase in Your Gas Bill
Most people tend to use a similar amount of natural gas from month to month, and most homeowners have an idea of what a regular gas bill is for different times of the year. If you open your gas bill and notice that it is much higher than it has ever been, it may be because your gas line broke and needs to be replaced. When you have a broken gas line, lots of natural gas will seep out of the line, and you will end up being charged for it.
Poor Heater Performance
When you have a broken gas line, the pressure inside the line will decrease, and there won't be a steady flow of gas arriving to your appliances. It is not uncommon for gas heaters to begin to perform poorly if the gas line is damaged and needs to be replaced. If you have had your heater checked out and there are no problems with it, have your gas line inspected.
Smell of Gas Outside
When your gas line has failed, it will release small amounts of natural gas. As this gas makes its way to the surface of the ground, the pungent odor of natural gas may be noticed. Gas is very light and will quickly disperse with a breeze, so you may only smell gas intermittently. If you ever smell natural gas on your property while outdoors, you need to immediately have your gas line checked out.
Dead Plants or Grass
Natural gas is poisonous to plants and grass, so if your gas line is cracked, it can cause damage to the foliage in your yard. As the natural gas seeps towards the surface of the ground, the roots of your grass and plants will be damaged by the gas. If you suspect any problems with your home's gas line, keep an eye on your yard. Plants and grass in a particular area may begin to die for no apparent reason if gas is leaking.