All About Gas Part 2: The What’s, Why’s, and Where’s of Gas Leaks
Many people in Hawai’i use natural gas to power their homes, but most people don’t know how it works. Natural gas in the Aloha State is made exclusively in plants which decompoe bio-waste, usually naphtha, which is pressurized and sent to users in zig-zagging pipes underground.
That’s the ideal situation. But many things could go wrong. Being able to diagnose what may be going wrong with your gas, or even basic knowledge of the engineering behind your pipes, can save you time, money, and even your life.
What’s a Gas Leak?
Gas leaks occur when gas lines or gas-burning appliances rupture. As a result of the leak, natural gas seeps into open areas. Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, leaks are dangerous.
Methane pushes out oxygen making it hard to breathe in a closed space. But even more dangerous is how flammable methane is. When methane mixes with open air, it can lead to a potential explosion.
Where and Why?
Gas pipes age just like plumbing pipes, and small damage can accumulate over time which weakens the pipes integrity. In particular, old supply pipes made of suboptimal materials like cast iron are at risk. Exposure and usage corrode old gas lines, causing hairline fractures in the outer material.
It is possible for home supply lines to come partially unseated from appliances, resulting in leaks. Gas leaks like these are particularly hazardous.
How Do I Use Natural Gas Safely?
Make sure to follow these tips if you have natural gas to help prevent any future gas leaks. And if you need help or have any questions, you should always call the experts at EPS by dialing (808) 400-8811 (Oahu) or (808) 691-9309 (Big Island) to make sure that there isn’t a deadly leak.
- Know where your gas line main and valves are.
- Get an earthquake shutoff valve.
- Conduct yearly checkups.
- Take notice of any rotten egg smells as it could indicate a gas leak.
- If you do smell or notice a leak, get yourself and your household out of the property as soon as you can and call for help.
If you need some professional help for your natural gas questions test, then be sure to call the qualified professionals at EPS Hawaii. For the Oahu, dial (808) 400-8811, and for the Big Island branch, dial (808) 691-9309.