Gas water heaters are extraordinarily safe and cost efficient, but there are risks just as there are with any gas appliance. Near the top of the list is a gas leak. The most common warning sign is the smell of rotten eggs in your Waterford, MI or Oxford, MI house. When it comes out of the ground, natural gas is odorless, but suppliers add the odor as a safety measure.
SAFETY COMES FIRST
The first thing Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing wants to emphasize is that gas leaks are nothing to fool around with. If you smell gas, you should shut off the main supply valve to the house immediately. If you don’t know where the valve is or are unable to shut it off, then just leave the house and call either your gas supplier or 911. Remember: Don’t call from inside the house. Depending on how much gas is in the home, using a phone can spark a fire or explosion.
REPLACING FLEXIBLE GAS LINE
If the gas leak is identified as coming from the water heater, it’s very possible the flexible gas line going to the water heater is the culprit. It’s not technically difficult to replace, but Kotz urges you to call in a trained plumber to make the repair because of the risky nature of working with gas lines. If you are going to replace the line yourself here are a few reminders:
- Make sure the gas valve to the water heater is turned off.
- Using the proper tools (flare nut wrenches) loosen the fittings and remove the flexible line.
- Replace it with a new line of the same length, making sure it’s approved for natural gas.
- Tighten fittings until they are snug (do NOT over-tighten).
- Turn gas back on to the water heater and check for leaks.
DON’T IGNORE YOUR WATER HEATER
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your water heater and that’s not always easy to do. Many times, it is located in the basement or in a closet which means it’s out of sight and out of mind. Doing regular ‘sniff’ checks can detect small gas leaks you may not be able to smell in other parts of the house. Inspecting the gas line and the connections can catch problems before they turn into an actual leak. While you’re at it, make sure you look closely for any sign of a water leak which could indicate a water heater failure is imminent.
DEPEND ON KOTZ
Please don’t put your family in danger by biting off more than you can chew when it comes to natural gas repairs. Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is fully equipped to handle any gas line problems you may have, not just with the gas water heater in your Waterford, MI or Oxford, MI home. Learn more about the services Kotz offers by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.