Do gas leaks make noise? Your ears may help you pinpoint a gas leak, but they can’t rule one out. Many gas leaks will cause noise, but some leaks cannot be detected by your ears at all. Learn more about how to identify a gas leak, including with your ears, below.
What Noise Do Gas Leaks Make?
The line that delivers gas to your furnace or other gas appliance is pressurized. So, when there is a gas leak, it relieves pressure. This can create a sound like a small hiss or a whistle. Louder whistling or hissing means that the leak is larger.
However, not all gas leaks will make sound or at least sound that is loud enough for you to hear. You shouldn’t rely on sound to indicate whether or not you have a gas leak. Instead, you should familiarize yourself with the other signs.
Other Signs of a Gas Leak
Here are the other signs of a gas leak:
- A bad smell, like rotten eggs or sulfur
- Dead houseplants near the gas line
- Dust or a white cloud near the line
- Increase gas costs that aren’t otherwise explained
- Problems with your gas appliances
For many, the smell of a gas leak is the number one sign that there is a leak. However, those with a compromised sense of smell may not have the benefit of this sign. You should also know about the potential health symptoms of a gas leak, so you know when to get medical help. Those signs include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Throat and eye irritation
- Reduced appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
If you have symptoms that may be caused by a gas leak you should check in with your doctor and explain your concerns.
How to Find a Gas Leak
When you’re trying in pinpoint where a gas leak is coming from, hearing the hissing noise and moving to where it is closest can help. But there are better ways to pinpoint exactly where the gas leak is. The best for a homeowner to tackle by themselves is a technique with soapy water. Essentially you mix soap and water and then apply the mixture to the gas line. The air from the leak will create bubbles. The origin of the bubbles is also the origin of the leak.
What if you don’t find bubbles when you apply the solution to the gas line? Then you may have a gas leak in the portion of the pipe you can’t reach. The gas appliance, like a water heater or furnace, may be the source of the leak. Or, the hissing noise may be from something else.
If you’re a typical homeowner who does not have any gas fitting training, it is probably not a good idea for you to be looking for the gas leak yourself. Exposure to gas leaks can have serious health consequences. It is safer for you and your family to turn the gas off and wait for the professionals to arrive to find and fix the leak.