Gas leaks can create fires and explosions. It's important that you and your family know how to recognize a gas leak and what to do if you suspect a leak.
If you suspect a gas leak, find a phone away from the area and call 1-800-533-LEAK (5325), 911, or your local gas provider.
How to Recognize a Gas Leak
Smell—A distinctive, strong odor similar to rotten eggs
See—A white cloud, mist, fog, bubbles in standing water, blowing dust, or vegetation that appears to be dead or dying for no reason
Hear—Roaring, hissing, or whistling
Why Natural Gas Smells Like Rotten Eggs
Methyl mercaptan (methanethiol) is a chemical that is added to natural gas to make it easier to detect in case of a leak. Mercaptan has a very distinct and unpleasant odor that is produced by sulfur—many people compare the smell of Mercaptan to rotten eggs.
Mercaptan is added to natural gas so that customers will know that natural gas is leaking from a stove, furnace, water heater, or other gas-fueled appliance.
What to Do If You Think There Is a Gas Leak
- If the odor is strong, leave immediately and take others with you.
- If you are outside, leave the area immediately.
- Do not light a match or smoke, turn appliances or lights on or off (including flashlights), use a telephone, or start a car. Doing so can produce sparks that might cause the gas to explode.
- Find a phone away from the area and call 1-800-533-LEAK (5325), 911, or your local gas provider. You can report leaks anonymously.
- Do not assume someone else will report the condition.
- Follow directions from emergency responders who are on site.
Excess Flow Valves
Your natural gas service is safe, clean, and reliable. But if a contractor excavating on your property accidentally damages your gas pipeline, it could cause a gas leak. To avoid this, please insist that any workers (including yourself) digging around your home or business call 811 before excavating so we can make sure they’re digging safely.
As an optional added safety measure to protect your property from a gas leak resulting from excavation damage, you can request to have an “excess flow valve” installed, at your expense, between the street and your meter. This mechanical safety device will automatically shut off the flow of gas if your service line breaks. This can reduce the risk of fire, explosion, and injury if the line is damaged, but it won’t automatically shut off the gas if there is a small leak.
To install the valve, we must excavate the service line where it connects to the gas mainline piping that runs down your street. We will then turn off your gas, install the valve, backfill the excavation and relight your appliances. The cost to install this optional feature is $2,700. There will be no additional costs to maintain or replace the device.
Excess flow valves are installed only on service lines that operate at pressures of 10 psig or greater and for loads of 1,000 standard cubic feet per hour or less. Other exceptions may apply. To learn more, to find out if your gas service is eligible for this equipment, or to schedule an installation date that works for you and us, please call 1-877-434-4100.
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