When your water heater runs on gas, there is always a small chance that it develops a gas leak. While rare, gas leaks are serious. So, everyone who has a gas water heater should be aware of the signs of a gas leak so that they can get help if they need to. Here are five signs of a water heater gas leak.

1. The Smell of Gas

Gas smells like rotten eggs or hydrogen sulfide. This isn’t a natural smell, but one that gas companies add to their product so that it is easier for people to identify gas leaks. So, if you smell rotten eggs and don’t have an egg hidden out of sight somewhere, there is a gas leak in your home.

Is it not quite like rotten eggs? Other smells may also signal a different kind of problem with your water heater. For example, a burning smell may indicate an electrical problem or just a hazardous level of dust build-up.

2. Hissing Sound

Sometimes when a small amount of gas escapes the water heater it makes a hissing noise because it is escaping a high-pressure environment. Other sounds may also indicate that there is a different kind of problem with your water heater.

3. Dead House Plants

This is a rare sign, but knowing about it just might help you. When plants are exposed to natural gas they may wither and die. If you keep plants near your water heater and they’ve died, you might want to look into the possibility of a gas leak.

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4. Damage to the Pipe

If you notice damage to the gas line or another part of the water heater, that is reason enough to suspect a gas leak and call a professional. Even very small gas leaks can build up and cause serious health problems over time.

5. Physical Symptoms

Lastly, you may also experience physical symptoms of a gas leak in your home. They may range in severity depending on the type of exposure you have. These symptoms may include:

  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nausea and reduced appetite
  • Headache
  • Nosebleeds
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Mood changes
  • Eye and throat irritation
  • Ringing in your ears

You may also notice that your pets experience symptoms, such as:

  • Changes in behavior
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble breathing
  • Red or watering eyes

If you suspect that you or your pet are experiencing symptoms from exposure to gas, you should call your gas company, your plumber, and then ensure that you and your pet get medical attention.

What Will My Plumber Do About it?

When your plumber arrives, they will test your water heater and find out where the leak is coming from more specifically. They will let you know what the problem is and whether it can be repaired or whether the whole water heater needs to be replaced.

If you suspect that you may have a gas leak, reach out to us at Smart Choice Plumbing. Our plumbers in Castro Valley will be happy to diagnose and fix any issues with your gas lines.