Home Improvement

Furnace Gas Line Issues and What to Do When They Occur

5:05 PM



Most homeowners have various appliances that are powered using natural gas in their homes. These devices include furnaces, stoves, dryers, water heaters, and ovens. Even a fireplace can be ignited using gas. The methods of powering devices have evolved. From using wood and coal to more refined, clean, contemporary and efficient fuel systems.

A lot of homes now use either natural gas, electricity or propane. The use of propane is reducing so most homes either use electricity or natural gas. Because it tends to be cheaper, more effective and more efficient than electricity (this is dependent on where the house is located), a lot of houses use it instead to power their devices.

As we can see here, based on the 2012 U.S. Energy Information Administration’s data, about 66 million residential customers use natural gas. Approximately, 23 percent of the total consumption of this natural product in the U.S is for residential purposes. This means a lot of people rely on this form of power for their daily needs.

Since an average American home uses it to power a number of appliances, it is pertinent to lay and install pipelines rather than having to rely on propane tanks. This is done outside the house by a supply service company. They install the service line from the street to your home and then set a meter. The other part of the installation is done inside your house by an HVAC professional or contractor. They install your equipment and connect it to the meter.
As mentioned above, one of the important devices you will power is your furnace. It is a device used in heating the house during winter or any other cold day.

Powering your furnace with gas might be less expensive and efficient than electricity but it comes with its issues that can affect the safety of a home if not effectively handled. Let’s see what some of these issues are and what to do about them.

Leaks
Thankfully, this is not very common though it can happen. A line can either leak gas or water. If it leaks water, it is basically down to poor installation. The flue (the big metal pipe which carries exhaust out of the home) might be too small or not properly installed. This makes it trap heat and over time when it cools, it is then converted to liquid. You can see water droplets on the floor from your pipe. If it leaks gas, then this may be due to several reasons which include corrosion and unintentional puncturing of the line. To learn how to recognize a gas leak and what to do about it, check out this article: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321277.php.

Gas manufacturing companies are required to add a chemical called mercaptan for easy detection since the product itself is odorless. You can know your gas line is leaking if you perceive the distinctive smell of this chemical. It smells a bit like rotting eggs. Another way to tell is if you can hear a hissing sound or your lawn has a brown or yellow patch (if the line passes through it), then you may have a leak. If you do perceive a smell or hear a hissing sound, try to trace where it is coming from.

If you have confirmed you do have a leak, immediately, shut off the gas supply source. Do not ignite any form of light; matches or cigarette lighter. Evacuate the premises immediately and call a professional to check it out. In dire situations, you might need to call the fire department.

Blockages
This too is rare but can also happen. Roots from trees can grow into the line. It can also be caused by an accumulation of debris, insects or rust. During the installation of supply line, there should be what is called a drip leg which can also be referred to as a sediment trap or dirt pocket. It is a pipe extension in your line that is usually about 3 inches long. Its function is to catch water or any other impurities or foreign materials present in the supply line before it reaches the appliance. If the drip leg is not available in your supply line’s design, this may allow impurities to clog it. If you notice your furnace is not heating as well as it should, you need to call for repairs. A professional will check what could be causing a blockage if there is any. Though blockages are not as dangerous as leakages, you should still have it looked into as soon as possible.

How to Prevent Gas Line Issues

To prevent any such issues in your home, have your gas line and equipment properly installed from the get-go. You do this by getting reputable HVAC contractors to install gas line for stove, furnace and other devices using appropriate materials when doing so. There are home inspectors who will check the installations to be sure they are properly done.

Secondly, always have your gas equipment maintained periodically by professionals. They will check the supply line, inspect your devices especially your furnace to be sure they are in perfect conditions. It is best to carry out maintenance on your furnace after summer and before winter when it will be fully needed. This will make your furnace system more efficient and last longer. It will also keep you and your family warm and safe always.

As much as using gas is cheap, clean and efficient, homeowners have the responsibility of keeping themselves and their neighborhood safe by doing their due diligence while having the supply line installed to their homes. Also, it is paramount to maintain their gas equipment periodically and associated devices as often as possible.





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