Natural gas powers several home appliances, from the water heater to the laundry dryer. This gas is odorless, but typically has a scent added to it for household safety. If a homeowner believes that a gas leak is occurring, it's critical to shut off the valve and contact a professional. A plumber must come in and evaluate the gas supply before it can be used again.
The plumber's inspection begins at the origin of the leak. They'll visually inspect valves and pipes, following their length into the wall. A thorough plumber checks all gas lines into the home, including a gas-powered stove or oven. Professionals have specialized tools to calculate gas in the air or near an offending pipe. They may even resort to adding soapy water to the pipes to find difficult hairline cracks.
Once the issue is pinpointed, plumbers provide a repair estimate which includes parts and labor. Because it's a natural resource, natural gas will have to remain off until the professional can ensure a safe repair. Plumbers may offer a standard labor rate quote or base it off an hourly amount, depending on the issue. Professionals will typically advise the household to refrain from using any sparking mechanism, such as a lighter, until the gas line is fixed.
Most gas line repairs are relatively easy to access, but others could be more difficult. Lines run through walls from an outside source. Plumbers may need to work within the wall to find breaks in this area. They'll tell the homeowner about any complications the moment they complete their inspection, and their estimate will reflect this accordingly.