If your home has a natural gas pipe, you must be very mindful of cracks or other forms of damage that can cause leaks. The joints that connect your natural gas pipe have to be completely sealed in order to prevent this. In order to protect your family and friends from the harmful effects of a gas leak, you will need to know these simple troubleshooting tips to fix the problem.
Joints and Connectors
Most problems that natural gas pipes encounter are caused by faulty or loose joints and connectors. As mentioned, time and poor maintenance can cause these connectors to wear out. They will corrode which will strip off the protective layer. In order to diagnose the problem, you will need to examine the actual gas pipe unit, particularly the locations of the joints and connectors. Keep an eye out for rust or stains which are signs of worn out joints or connectors. These may then need to be replaced with new ones.
If your natural gas pipe system is connected by spigot or bell joints, their seals may experience damage or drying. Again, this is an effect of having the gas pipe system installed for a long period of time. It is also caused by the natural gas that seeps through the joints where it is pumped out of. Cracked seals on the spigot or bell joints of your natural gas pipe are much trickier to locate or spot. The gas coming from the pipes can escape due to alterations in the size of the gas fittings which can change due to drastic changes in the temperature.
The gas fittings can also be in the wrong size, which can cause the natural gas to seep through as well. In order to locate these cracks, make a mixture of soap and water. Use this solution to coat the pipes as well as the joints. If you notice any bubbles, this means that there is a gas leak present. You may also purchase a lubricant that performs in the same way.
If you encounter minor leaks, you must first turn off the gas source and disconnect the gas line from the pipe system. Purchase repair sleeves for pipes at your local hardware or home improvement store. You will need epoxy resin-based sleeves. These are made of fiberglass and are perfectly suited for gas pipes. Use your repair sleeve and wrap it around the crack or the area of damage on the gas pipe.
Replacing the Pipe
If the damage calls for you to replace the pipe entirely, you will need a threading compound. This is also called a pipe dope. Apply the threading compound to the threads of the pipe line. After this, use a screwdriver to secure the pipe joints. When this dries, it will create a protective seal. Use the soap and water test again to make sure that you covered all areas of the gas leak.