Can A Gas Leak Cause An Explosion?
Published in Plumbing Tips, 11th Aug 2020
Let’s be very clear about this – A gas leak can cause an explosion.
A gas leak can most definitely cause an explosion if the gas/air mixture is in certain parameters. If you smell a gas leak in Melbourne (or anywhere), you must never ignore it. No matter whether in a public place or your own home. The stream of gas from the leak is highly flammable. This means that if there’s a flame or spark in the vicinity of the leak, it can cause a fire or explosion.
It is extremely important to immediately turn off the gas and call a gas plumber if you are able to smell gas. For easier and more immediate detection, an odorant is added to natural and LPG gas so that any leaks can be detected quickly by smell. Not sure what to do if you smell gas? Read our blog about what to do in the case of a gas leak.
Natural gas is generally considered to be safer than LPG gas, as natural gas is lighter than air and so will then dissipate if there is a leak. LPG on the other hand, being heavier than air, can lay in holes or low areas in the ground or buildings unless dispersed by wind. This can result in an explosion if there is a source of ignition. This makes LPG more dangerous than natural gas.
Regardless of the type, it is still important to report all gas leaks in Melbourne, as gas can build up in a confined space and potentially create a dangerous situation or explosion.
One time a client of O’Shea Plumbing rang to request an investigation of a gas leak. After pressure testing the client’s natural gas installation and finding it to be sound, the O’Shea gas plumber asked the client why he had called for the investigation. The client showed the plumber how the concrete and bricks of the rear steps of his house had been blown off the back of the house down to the back garden. The client went on to explain that this happened when he had flicked a cigarette butt under the stairs. Checking under the house showed an empty LPG gas bottle lying on its side. The client had thrown the LPG bottle under the house after returning home from a recent camping trip. The isolation valve of the bottle had been knocked open, causing gas to escape and lay underneath a depression in the stairs until the client’s cigarette butt ignited the gas and caused an explosion.
Thankfully the client was ok, however, this situation could have turned out very differently for them. It’s important to take care of all gas installations, fixtures, gas bottles, etc. to keep you and your family safe. Remember: preventative care and maintenance are can save you from a costly accident or fix-up in the future.
Want to know more about how professional plumbers deal with gas leaks? Take a look at our blog where we discuss how O’Shea Plumbing fixes gas leaks.
The gas fitting professionals at O’Shea Plumbing are accredited and licensed to conduct gas replacements, repairs, alterations, servicing, testing. There are no better professional gas leak plumbers in Melbourne than the O’Shea team. O’Shea Plumbing has been in business since 1978 and has been a member of The Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia for over 40 years, so you can rest assured that we’re trusted professionals when it comes to gas and water leak detection. With us, you’ll get a quick response so you can sort out your gas leak issue as soon as possible. Call us on (03) 9888 2887, we’ll come running.