Pipeline Safety

For gas leaks or broken lines call 24 hours: 1-877-945-5427

Although Willmut Gas adds a distinctive odor (similar to rotten egg smell) called mercaptan to natural gas to aid in the detection of leaks, you should not rely on your sense of smell alone to determine if there is a gas leak. Certain conditions, such as odor fade (loss of odorant) may cause the odor to diminish so that it is not detectable. Use your senses to alert you to a gas leak. It’s important to know that any of the following signs may indicate the presence of a gas leak:

  • The distinctive odor of natural gas.
  • A damaged connection to your gas appliance.
  • Dead or dying vegetation in an otherwise moist area over or near pipeline areas.
  • A fire explosion near a pipeline.
  • Continuous bubbling in wet, flooded areas or in marsh lands, rivers, creek or bayous.
  • Exposed pipeline after a fire, flood or other disaster.

What to Do

If you smell a natural gas odor, hear the hissing sound of gas escaping or see other signs of a leak:

  • REMAIN calm.
  • DO NOT light a match, candle or cigarette.
  • DO NOT turn electrical appliances or lights off.
  • DO NOT operate or use any ignition source such as a phone, flashlight, cigarette lighter, or any kind of open flame, and do not start a car.
  • LEAVE the area immediately.
  • From a safe location, dial 911 immediately, or call the Willmut Gas (24 hour) Emergency line at 1-877-945-5427.

Maintaining Your Gas Lines

Willmut Gas is responsible for maintaining the gas lines that carry natural gas to your meter; however, if you are a property owner, property manager, tenant and/or occupant, you are responsible for maintaining all gas lines on your side of the meter. That includes piping from your gas meter to the appliances on your property, piping from curbside gas meter to the home (when meter is not right beside the home), and piping from your meter underground to a building, pool/spa heater, grill, or other gas appliance. Not maintaining gas pipelines could result in potential hazards due to leakage. To properly maintain your gas lines, you should have them periodically inspected to identify unsafe conditions, including corrosion (if the pipe is steel or other metal) and leaks, and repair any unsafe conditions immediately. A licensed, qualified professional can assist you in finding, inspecting and repairing your buried gas lines. Also, please keep in mind that Willmut Gas employees will need clear access to our gas meters to please keep them free and clear of shrubbery and other foliage as well as any other foreign objects. Please securely confine pets in an area that safely separates them from Willmut Gas employees on meter reading days and during service calls to your home. Doing so helps employees of Willmut Gas provide you with exceptional customer service and avoid injury. If our employees do not feel they are entering a safe working environment it may result in your service call being rescheduled.

Carbon Monoxide

To help keep your gas appliances operating safely and efficiently, have Willmut Gas or a licensed, qualified professional check your gas pipeline every year. Not performing annual maintenance may result in insufficient appliance operation, and in some cases, dangerous exposure to carbon monoxide. Follow the manufacturer’s operations and maintenance instructions to ensure efficient operations. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is formed when carbon-based fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, propane, natural gas, oil, charcoal or wood are burned with inadequate amounts of oxygen, creating a condition known as incomplete combustion. In the case of home gas appliances, this can be caused by improper installation, poor maintenance, or appliance misuse or failure. When incomplete combustion occurs in your home’s gas appliances, carbon monoxide is produced, and this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning of you and your family. The early stages of carbon monoxide poisoning produce unexplained flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath and mental confusion. Since carbon monoxide displaces the oxygen in the blood, prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to the death. Signs that may indicate the presence of carbon monoxide, include:

  • A yellow, large and unsteady gas appliance burner flame (with the exception of decorative gas log appliances).
  • An unusual pungent odor when the appliance is operating. This may indicate the creation of aldehydes, a by-product of incomplete combustion.
  • Unexplained nausea, drowsiness and flu-like symptoms.

What to do if you suspect carbon monoxide is present in your home:

  • If safe to do so, immediately turn of the suspected gas appliance.
  • Evacuate the premises and call 911.
  • Seek medical attention if anyone in the home experiences carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms.
  • Contact Willmut Gas at 1-877-945-5427 or a licensed, qualified professional immediately to have the appliance inspected.
  • Do not use the suspected gas appliance until it has been inspected, serviced, and determined to be safe by Willmut Gas or a licensed, qualified professional.

Carbon monoxide home alarms may provide an extra level of safety, but they also require routine maintenance and replacement at least every three to five years to perform properly. Even with alarms in place, regular gas appliances maintenance is still required. Inspection and routine maintenance are still the best defense against accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.