Utah Earthquakes & Plumbing Damage: Are You Safe?

March 20th, 2020 | Carter Lovinggood
Bubble forming on a seal due to a gas leak

Here in Utah, we just had a 5.7 magnitude earthquake. This causes many disruptions in our home systems. Were you affected? Learn how to check all your home systems with these simple steps.

 

Gas lines

Gas line damage is no joke. In just 2015 to 2017, there were 12 deaths and 10 injuries reported from natural gas pipelines in the US. The circumstances and property damage resulting from damaged gas lines vary greatly and can be quite insane. Crazy things can happen when you add human error, nature, and combustible gas. Like a six-inch diameter gas line struck by lightning, or 100 homes being lost, and 30,000 people being evacuated due to excessive gas pressure in an area, causing over 80 separate fires.

It is extremely important to know whether or not your home system has been damaged by the recent earthquake. So, how can you detect a gas leak?

Firstly,

USE YOUR NOSE.

Gas has an extremely potent scent added to it. It smells like rotten eggs. The smell is so strong, that it will definitely give you a headache with prolonged exposure. If this is happening to you, TURN OFF YOUR GAS. If you do not know how to, call an expert, or your local gas company.

USE YOUR EARS

Pinhole leaks may not do this, but this is very common. Gas lines hiss when there is a problem. The pressurized gas will leak, making a distinct sound. If you hear this and can smell gas, turn your gas off, call an expert or your local gas company.

USE YOUR EYES

If you think you have a gas leak in a certain area, dab soapy water on where you believe the issue to be. If it bubbles, you know there is a problem there. DO NOT TRY TO FIX IT YOURSELF. Call an expert. Some things are worth attempting to DIY. Gas repair is not. Try to learn from the mistakes of others, and get a professional to help.

Sewer Lines

Sewer damage is extremely possible after an earthquake. Lines can shift in the ground after a disruption, especially when there was already preexisting damage.

So how would I know?

Sewer line issues come in many forms. Have a look at a detailed article written by one of our experts on the different types of issues that can happen with sewers. The only way to truly find out is with a professional performing a sewer scope or sewer camera service. With this process, an expert runs a camera down your sewer line to look and see if there are any damages and then determines if a drain cleaning, sewer main repair, sewer main replacement, or a sewer liner may be needed.

Water Lines

Water lines can also shift and break. Water mains can be damaged inside the ground, and old water lines inside the house can be disturbed. Some materials are prone to damage, due to their brittle nature. To see what type of pipes you have, take a look at this quick guide.

Water mains are prone to damage after earthquakes. After this earthquake here in Utah, the water main split inside the salt lake city airport, causing major flooding. If you’re having large pools of water in your front yard, or a higher than normal water bill, chances are, you have a split water main. Don’t sweat though, we can repair water mains, fast.

In conclusion

If you’re worried about any of these things happening to your house after the earthquake, it may be worth having an Expert come and look at your home, just to be safe. An Expert can effectively and accurately diagnose your home, to see what issues may be happening. Your personal understanding of your own home is our priority. Remember: It Doesn’t Hurt to Call an Expert.