Oh no~Natural gas leak!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thank you so much for all of the kind Anniversary wishes. It warmed my heart. I really am lucky to be married to Dave. 

On another note~We have been living in our new house for six weeks with TWO gas leaks!  I smelled gas in the house before we bought it and so did our home inspector. We had a gas pressure test and soap bubble test on joints before we bought the house and they showed nothing.  The builder and real estate agent assured us those were THE tests to have.  However, I kept smelling this overwhelming gas smell when I opened closets or entered the house after being away for a while.  I have also had MAJOR headaches and dizziness and brain fog. I am in the house ALL DAY (trying to unpack amidst my headaches and brain fog). I kept telling Dave that I thought there was a leak.  We called the inspector to come over with his gas detector but with the Thanksgiving holidays...he never showed up.  So, today I insisted we call the gas company and they found 2 leaks within minutes!

I am really upset.  Our family has been breathing this in for 6 weeks.  One leak was right next to the AC unit so it was pumping it through the house.  I truly have felt sick (agitated, tired, dizzy, out of it, nauseous) all of this time and I attributed it all to the stress of moving.

I am posting this for three reasons~

1. If I EVER smell gas again, I will immediately call the gas company NOT a plumber or the builder. 

2. If anyone knows the effects of long term natural gas exposure, please let me know.  I cannot find a lot of information out there and it is skewed. Is there something we can do to detox? I am very worried about the children.

3. If I have seemed forgetful and have not answered e-mails or have forgotten your birthday and have been "flaky," please forgive me.  I swear it is from these gas leaks.  I really hope I get my brain back soon:) Seriously, just today I asked my friend, Bagel the same question 3 times in one phone conversation.  I felt like Dory from Finding Nemo!


  1. Dory, you are cracking me up even on this serious subject! I am so glad you insisted on the check. Hope you get back to normal soon :)

  2. I got so excited when I saw new stuff from 3 Peanuts on the Google Reader, but this was not more pictures of Kate in adorable dresses!

    I can imagine your frustration. Luckily you called the gas company when you did. I don't really know much about the effects, but I hope that you are feeling back to normal soon :)

  3. Kim, From what I have found the biggest risk of a natural gas leak is explosion. Thank goodness that didn't happen! Also, faulty appliances can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, but that shouldn't apply to your case. I can't find anything about long term health effects from natural gas exposure on a reputable website. Hopefully it is warm enough that you can air out the house completely. Dizziness, fatigue, nausea and headache are all listed as symptoms on the National Institute of Health website, but fresh air and oxygen is the only treatment mentioned. Hmmm...any 'oxygen bars' in Houston? Hope you feel better,
    Laura Beth in VA

  4. Oh you poor thing.....and you have friend named Bagel? ;)

  5. Kim, does the gas company have any literature on exposure to gas leaks?
    I wonder if there's a homeopathic remedy to detox? Praying for you guys. I have to say the Dory comment cracked me up.

  6. How bad!!! I am sorry that happen to you and your family, I hope that everything gets better soon

  7. That is so scary! I'm sorry you and the Peanuts have had to deal with this...

  8. Oh my Kim! I am glad the gas company was called and found the leaks!! I only know what you shared...the symptoms and of course the longer one is exposed, the more damage it can do. I'm glad you were smart enough to not give up! Give that brain of yours lots of fresh air in the next few weeks...take lots of walks.

  9. ps Love the new Christmas look!

  10. Yikes! In most states, the gas company MUST come within one hour of a call reporting smelling gas. How awful for you all.

  11. Oh no!!! Hope you're feeling better soon. I will have to ask my husband about the gas exposure..he does heating and air and deals with gas leaks all the time so I'll have to see if he knows anything.

  12. I think I am going to call the gas company today! I have been smelling gas in my garage where our gas water heater is, but the builder said it was fine! We haven't had any side effects, but it is contained to the garage.

    Thank goodness, they found it!! I am about to do a post about your chicken tortilla soup recipe you shared a while back!

    We will be in Houston the weekend after Christmas. Coming Friday, leaving Sunday. Will you be in town?

  13. So sorry to hear about this! yes, always call the gas company first, I think by law they have to come right away if you mention you smell gas.
    So thankful that nothing else happened.
    Wish I had some words of wisdom for you....
    My prayers will be with you and your family.


  14. Hi Kim!

    First of all Happy Anniversary! I know how wonderful it is to be married to a beautiful man ... it is one of life's greatest blessings. I really believe it is a gift to our children to be a witnesses to a real loving relationship.

    I also wanted to mention that we have a natural gas detector plugged into an outlet in the hall outside our bedrooms. I am pretty sure Bob picked it up at a Home Depot. We bought it because our fireplace is natural gas.

  15. Oh no!! I never smelled the gas when I was in the; I guess I am just not sensitive to that smell. So sorry!!! I hope it gets fixed. Is there any recourse that can be taken against the builder?

  16. We lived in an old house up north and I would smell gas off and on and everybody kept telling me that you can't smell natural gas. Bullcrap. God woke me up at 2:00AM on a cold, snowy winter night and told me to get the kids out of the house. I turned off the furnace and went to my mothers and called the gas company the next day. Would you believe that the gas leak was right above the furnace pilot light! I always felt like crud in that house. My mind was tired and I wore a constant headache as well.

    We are all fine now, just thankful we didn't go up in flames.

  17. i am so glad that the gas company did find the leak! i would be worried like you about breathing that in for so long!! thinking of you!! Clare

  18. Something similar happened when we bought our house. Finally the gas company came, found a bad leak & the seller had to replace the furnace. We had not moved in yet though so I don't know much about the long term health effects of breathing the gas. Do you still see the homeopathic ped you posted about? Maybe he/she would have a good detox idea?

  19. I am so glad that you listened to your gut on this one and called in the gas company.

    Unfortuntely, I don't have any advice to give you on this one....maybe call your doctor and see what he or she suggests....they might want to run a couple of tests.

    I hope that your headaches and nauseousness go away.

    Let us know what you find out!


  20. Im so sorry kim. That isreally scary.Iknow a family in our area who all died from a gas leak so it has to be taken seriously. im sorry this is happening.


  21. Thank goodness you all are alright and there wasn't an explosion! Good gravy. I hope you, Dave and the children are feeling better soon!!


  22. Good thing you found it! Please have a wonderful holiday season!!

  23. Oh my word, Kim!!!! Seriously...your run of bad luck just has to cease soon!!! I am glad you insisted on having them check the leak. So scary and worriesome. I sincerely hope that the new year is a fresh beginning for a joyful, healthy, happy year for you all!

  24. Oh my word, Kim!!!! Seriously...your run of bad luck just has to cease soon!!! I am glad you insisted on having them check the leak. So scary and worriesome. I sincerely hope that the new year is a fresh beginning for a joyful, healthy, happy year for you all!

  25. Oh my Gosh...UGH!

  26. Glad you have someone looking into this! I wonder if we have a gas leak -- maybe I can blame my recent craziness on that! =)

    Quick question if you have a chance to answer -- I bought Evie the red damask pinafores for holidays. What did Kate wear with it? Black? Just wanted some advice! Thanks.

  27. oh no! at least you are all safe, sound and alive...i've heard of things exploding inside the house from natural gas leaks. i looked on the nih website and it doesn't really list the long-term affects...mentions the short term like you've experienced, though. it did say to air out the house (duh, im sure you are already doing this). so bundle up the family and leave those windows open for a little while, err all day and night!

    i am so glad you called the gas company. you did mention that all natural doctor you took the boys too before, maybe call him and see what he says??

    maybe this is god's way of telling you and kate to get outside and enjoy the new neighborhood, make some christmas garlands, jump in leaves, paint pottery and when the boys are home, enjoy some special after school treat and outdoor activity. =)

  28. That is really dreadful Kim! We had a gas leak once, and got terribly sick with headaches and that "fogginess" you describe. It is so scary. None of us is noticable worse for the experience, if that gives you any comfort. Hoping that everything settles down! Good job on your blog header!

  29. I am sooo sorry to hear about this..
    I am glad everyone is alright..

  30. Hi Kim,

    Just checking in on you guys. Happy anniversary!!

    About the gas leak. We had a gas leak many years ago that I could smell and Tony couldn't.

    For a few weeks I would smell it some times and not others. Tony never smelled a thing. I thought I was crazy but I finally called the gas company. The technician who responded not only found a large leak in an underground main near the front of our house but he also told me that studies have shown that women are much more sensitive to the smell of natural gas than are men. Don't know if it's true. Just thought it was interesting!

    Hope you are all feeling better!


  31. Thank goodness everyone was okay! I don't know any long term effects the gas had on you, but I would leave some EFFECTIVE WORDS w/the builder! I would get on the phone and let them know that a gas leak was found! Also if you and the rest of the family had to seek any medical followup, I would be sure and have them forward the bill to the builder or the real estate agency! GAS IS SOMETHING YOU DONT EVER WANT TO DISREGARD!!!

  32. glad you found it. don't know anything though.

  33. I am not a doctor but I am pretty sure that 6 weeks of smelling gas is really not going to do any long term damage. It just makes you feel icky when you are currently smelling it. If you want to detox, then drink tons of water. Hope you have a better week next week. Happy Birthday to Harry! 8 is getting so big!

  34. So glad that you insisted on calling! I know you are so thankful to have found the cause for the smell instead of thinking that it was just something you had to live with in the new house!

  35. Yikes, Kim. I'm so glad you followed your instincts and called the gas company. I bet that once you're breathing clean air again, your head will clear up and you'll feel better. Take care!

  36. What a stressful incident! I, too, had to call my gas company when I smelled gas and they also told me that women have a heightened sense to this odor.I would check with your local poison control center and perhaps your own doctor on possible follow up. We have a CO2 detector that pulls into the electrical system and has a battery back-up if the power should go off. My mother gave us all CO2 detectors one year for Christmas which was so thoughtful. Good Luck and Merry Christmas!!

  37. Kim- After the Northridge earthquake in CA I kept smelling gas...and I kept lighting candles ::::duh:::: I was told at the time the main concern is explosion. I had so many people tell me you can't smell natural gas...yeah right! It was the gas company that found our leak.
    I am happy you are safe...forgetful and all {{{{hug}}}}} I am sorry about your headaches : ( I hope you are feeling better now that they found the leak.

  38. Boy this blog is never boring! I hope you and your family are feeling better soon.

  39. Oh Kim, I wouldn't be happy if I were you. I'm sorry I'm not much of a resource for you. I do think it's worth a call to your Dr or homeopayhic specialist.

    Good Luck!

  40. So sorry to hear, but thank goodness you found it. I will be praying that you all begin to feel better!

  41. Kim,

    Just doing my part to help if I can....I just put a call into MY favorite medical advisor, Uncle Steve. ( A brilliant RN in an ER here in Texas. ) He always has good stuff to say! I am praying and believing for GOOD things! Be well!

    Rheagan Leatherwood

  42. I can only imagine how shaken you are!! And I hope that everyone is feeling better soon.

  43. I am so glad you trusted your gut instinct, it is almost always right. I am thinking that the Gas guys know more than the builder and a plumber!! Glad you found the leak before it lead to something worse or tragic!!!

  44. That is so scary! I will pray you are all well and no lasting effects from it. Things are going to get better Kim! It's a true story!
    Dori...... welcome to my world! And our house is all electric!

  45. I am so sorry this happened..explosion is the main thing to worry about. Carbon Monoxide is the big thing that can kill you..so please make sure you have a detector on every floor. We called the gas company once for a smell and they "red flagged" us and shut down our furnace. This was in October in Alaska..it was COOOOOLD. ALways call the gas company and even the fire department. They dont charge to come look at your house. (if your cm monitor is alarming or you smell gas) at least in Alaska.

  46. How frustrating for you! I don't know what to do with gas exposure...antoxidents, fresh air and water. I wonder if new homes in your area (by the same builder) have experienced similar incidents. I am glad that you are safe.

  47. This topic is in the news today because a family was vacationing in CO and died from breathing CM.

    We want to install wood logs but I am so afraid of a leak I just can't do it......

    Please post if you learn anything.
    PS I bought the supplies and replicated those hairclips you mentioned a while back.
    My costs ended up being under $2 each.
    There is a pic on my blog but now I experimented with velvet. I have a bag left of the buckles and will do grosgrain now :)

  48. I feel like Dory all the time and we don't have ANY gas leaks! lol

    This is so serious and a very scary I am sure for you. I am praying some blog friends have some good information for you!

  49. I am so glad you were persistent, Kim! I love your commitment to wellness for your family.

    I don't have a twin sister. She is actually 2.5 years younger than me! (She looks older doesn't she?!) People used to mistake us all the time for twins when we were little girls. (Maybe because my mom dressed us alike?)


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  52. Wow, Good to know we are not alone. I have had weakness, brain fog, memory loss, nausea, dizziness, headaches, eye problems, sinus problems, muscle cramps, & other things. My baby has been fussy & gassy & blue-ish & my 4 year old cold pale & sometimes blue-ish. We bought a house a year ago that we had renovated. New gas lines from the street to the inside done by the gas company. We didn't turn the gas on until July of last year... that month & then again in Sept. I had pregnancy tests because I felt so sick. I tested again the last few months at the Dr's suggestion. I too smelled what I thought was gas & nothing showed up. I also smelled a trashy like smell. Normally I have been so tired I have the kids take a mid day nap with me. Yesterday THANK GOD my toddler acted like she had a bladder infection that prompted us to leave right away to get to the Dr's before they closed. When I came home & opened the front door it was the strong Trashy smell! I had 2 sleeping kids that I just laid down. I called for my husband to smell & he couldn't smell it. Then I opened basement door & it was horrifically bad! We evacuated ASAP!!! Called Gas company took them 45 mins to get here. Finally they found it... a couple that joined the outside line with inside line was only hand tightened. I am so livid & need to know how to detox myself & kids.


Thank you for your kindness.