Insights > The Nose Knows – How to Sniff out a Gas Leak

The Nose Knows – How to Sniff out a Gas Leak


NEW ORLEANS-- Did you know that natural gas is odorless? Entergy adds mercaptan to its gas lines to create the distinctive smell of sulfur or rotten egg. This harmless odorant can help save your life by alerting you to a natural gas leak.

There are other ways to detect a potential gas leak, as well. Have you ever spotted an unexplained, random dead patch of lawn or vegetation in an otherwise green area? What about bubbling in standing water or wet areas? Do you hear a hissing sound that’s accompanied by an odor? It could be a gas leak.

What should you do if you think you smell natural gas?

While not all suspected gas odors or bubbles are the result of a gas leak, this can only be determined by a qualified professional. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:

• Leave the area immediately. If you are in your home, go outside, leaving a door or window open to ventilate if safe to do so.
• Move to a safe location and call 911, then call Entergy at 1-800-ENTERGY.

• Smoke, light a match, candle or create any other flame.
• Turn electric appliances or lights on or off.
• Use a telephone or cell phone while near the gas smell.
• Use anything that could cause a spark.

Here’s a look at the typical process Entergy follows when we are called to a gas leak:
• Using natural gas detection equipment, a technician will investigate the area.
• If gas is detected, the technician will work to locate the leak and where gas may be present and determine if the leak poses a hazard.
• Safety is our top priority. If a leak poses a potential hazard, the technician will make sure the area is safe, and Entergy will conduct immediate repairs. If not repaired immediately, leaks determined to be non-hazardous will be scheduled for repair at a later date.

At Entergy, providing safe and reliable service to our customers is a priority. We complete surveys of our underground system, and we work quickly to identify any potential damage, while ensuring the safety of our system immediately after an event that could have had an impact, such as extreme weather.

If you have questions regarding your home’s natural gas, call us at 1-800-ENTERGY to speak with a representative.

Louisiana Editorial Team