In trying to complete a DIY project, you may accidentally drill through a lead gas pipe. This can prove to be a very dangerous situation so be aware in advance as to how you should deal with it.
Your first reaction should be to turn off all electrical appliances inside your home. Next, call a gas safe engineer to come to your service immediately. This mistake will probably cost you a lot because according to law, lead pipes that have a leak or are damaged in any way should not be repaired but should only be replaced. So the gas engineer has no choice but to replace your lead pipe.
The bigger problem here is if this emergency occurs in the middle of winter, you are left with no central heating system until the job is complete. You will then have to hire a portable heater to temporarily keep your house warm.
So how do you know that you have drilled into a lead gas pipe?
As a result of drilling through a lead gas pipe, you will smell an odour of gas which will become stronger by the minute. Also, you will hear a noise similar to that of letting gas through a cooker hotplate. Following gas safety procedures in such situations is very important.
The minute you realize your drill or nail has gone through the lead gas pipe, leave it as it is. This minimizes the gas leaking from the pipe. When the gas engineer arrives, he will most probably explain to you that the gas meter has to be capped off and the lead gas pipe will have to be replaced with another pipe. He will give you an estimated quote for this job.