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» Check for a Gas Leak

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Check for a Gas Leak
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Leaking gas in your home is something that can happen to anyone and the consequences can be literally devastating
Every gas line entering your home should be checked yearly for leaks and particularly if you have done any kind of  work on the gas line, moved a gas appliance to clean under or behind it, or installed a new gas appliance.

There are leak detectors available but its’ a simple matter to make your own and to be honest, it’s very nearly as effective as those you will pay a great deal more for.

Both Propane and Natural Gas have additives to them that will make them smell rather noxious. This is done so that you can detect a gas leak in your home.
If you don’t know what that smell is like, turn on your gas grill for just a second and note the odor.

IF this smell is detected inside your home at any time, turn off the gas to your home and call the gas company or your local fire company.
LEAVE YOUR HOME immediately, so that any kind of spark or flammable device that might ignite it won’t ignite you.

Natural gas is far lighter than air, so it will lift and dissipate out the window, door or whatever is open, while propane, is heavier than air and will move to the lower aspects of your home, i.e. the floor.
Smell can be a super indication of a gas leak, however it isn’t in fact the be all and end all.

The leak detectors I spoke of actually find the scent, or additive in the house and will tell you the strength of that odor, making an indicator noise the closer you get to the source.

There is however a soapy water test that will help you find the leak source as well and to be honest thats the one I’ve seen professionals use most often.

FIRST TURN OFF THE GAS…
Then,

Take a spray bottle, or a plant mister, and add about a  one part of palmolive dishwashing detergent, and two parts of water,./
Spray all of the gas lines, pipes and connections wth a liberal amount and turn on your gas…  any gas leaking, actually even small amounts  will cause small bubbles to form.

When you find the source its usually as easy as tightening the connection, but in some cases, as with a split pipe, you’re going to have to turn off the gas completely and replace the pipes.
TURN OFF THE GAS AGAIN BEFORE WORKING ON PIPES..
Make sure when you tighten a pipe that you don’t bend the other portions of it and actually cause more leakage.
Continue to test for leaks so long as any smell remains and never leave a leaking pipe with gas turned on while you work on it.

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