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  • gas leak

    Went to my mom and dad house yesterday and smelled gas. For about the last 6 or 7 months every now and then you can smell the natural gas. For the 3rd time I have gone over every fittings from outside, under the house and inside with soap water, cannot find this leak for nothing. The city crew for gas has been there twice and did the same trick and no success either. She has hot water, furnace, and stove on natural gas. Furnace stack pipe and hot water are at least 2ft (separate pipes) above roof line, down draft problem, I doubt it. Now why is the city crew using soap water to check for gas leak and not a hand held gas detector, is soap water still better than those devices? I have check all connection on stove and oven, this is a very elusive gas leak. Carbon monoxide detector does not sound off. Its winter time, so house is all closed up, so if main gas line outside is leaking it should not be getting into the house. I'm sure theres a few of you who have run into a chase with gas leaks, any helpful hints here.
    Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

    http://www.contractorspub.com

    A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

  • #2
    Re: gas leak

    garager,
    wow, wait till the forum gets a sniff of this.Gas leak at you mom's house for months.

    Hey,more than once I've seen internal mechanisms on equipment leak making the soapy water a little tough to use.

    The mechanical sniffers are the only way to go.You can actually buy one for under 200.00

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: gas leak

      Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
      garager,
      wow, wait till the forum gets a sniff of this.Gas leak at you mom's house for months.

      Hey,more than once I've seen internal mechanisms on equipment leak making the soapy water a little tough to use.

      The mechanical sniffers are the only way to go.You can actually buy one for under 200.00
      true, you can buy them for under $200. the problem is that the soap test is better and will locate the leak faster than this sniffer. actually the sniffer is tuned into all combustible gases. the 1 advantage this sniffer has is to sniff into closed walls. drill a 3/4'' hole and place it at the top of the stud bay. soap will need all joints exposed.

      the gas co. should be able to actually read the air contents in the room. they should be able to rule out or rule in an actual gas odor. my sniffer is only good at picking up leaks at the actual leak. not in the room.

      natural gas is combustible between 4-14% gas to air ratio. i assume that with the smell coming and going, it has to do with an outside leak working its way into the house. an inside leak should be present to any person coming into the house from outside. people that are exposed to a gas smell for more than a 15 minutes will no longer smell the gas. an outside person will have a fresh whiff of gas when entering.

      have the gas co. retest with the proper sniffer.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: gas leak

        Are they using a gas furnance?
        the dog

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        • #5
          Re: gas leak

          Originally posted by garager View Post
          She has hot water, furnace, and stove on natural gas.




          i would have to say .....yes
          9/11/01, never forget.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: gas leak

            If the gas co does not bring in the right equipment call your local fire department, they have the right equipment and will force the gas company to do the job right

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: gas leak

              My father-in-law checks for gas leaks with a match. really I'm serious. I have always been able to locate gas leaks by nose. My dad had a leak at their house that he looked for for a really long time. I tracked it down and confirmed with soap and water.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: gas leak

                Check the gas valves, and the pilot light tubing and fittings,

                Had a leak similar in a new furnace one time, looked for it for over a year on and off, had bought a gas room detector even (it never went off), but could smell it from time to time.
                Finally found it on the gas valve, where the pilot fitting was.
                Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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                PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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                • #9
                  Re: gas leak

                  Maybe a good dog or two can help you find it. They have some REAL sniffers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: gas leak

                    The reason I asked about the furnance (which oldslowchevy answered, and he seems to be following me at this point) is that the you mentioned that a gas smell was there on certain occasions. This is often the result of furnace problems.

                    Brook's advice to call the fire department is wrongheaded, because their response will be to shut the gas off, call the gas company, who will then tell you to call a plumber.

                    Which in my opinion what you should do.
                    the dog

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: gas leak

                      In Ohio and I'm guessing, all states both the gas company and fire department will shut off the gas. The difference being, the gas company will lock and block the meter. Then you'll have to find and repair the leak yourself or have a contractor do it. Then the gas company will come back out, test for leaks again and if none are found, they will unlock the meter. They may use a sniffer, they may shut everything down and use the meter itself as a means to determine if there is a leak. The reason they lock and block the meter is they don't want any raw gas into the house.


                      Buckeyetech

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: gas leak

                        Originally posted by Buckeyetech View Post
                        In Ohio and I'm guessing, all states both the gas company and fire department will shut off the gas. The difference being, the gas company will lock and block the meter. Then you'll have to find and repair the leak yourself or have a contractor do it. Then the gas company will come back out, test for leaks again and if none are found, they will unlock the meter. They may use a sniffer, they may shut everything down and use the meter itself as a means to determine if there is a leak. The reason they lock and block the meter is they don't want any raw gas into the house.


                        Buckeyetech
                        My experience in Southern California is that the Gas company will not turn the gas back on until the local building department has approved the repair. That would be because repairs require a plumbing permit and inspection.

                        But, you are responding from Ohio, which is probably different.
                        the dog

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: gas leak

                          Even though the stack pipes are 2' above the roof line, could they be getting down draft. As far as the furnace goes, the smell started just before the heating season, though I did soap test the furnace as soon as the first smell happened. My mom is getting tired of it, because you can't smell it but once in a blue moon its hard to chase, so she think it's the hot water heater. This is what her nose is telling her, so I asked her what does she want me to do. She wants a tankless hot water heater, ok I guess I'll putting one in soon and hopefully this is the problem solver, kind of expensive problem solver. So I'll be heading to the stores and see what they have to offer.
                          Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                          http://www.contractorspub.com

                          A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: gas leak

                            Originally posted by garager View Post
                            Even though the stack pipes are 2' above the roof line, could they be getting down draft. As far as the furnace goes, the smell started just before the heating season, though I did soap test the furnace as soon as the first smell happened. My mom is getting tired of it, because you can't smell it but once in a blue moon its hard to chase, so she think it's the hot water heater. This is what her nose is telling her, so I asked her what does she want me to do. She wants a tankless hot water heater, ok I guess I'll putting one in soon and hopefully this is the problem solver, kind of expensive problem solver. So I'll be heading to the stores and see what they have to offer.
                            Garager,

                            You really need to get a handle on this situation, because it is dangerous. Since you don't seem to want to hire a plumber, which would be my first suggestion, I would advise the following:

                            1) Disconnect the gas connections to all of the fixtures and appliences. Also disconnect the meter. Cap each of these branches.

                            2) Using air pump the system up to 15psi.

                            3) If the pressure holds you have a problem with an appliance. You can then play around with connecting each appliance indivudally until you find the problem. WARNING: DO NOT APPLY THE 15 PSI AIR PRESSURE WHEN THE FIXTURES ARE CONNECTED, YOU WILL DAMAGE THE REGULATORS.

                            4) If the system drops, you have a problem in your piping system. Soap all the acessible joints with the 15psi. If you can't find it, you're probably looking at a search and destroy mission into the walls.

                            Normally I don't give advice to non-plumbers, but I dread the thought of seeing your mother end up on the afternoon news as the victom of a tragic situation.
                            the dog

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: gas leak

                              Originally posted by plumbdog10 View Post
                              Garager,

                              You really need to get a handle on this situation, because it is dangerous. Since you don't seem to want to hire a plumber, which would be my first suggestion, I would advise the following:

                              1) Disconnect the gas connections to all of the fixtures and appliences. Also disconnect the meter. Cap each of these branches.

                              2) Using air pump the system up to 15psi.

                              3) If the pressure holds you have a problem with an appliance. You can then play around with connecting each appliance indivudally until you find the problem. WARNING: DO NOT APPLY THE 15 PSI AIR PRESSURE WHEN THE FIXTURES ARE CONNECTED, YOU WILL DAMAGE THE REGULATORS.

                              4) If the system drops, you have a problem in your piping system. Soap all the acessible joints with the 15psi. If you can't find it, you're probably looking at a search and destroy mission into the walls.

                              Normally I don't give advice to non-plumbers, but I dread the thought of seeing your mother end up on the afternoon news as the victom of a tragic situation.
                              that's the good old dog

                              follow the dog's advice. it's very accurate.

                              i guess since he has an ugly avatar

                              he has to look and act pretty

                              now for that tankless water heater. DON'T DO IT

                              look up all of the old post on tankless heaters for a long list of drawbacks.

                              rick.

                              good job dog
                              phoebe it is

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