Okay, I consider myself capable of making good connections in gas pipe, I put in new pipe for our water heater and gas stove before we moved in to our current house, prior to that I had assembled a pipe line to a pool heater.
This past weekend, I needed to put in new pipes to the gas stove so they would be routed around a structural beam I'm soon to install. I applied Rectorseal on all joints, and after pressurizing the system when completed, I checked everything with Harvey leak detection fluid and I found no signs of leakage.
Now, this is in Michigan, and most of the work is in our crawlspace, the crawlspace accesses aren't exactly air tight. The pipe actually comes through the floor in the closet behind the kitchen because there is 5" of flooring in the kitchen, and in this room my wife (who has more sensitve smell senses than I) smells gas or dead rats. I don't smell anything, and I am not finding any dead rats.
Anyway.. My point about this being in Michigan is that being that it's winter, I have not openned up windows to air this out as I might otherwise do after a project like this. This particular room is home to my son's fish, it's in a tank that isn't heated, and moving it poses 2 problems - little bit of a pain, and I don't have an alternate location where it wouldn't be disturbed by the cat and/or dog... So moving it is bad for the fish's health, openning a window is bad for the fish's health.
When I openned the pipes to change them, I could smell that so I know I can smell a larger leak.
I've seen what a leak looks like with leak detector fluid.. I've seen it do what happens in this video:
I am certain I don't have that kind of leak..
Here's my questions:
1) The video probably shows completely missing sealant, will a small leak look like that anyway or is there something smaller I might miss? This area of crawlspace is tight and not well lit.
2) Is it possible for the gas smell to linger, and I really don't have a leak - just lingering gas?
The issue is having the time and energy to reassemble these pipes. It's probably a 4 hour job, just because of how confined the space is, and having to go in and out so I can set the pipes on clean floor instead of dirt so I don't get another bad joint from dirt contamination. I'm not saying I have a dirt contaminated joint, I never set any new pipes on dirt, but right now I don't know what joint is leaking....
My options tonight are to turn off the gas to the water heater and stove. I have a shutoff valve that shuts off the branch serving those 2 appliances so I can do so without shutting off the furnace. I'll probably do that since it needs to be done regardless, then see how far I can get tonight rebuilding the pipe assembly - if I can't get through that, I could borrow the cap off the drip leg so I can have hot water for the shower in the morning.