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Gas Leak - Maby?

701 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Tom738
In my basement the laundry / furnace / Water Heater / Storage is in a small section. Over the last month or so I've occasionally noticed that if nobody has been down there and I walk past the furnace / water heater I faintly smell what I believe to be natural gas. Only for an instant. If I sniff around, it's gone.

Tonight I sprayed soapy water on the fittings and see no bubbles other than the suds from the spray and when I questioned what I saw and wiped it clean, I see no bubbles at all with another squirt of water.

Is this worth being concerned about?
Is there a better way for me to detect a leak?

My working theory about why I smell it now is this:
1. We're not running the furnace / AC since the weather has kept the house reasonable.
2. I recently installed a new 'smart' thermostat that lacks the nice circulate function that my previous one did so there's nothing mixing the air.
3. I thought maybe leftover gas from when the water heater burner turns off but that seems a long shot to me.

I'd order a plug in gas detector but those I've seen highly rated on Amazon also have many folks complaining that any hydrocarbon can set them off.

I'm going to e-mail the customer service of my gas company as well to see if they perhaps come out with a 'gas sniffer' as a co-worker called it.

Any thoughts?
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One note for any future people who come across the thread--the advice to call the *gas company* was spot on. I know somebody who called the fire department, and the guy they sent checked but didn't find anything. When the gas company was called a few days later they went into the basement for half a second and then came up and told everyone to get the hell out of the house. :smile:

Then they brought over half a dozen supervisors to dig up the gas line, because it hadn't been touched in over a century and was leaking like wildfire, but this was also during a strike. A month later they replaced every gas line on the block, none of which had been touched in a century either.

YMMV, of course, and maybe your local fire department is better at this, but I would always ask the utility first.
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