Gas Leak: What to Do If You Smell Gas

Gas Leaks:

Any suspicious smell of gas in a house should be treated with concern and a search made to find a leak immediately. It may be that a tap has been knocked on accidentally, or that the flame of a turned-on jet has blown out. Or one of the pipes may have sprung a leak.

The first step is to turn off the gas at the meter by turning the control cock. Then go round the house, opening the windows and doors, and making sure that all the appliances are turned off. If the smell is very strong it would be wise to extinguish any open fires or lights and avoid smoking, hut this is hardly necessary for a light smell of gas.

gasIn most cases the leak can he located by smell, but sometimes the escaping gas may travel along and through, flooring, making the leak difficult to locate by the sense of smell; a hissing sound, which will help to locate the leak, should be listened for. If you are not able to locate the leak by smelling or listening it is advisable to get in touch with the local Gas Company immediately. Never look for a leak by running a naked flame along the pipes. If you are unable to locate the leak run a piece of soap dipped in water along the pipe; bubbles will form where the gas is escaping. If the leak is small, stop it with putty, or a layer of wet soap, tightly bound over with insulating tape. Then ask the gas provider to call and repair the pipe. If the leak is large, keep the gas turned off until an experienced plumber can tackle it.

If the leak cannot be found, yet the smell persists, make the following test. Turn off all appliances and pilot lights throughout the house, then turn the gas full on at the control cock and watch the meter dials. The meter has a set of small dials, with one dial above the others. This dial is the test dial. Mark the position of the pointer of this test dial with a piece of chalk, or by sticking a small piece of paper against it on the glass. Leave the gas turned on for some minutes and re-examine the test dial. If the pointer hasn’t moved there is no gas escape. If the pointer has moved, turn off the supply at the main and notify the Gas Company. If after testing and finding no leak there is still a smell of gas, you should still notify the Company, as the smell may be entering the house from the street mains.

Adjusting Gas Taps:

The ordinary brass gas tap, controlling the feed to gas-fires and other appliances, is quite easy to adjust if it works loose, but the taps on most types of modern stoves and equipment are of intricate construction which requires special tools and expert adjustment.

gas plug and socket

If one of the ordinary brass taps is too tight, look for a small nut at the bottom of the tap (see image right) and give it a very slight turn with a spanner; not more than about a quarter turn is ample. A loose tap may be adjusted by tightening the nut. A gas tap should turn without difficulty, but should not be loose enough to be knocked on accidentally.

04. July 2011 by admin
Categories: Gas, Home Inspections, Home Maintenance, Mains Services | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Gas Leak: What to Do If You Smell Gas

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