Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Corryton,TN
    Posts
    69

    leak testing a gas stove

    changing the subject a little.........i was watching american restorations the other night and they were leak testing a gas stove using propane and a cig lighter.How many here use fire to test for gas leaks?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Posts
    1,088
    Buzzhall iv seen someone stick a fork in a wall socket doesn't mean it's safe or right!
    use soap and water

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,635
    I was told not to use soap, just leak detection fluid. I guess soap dries out the pipe dope and causes leaks.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Denver/Boulder
    Posts
    2,213
    Quote Originally Posted by buzhall View Post
    changing the subject a little.........i was watching american restorations the other night and they were leak testing a gas stove using propane and a cig lighter.How many here use fire to test for gas leaks?
    adopt that policy yourself buzhall, you can be your own cautionary tale!

    you might get away with it for a long time (luck of the draw) but you might not. on top of that, you won't detect the smaller leaks that an electronic detector or bubble test will reveal.

    I use an electronic leak detector and bubble solution- most pros's do the same.

    sometimes i seriously doubt the wisdom of having a "public pro section" this is one of those times.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.


    Two pressures, four temperatures = SUCCESS!


    Boulder Heating Contractor


    For Consumers:

    For HVACR Professionals:


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Mount Airy, MD
    Posts
    7,278
    Created a thread for this topic as to not steer the original thread off topic.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,055
    Flame will not detect ng at less than 44mbh/ 21.5 MBh lpg not to mention against code.
    Use non-corrosive test soln. Or could get stress cracks in base metal from chloride ion attack.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,457
    Years ago Lennox came out with a service bulletin that said to wash area where soap was used with clear water.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Corryton,TN
    Posts
    69
    just to set the record straight,i have never and will never use fire to test for gas leaks,just dont make much sense to me

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    28
    Two house blew up this week in Indianapolis cause by a faulty gas appliance, so I'm going to stick with my soap solution until I can afford a gas leak detector. You never check for gas using a flame.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,635
    Gas leak detectors are really inexpensive and save a huge amount of time over properly applying, then properly inspecting every joint with MegaBubble.

    And since all NY HPwES contractors had to upgrade to more sensitive detectors I imagine the less sensitive ones, which work very well, are widely available used.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,055

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,635
    Since all pipe dopes are hydrocarbon based, your garden store variety sniffer will hit on it as a false positive. In Northern Va., the building officials test with a Bacharach Leakator 10 set to one tick per second. If it rises any amt. at all, they Red Tag it. The appliance installer must come behind them with Bacharach Gas Pointers, which have sensors specific to one gas. You buy one machine for NG and another for LP--very expensive. If they don't pick up a leak, then the Red Tag is lifted.

    Do not use Teflon (PTFE) tape. Strands of it can come loose, get blown into gas valves and cause fires and explosions. While it is allowed by the gas codes, it has a higher potential for problems. Always leave the first two threads bare.

    Do not use regular soaps for bubble testing for leaks. The chloride ions have been proven to cause stress cracking and leaks. Use only commercially prepared non-corrosive solutions.

    Everything leaks--it just a question of how much is acceptable. While a homeowner may sense a leak in the 1-10 ppm range using their nose, the LEL for LP gas is 21,500 ppm and NG is ~40,000 ppm. Since humans can detect mercaptans in the range of as low as 0.5 parts per Billion, you might get a trace leak where one molecule flew up their nose and they smelled "gas". Not everyone is sensitive to the odorants and various compounds are used. There is rising evidence that "odor fade" is much more widespread than first thought. Recent gas explosions in Texas has uncovered failing riser compression fittings where the wet clay soild filtered out the mercaptan and things went bad.


    You can get false positives from those sniffers from a variety of substances including silicone caulk, soap test solutions, wet insulation, oily sheetmetal, greasy handprints, off gasing paints, and aldehydes as with CO poisoning, so have your CO analyzer running, too. I use a Sharpie pen to demonstrate this to homeowners. the toluene hits.

    If you hold a sniffer near a gas regulator when the pressure changes such as when a burner lights or shuts off, you can get a one time burp/ fart at the vent on the regulator as it equalizes. A sustained leak means the diaphragm has ruptured and the entire valve proably should be replaced. Common with high test pressures when the appliance is not isolated and capped per the codes and listing. Any testing above 14 wci requires the appliance be isolated and capped. Also, these high pressure tests are assinine and don't prove a dang thing. A high pressure gauge can miss low level leaks, too.
    HTH
    Hearthman
    Yeah, false positives can/do occur. We use the detector to find the leak, then bubbles to confirm. Effective bubble testing 360 degrees of 100 joints per house is not an implementable design. A lot of auditors are rushing testing as it is.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    18
    The guy I am partnered with uses the cigarette lighter method to test for leaks. The first time he did it I about lost it, he doesn't even carry leak detector with him on the truck! I am really beginning to wonder if I'm not working with a bunch of hacks .

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event