Gas Leak?

I was inspecting a gas furnace yesterday and I smelt a faint aroma of gas when the furnace was not running. I checked it with my gas leak sniffer and it went off at the middle gas jet. I thought that when the furnace was off no gas would come through. The owner had it checked by a gas guy and said it was fine. Your thoughts?

By “gas guy”, are you referring to the local utility company? If so, you’ve done your job – the liabilty is now on the utility, and he said it was fine.

No gas should be going through if the valve is working properly. Did it have a continuous pilot light? The reason I ask is it is very common to find a small leak in the gas valve area where the nut attachés itself to the smaller gas tube that supplies the pilot light. As stated above…at least they had it checked and they signed off on it.

I’ve found many gas leaks where the plumber shows up (after I leave) and says that it’s fine. No gas leak is fine, I don’t care how minute the leak is.

I did my job.

All gas piping leaks. It just depends on what level of leak is acceptable and what level is detectable. Generaly speaking bubble tight is ok, in the world of leaks, bubble tight is not very leak tight. If they were that worried about leaks then the piping would not have threaded joints.

Like Jae said, if the gas guy says it’s good it’s good.

I am sure if I used one of my favorite leak detectors I would find lot’s of leaks too, or you could use one of these toysand get yourself into trouble too.:smiley:

I have a copy of Honeywell’s Form 70-2320. In it states that ANSI standards allows 200cc/hr leakage an that electronic sniffers may well indicate a leak at or below that rate.

That’s a BIG leak.


I’m with you I allow no gas leaks don’t care what the size is I come from the old school. Have had to show the gas company boys with their fancy meters where the leaks were.

Had two yesterday one on the aluminum pilot light line on a 2003 hot water heater and one on a flex line for a gas log in the fireplace. NOOOOO leaks I did my JOB also.

Yesterday: Found one at the coupling on the meter. Told the owner and he stated that he noticed it a while ago, called the gas company, they checked it and found nothing. I said I will call. They came out, put the soap on all the joints, nothing. He asked me about it, I went and got my gas detector, again it went off at the coupling. He replaced the meter and was gone before I finished the inspection.

Thanx for your help guys. I called it and the gas fitter approved it. My job is done.

Link to the Honeywell formif you want to add it to your docs.
It has an interesting account about using the TIFF 8800A for testing.

possible verbiage for TIFF users:

Gas leaks

Testing equipment (TIFF 8800) detected a combustible gas leak (location).
An odor similar to that of a combustible gas was also detected. We recommend contacting the utility provider to determine the volume of the leak.

Note about testing equipment - The equipment we use to test gas lines for leaks is a highly sensitive combustible gas leak detector. It can detect very small, trace amounts, leaks but it does not indicate the volume of gas that is leaking. ANSI has determined that 200cc/hr is an acceptable level of gas leakage; and therefore may find that the utility company technician determines that the leak is within the acceptable range for the specific combustible gas and/or equipment.

It is our policy that on all positive combustible gas leak readings, we recommend further evaluation.

Can you tell me which “gas leak detector” you’re using, and maybe what to stay away from. Thanks

The TIFF 8800 & 8800A are the best ones out there. My adivice…don’t test for gas leaks until you can actually smell it.

I got the J&N Associates Sensit HXG, the cheaper version used by NiCor Gas. TIF’s like to detect soap solutions and pipe thread compounds.

I’ve had 2 houses in a row, yesterday and today, where the gas valve leaked when closed and gas came from the burner jet. Yesterday’s was an older home but the furnace was less than 5 years old. When I opened the furnace closet, I could smell it too. Today’s was new construction and I did not detect it when I opened the furnace closet but the sniffer caught it. If I put my nose down to the jet, I could smell that one too. I wrote both of them up


So you were born with the all-purpose gas sniffer, ayy?