Gas Leaks


I need advise or help. I have had a couple of occasions where I have detected a gas leak and made a report saying as such. The potential home buyers were with me at the time. So was the sellers agent. All three of us could smell the natural gas in the hallway where the homes gas furnace was. I used my tiff 8800 gas leak detector and marked an area of the gas pipe that I detected a leak from. After a couple of days, the city gas tech. said there was no leak detected and billed my customer $55.00. She in turned called her agent and her agent called me. I returned to the home and once again detected a gas leak (and smell) from the same areas. My question is this. How do I go about handling this situation and not look like a jackass pointing a finger at someone else to blame? Does the tiff 8800 have a defect that I should know about? Thanks for all your help.


Not unless your nose does too. You will find differing opinions here regarding the use of a TIF8800 or other detectors but my opinion is that if you can smell the gas and the detector confirms it then stand your ground. The issue can be that the detectors are too sensitive and you may call out a teensy-tiny leak that, in many cases, is acceptable to some. I think a leak is a leak period but that’s just me. Offer to meet the repair person on-site and show him what you’ve found. If that’s not feasible then I’d still document my findings but wouldn’t agree to reimburse anyone for what I felt was a hazard.

You did the right thing.

You smelled it, located it and called it out.

I only break out my TIFF8800A when my nose detects a gas smell. Try to keep the TIFF put away until then.

If I were in this situation, I would have added tape, in order to mark the the pipe connection in question. That way the gas tech. will be able to easily locate your finding. Then… if the gas tech claims that it’s a small leak and doesn’t require repair, it’s on him.

Around here, if you find a gas leak (no matter how small) and you call the gas co. they usually show up in 20 min. or less and fix it on the spot. No charge.

I work it the same as David V. If I can smell it then I get the sniffer. If it’s a strong smell,( not isolated to one area). I call the gas company right then. Problem solved.

I love SWG. :smiley:

I use the same protocol as Dave and Todd.

Plumbers putty will occasionally give your TIFF a false positive. So if you’re just poking around. . .

It may be that you could smell a leak, but it wasn’t actually where you had marked it. When possible, it’s a good idea to verify the location with soapy water.

Don’t sweat it. You did the right thing.

What Jeff said


         Thank you for all of your help and suggestions. One of the smartest things I have ever done was to join NACHI so that I can get second oppinions when I needed them from home inspectors. Thank you again.


Here it depends on where the leak is. If it’s the gas company’s equipment, they’ll fix it on the spot, no charge. If it’s the customer’s equipment or lines, they simply shut the gas off and red tag it. And they won’t turn it back on until the problem is fixed, at the home owner’s expense.

I sometimes have to warn my Clients about this because, in a hot real estate market, escrows are 30 days or less. So there is the possibility of the gas company shutting off gas. If the seller’s cannot afford to get the problem fixed quickly, then escrow could be delayed. It’s happens at least once a year with my Clients. Usually the real estate agents and seller are upset at me for finding problems that caused a delay in close of escrow. Oh, well. :frowning:

Here is a story for you guys:

The gas co sent me a card to check on my meters and look for leaks… Now I have some OLD piping from early 1900’s installed… I do smell once and a while some gas … I took my Tif and “sniffed the pipes”… yep… the elbows and some areas are leaking … Old compound is no longer holding a seal…

SO anyway the gas co rep shows up with his “field meter”… Starts checking around and sniffing… Nothing!! I said hmmm sure about that… So I bring out the tiff and show him the connectors… He looks at me and says “I have to get me one of them units”… ha ha ha I told him Ebay!! They have a sealant spray around here for small leaks so I am surprised that the local Gas co didn’t spray pipe !!!:eek:

Stick to your guns about gas leaks Nothing worse that a house explosion! I would return to the house with my tiff and ask that you meet the gas co guy and show him the leak… Have them pay for their own mistakes! :mad: