The Best Gas Leak Detectors



What should I do if I find a gas leak in my home?

For both carbon monoxide and combustible gas leaks, gather your family members and pets and get outside in a safe location with fresh air. Use a phone outside of the home to call your local fire department for assistance. They will come to your home in protective gear and check out the leak. They can help you find professionals to remedy the problem, and they can let you know when it’s safe to enter your home again.

Isn’t there a way to check for leaks using soap bubbles?

The soap bubble technique is when you use a solution of soap and water (kids’ bubble solution works great) and spray it onto potential gas leak locations, like joints and valves. Any leaking air will cause the solution to bubble up, making it easy to see where gas is escaping.

If you try to use this method on its own, you might find yourself spraying soap all over the place without much luck, so it’s a smart idea to use this technique along with a gas leak detector. Once the detector has helped you narrow down your search area, a quick bubble test will let you pinpoint exactly where the problem is coming from.

The only time soap bubbles don’t work well is if the leak is in a hard-to-reach location. In that case, a gas leak detector with a long, flexible probe is your best bet.

How do I use a handheld gas leak detector?

Gas detectors might seem like intimidating gadgets, but they’re really just a grownup game of hot and cold. Just turn it on outside or in another neutral location away from anything that might set it off. It should start ticking, beeping, or flashing rhythmically. As you get closer to a leak, the ticking, beeping, or flashing lights will get faster. As you get farther away, they slow down again. They might be alerting you to lethal hazards, but they’re also kind of fun.

What is the difference between carbon monoxide and natural gas?

Natural gas is a type of fuel burned to heat furnaces, stoves, and water heaters. It’s highly combustible and can be dangerous if it builds up. But it has a special additive in it to give it a distinct odor like rotten eggs, so it’s easier to detect a leak. Carbon monoxide, on the other hand, is typically odorless, and is a byproduct of burning fuel, like gasoline in cars, or natural gas in household furnaces. Without good ventilation it can build up and be poisonous to humans and animals.

Do all gas leak detectors detect carbon monoxide?

No. Most handheld gas leak detectors are primarily designed to detect combustible gases, like natural gas. Be sure to check the specifications on your gas leak detector to make sure you’ll be alerted to the gas leaks you’re looking for.


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