The range we use in our kitchen can be fueled by either natural gas or electricity. If you use a range that is fueled by natural gas, you must be extremely careful because even a tiny leak can endanger your life and the life of your loved ones. Since natural gas is odorless in its natural form, a chemical known as Mercaptan is added to it to give it a distinctive odor, which increases the safety of the users. However, some leaks can be extremely dangerous as they may not release enough gas that can be detected by smell. When there is a small leak, the gas may be dispersed into the surrounding air before you can smell the odor of the gas. Therefore, you must test all the gas appliances periodically for leaks. Here are some simple options to help you detect gas leaks:
Before the advent of sophisticated gaskets that help you detect gas leak in your house, most people used bubble test to find gas leaks. Initially the bubble testing solutions was a mixture of water and soap, but today you can easily buy commercially prepared solution that give more accurate results because they adhere to the valves, fittings and pipes better that the traditional water and soap solutions. These solutions are easily available at appliance spare parts stores and home centers. To use these ready made solutions, just spray them on valves, fittings, or pipes that need to be tested.
Electronic Gas Leak Detectors
Most electronic gas leak detectors are not cheap, which explains why most home users avoid using them. However, if you search hard you can find electronic detectors that cost less than $40. However, these detectors may not have a LCD screen that expensive detectors have. They may also not have whistles and bells that is a common feature in most electronic leak detectors. However, they will give out a loud alarm even when minute amount of gas is present in the kitchen. Most professional range repair technicians use pocket-size electronic tester when they visit your place. These small detectors are easy to use. All you have to do is push the button and the alarm will sound when there is a leak.
Where should you check for gas Leaks
You can start by checking the leaks on the flexible pipe that is connected to the gas range. The flexible pipe is likely to develop leaks due to regular use and normal wear and tear. To check the condition of the pipe, coat the pipe with the leak detection fluid. If you have an electronic sniffer, run it slowly over the flexible pipe to detect gas leaks. If the flex pipe is in perfect condition, you should check the condition of the cut-off valve. You should also check control valves for the boiler, oven, and the burner. Also, check the thermostatically controlled valve of the oven and the internal pipe connections of the residential appliance. Also, make sure you check the pilot light connections of the household appliance, if the machine uses the traditional pilot light systems.
What should you do when you detect a Leak?
In most cases, it is safe to repair the leak yourself without any professional help. Replacing a burner-control valve, flex pipe, or the thermostat control valve is easy and safe. All you have to do is visit an appliance parts supplier and get a genuine part from the store.
If the leak is coming from the valve’s shaft or the cut-off valve, you should get a professional help. When approaching a professional to repair or service the machine, it is best to approach a specialist. Getting a dryer service technician, refrigerator repairman, or a washer technician to detect leaks and troubleshoot the problem will not help. At times, inexperienced repairmen can complicate the problem, which can be dangerous. So, it is best to call a specialist when you face a problem that you cannot troubleshoot.
If you are planning to repair the machine yourself, make sure you turn off the gas supply to the appliance. Once you disconnect the gas supply, you should burn out the remaining gas in the stove before making any repairs. This will reduce the risk of injury.
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