Ways To Detect If Furnace Gas Valves Are Leaking?

The valves of a gas furnace can become leaky and therefore leak out fuels. This can become very dangerous, amounting to fatal accidents. The trickiest part of the situation is that natural gas and propane are odorless. If these are leaking out of your furnace it is not easy to detect them. Some gas companies add mercaptan to give these gases their characteristic sulphur-like smell. Now if you are able to smell the gas that is oozing out of some loophole in the machine it is essential to locate the hole. There are some easy and reliable ways of doing it-

Dish Soap Leak-Detecting Solution

First of all try to note if the smell of the gas becomes stronger as you approach the furnace. If it is, then there is surely a leak. Now try to hear a hissing sound and determine from where it is coming out. Well, if that is not easy and then you can mix about a tablespoon of dish soap in a cup of water, spray it on the pipes. Now look for bubbles that are created as the gas comes into contact with the soap. This is the simplest method of detecting leakages in gas furnaces.

Looking in probable places

The leaks in gas furnaces are generally found around the fittings as well as on straight lengths of pipe to develop pinholes. Therefore you should spray the soap solution on all the accessible pipes near the furnace, fittings around the gas valve, the pilot tube and the burner assembly. You can rest assured that soap solution will not affect the functioning of a gas furnace.

Lookout for Carbon Monoxide

Sometimes the exhaust gases from the furnace do not go out of the flue. They come back and reach your living space. One of these is CO (carbon monoxide). The exposure to CO can have lethal consequences. It is absolutely colorless and odorless. You will not know when it sneaks into your house. Therefore install at least one carbon monoxide detector in your house to alert you if there’s a problem with a carbon dioxide leak. Maintain it properly and change batteries when they run out. Other symptoms of CO leakage are breathing troubles, nausea, and headache, among member of the family for no apparent reasons.

Close observation

Sometimes a close observation of the furnace can help you detect the leaks. You should inspect it for cracks in the housing and check those for leaks. You can make use of a flashlight and mirror to inspect areas that are difficult to access. Thus is especially helpful if the furnace is situated in the basement. Also check the furnace flames. If they change color as the blower comes on, the gas could be leaking from the valves.

Gas leak detectors

You can also purchase a gas leak detector. However they are not always foolproof. They work better for larger units. If you already detected a leak though a different method, confirm it by using a leak detector.

Hire professionals

You can also call professional to get the leaks detected. It is costly proposition, considering the call out charge, the labor charge, as well as cost of repairing any leak. But if you doubt that there is a leak and are unable to detect it, do not hesitate to seek professional assistance.

Use a combination of method

Use two or three methods to confirm leaks. One single method is not successful in all situations. Check your furnace’s condition regularly. Get it maintained on regular intervals.



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