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Testing for gas leaks


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I believe this has been discussed before. I tried searching and couldn't find anything. So, I ask, humbly - do most home inspectors test for gas leaks: under what conditions; and, how? I came across something recently that made me think about this for some reason. Maybe I take this for granted more than I should. I thinking about natural gas and propane and appreciate any guidance. Thanks in advance for any guidance.

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My 2 cents: I usually bring my nose and an inquiring mind. When I see a gas installation:

1. Professional installation???

2. Gas odor??

I do not usually "test" for gas leaks. If you test one connection--you should have tested the entire building?? Is your meter properly calibrated?? Some smart ass lawyer will ask you these kinds of questions. Are you a licensed gas fitter??? and on and on. Refer to the gas company or gas license

Your recommendation should range from "call a license to repair" to "Red Tag the system(gas company shut off the system)"

You may be making this recommendation from the back yard or the street!! Go Pats! [:-party]

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I carry a TIFF 8800 in my tool box. I use to use it in every house, and have found a good share of leaks. The problem is that the tester is so sensitive it picks up leaks the repair guy may not find because he does not have a tester or has a different one or has it calibrated differently. I would get calls from a repair guy saying “I can’t find the leak, where exactly is it?â€

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I use an electronic gas detector to start. If it finds something I'll then use my nose. A final confirmation, if there's still a question, is Sherlock Leak Detector which is what out local gas utilities use.

What tends to rile me is when gas leaks, the standard small ones we always find, are made out to be major issues. I saw a house flipping program where a home inspector found a gas leak and began to talk about explosions etc. It got everyone needlessly worked up.

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My experience is similar to Mark's. Some buffoon--who's an alleged expert--comes behind me with his bottle of Windex and says everything's fine.

I bought a refrigerant-leak detector to better serve my clients, but no longer use it. The HVAC person summoned to repair the leak invariably said the system was fine. It's amazing, how many Schrader valves leak. But I've stopped wasting my time.

I have an 8800, as well. But it seldom finds its way out of my tool bag.

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Originally posted by kasterko

I believe this has been discussed before. I tried searching and couldn't find anything. So, I ask, humbly - do most home inspectors test for gas leaks: under what conditions; and, how? I came across something recently that made me think about this for some reason. Maybe I take this for granted more than I should. I thinking about natural gas and propane and appreciate any guidance. Thanks in advance for any guidance.

*If* I smell gas, I use the Tiff to locate the leak. Then I confirm with bubble solution. I take a picture of the bubble and I put a sticker on the leaking joint with an arrow pointing to the leak and the word "leak" written next to the arrow.

No one ever calls to say that it isn't leaking or that they can't find the leak.

BTW, I'd never rely on the Tiff alone. It lies. I won't report a leak unless I can see the bubbles.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by kasterko

I believe this has been discussed before. I tried searching and couldn't find anything. So, I ask, humbly - do most home inspectors test for gas leaks: under what conditions; and, how? I came across something recently that made me think about this for some reason. Maybe I take this for granted more than I should. I thinking about natural gas and propane and appreciate any guidance. Thanks in advance for any guidance.

*If* I smell gas, I use the Tiff to locate the leak. Then I confirm with bubble solution. I take a picture of the bubble and I put a sticker on the leaking joint with an arrow pointing to the leak and the word "leak" written next to the arrow.

Now that is a great idea, and so simple. I’m ashamed I did not think of it.

I always put a picture of the leaking joint in the report with an arrow pointing to it, but the repair guy never sees the report.

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