respond fast, faint gas smell

appdudeDecember 13, 2013

Today i went to get my nail clippers. There is a cubby above the fireplace however the fireplace was on. A slight burning smell caught my attention but i knew that was normal but along with the smell there was a very faint smell of gas. You don't smell gas if you are infront of it only when you go right up to it to the point were you are 1 cm away from it. There are CO alarms on the floor where the fireplace is and it has not picked up anything. Is this normal? or is this something that could indicate a leak? This only happens when it is on. Other wise when it is off and the pilots on, there is no smell. PLEASE RESPOND FAST

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berlin

If you smell gas, there is a problem. The gas is exiting something, somewhere, and NOT burning (or you wouldn't smell it).

CO has nothing to do with it; carbon monoxide detectors detect carbon monoxide, NOT nat.gas or propane leaks.

Leave it off until you have someone look at it, as I said, if you smell gas, there's clearly a problem (which may or may not be a serious fire/explosion hazard); either way something's not right and needs to be fixed.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 7:45PM
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southerncanuck

CO detectors detect carbon monoxide which is in Natural Gas and propane. As well as many other types of gases.

What exactly else is in a household that might be used in combustion where a carbon monoxide tester would be needed besides propane and NG? Wood maybe, you'll succumb to smoke inhalation before a CO detector set to alarm at 35PPM will alarm, your smoke detector should handle that.

Berlin is right in saying shut of the gas supply and get the unit inspected. You may have a leak upstream of the burner.

Carbon monoxide has everything to do with it Berlin. I know you must have misspoke.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 2:02AM
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berlin

SouthernCanuck, I did not misspeak. CO detectors detect carbon monoxide, a gas that results from combustion of a carbon based fuel (specifically the incomplete oxidation of carbon into carbon dioxide). Unless they're blending your local NG with coke oven gas (unlikely these days) there's no CO in the supply of NG or Propane.

CO detectors DO NOT detect flammable gasses that are not carbon monoxide. You need a different gas detector for these, they are available, but a CO detector does NOT do it.

CO detectors will detect carbon monoxide from the exhaust gas of any carbon based fuel. In the home it would only detect CO if you had an appliance that was venting improperly and leaking exhaust gasses in the home. Does not matter the fuel, Coal, NG, Propane, Oil, etc. Propane and NG often being the most dangerous because the byproducts of their combustion have little to no natural odour to alert the human nose.

Once again, I did not misspeak; a gasline in your home could be leaking dangerous NG all day long and your CO detector will still read 0.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 11:04AM
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southerncanuck

Yes Berlin, your 100% correct. It was I, me, myself that misspoke. I have worked with both Coke Oven and Blast Furnace gas, which is the waste gas after combustion of coal and metallurgical coke in the Ironmaking industry, I should very well had known better to write that. I stand corrected and embarrassed.

I'm not sure about all CO detectors in Ontario are capable of reading uncombusted gases in the atmosphere but ours does as in NG and Propane. I need to try it on Mapp gas and acetylene.

I wonder how the original poster made out?

The best to you in this holiday season.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 4:56PM
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