Natural Gas Detector?

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  #1  
Old 11-21-08, 10:14 AM
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Natural Gas Detector?

I am surprised that this is not sold at the stores next to smoke and co2 detectors.
Do you have any recommendations for a reasonably priced one?
Thank You.
 
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Old 11-22-08, 12:09 PM
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NG has an odorant added to make it detectable (mercapthan, or similar). There are trace NG detectors - for finding tiny leaks - but cost upwards of $200.
 
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Old 11-22-08, 02:11 PM
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Thanks but the reason I asked is when elderly or someone who is not familiar with equipment leaves it on like stove or cooktop and leaves. In that case the warning/alarm can warn the others about the leak.
 
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Old 11-22-08, 03:27 PM
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Look into marine fuel sniffers - they detect gasoline and propane - I'd be surprised if they didn't sniff NG.
 
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Old 11-23-08, 01:45 PM
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Old 12-30-08, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Ricardo Umbro View Post

My first post!

I found this earlier question through a search; as I am looking to purchase something similiar. Purchased a name (big box sourced) brand maybe 2 years ago and had nothing but problems with false triggering. Had all of my connections tested (run a fair amount of NG for fireplaces, appliances; backup generator, etc.); yet still feel that these are a must for my family's reasonable safety.

What is the absolute best brand out there (presently) without going to an industrial type system?

It would seem that as much as these different alarms are continually touted to keep us all safe...that there would be some form of ongoing independent testing involving the units themselves. I am looking at this one presently:
Multi Gas Detector - Natural Gas, Propane Gas & Carbon Monoxide Gas from First Alert.
yet am curious also as to the 5 year "end of life" timer included.

Is this "electro-chemical" technology actually 'worn out' in year 5 or does the chirping sound basically drive one crazy enough to make the next $70 purchase at that time?

Thanks for any help in advance and hope to contribute myself in the future.
 
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Old 12-30-08, 02:17 AM
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What is the absolute best brand out there (presently) without going to an industrial type system?
There isn't any non-industrial system that I would rate as anything but barely adequate.


Is this "electro-chemical" technology actually 'worn out' in year 5
I wouldn't trust any electro-chemical system much beyond six months.


I used to work with both gas-specific (carbon monoxide) and non-specific (flammable gas) monitors in an industrial setting. These required periodic testing and recalibration and the electro-chemical ones were the worst. I've seen $1,000. units drift as much as ten parts-per-million (ppm) in less than 24 hours. The units I eventually specified (carbon monoxide specific) had a measurement range of 0 to 50 ppm and we alarmed at 10 ppm. Most home units have a range of more than 1,000 ppm and won't alarm until they pass 80 ppm. In my mind they are almost useless as they give a false sense of security.
 
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Old 12-30-08, 05:46 AM
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Excellent info from the knowledge base that I truly wanted to source and very much appreciated. It is somewhat unnerving when these things go off frequently/don't work properly and you don't really have the proper equipment on hand to track down a source (if any). I guess that I'll simply get out the soap/water sprayer more frequently and get some joints/valves wet from time to time for some peace of mind.

Thinking about whether to run a gas line out to the garage; yet there again...more fittings; boost/regulator valves inside the house and no real desire to spend thousands more on detection equipment (high voltage/security/cable wiring cost alone will be enough).

Thanks again for the opinion and your take on false security.
 
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Old 12-30-08, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by SxS adventure View Post
I guess that I'll simply get out the soap/water sprayer more frequently and get some joints/valves wet from time to time for some peace of mind.
Ideally (and to maintain compliance with many manufacturers' requirements), this should be done with a noncorrosive leak detection leak fluid (LDF) such as DYLON, which is both noncorrosive and an engineered fluid which is much more effective than "soap and water" in detecting leaks - the manufacturer claims it will bubble visibly at leak rates as low as 1 cu/ft/year!
 

Last edited by Michael Thomas; 12-30-08 at 07:15 AM.
  #10  
Old 12-30-08, 10:27 AM
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...so you're telling me that I can't both save the the cost of that detector and life/death troubleshoot like the shade tree hillbilly mechanic that I truly am...to boot?

I had forgotten that they make stuff special for this...thank you very much for the reminder...and I will certainly pick some up tomorrow to always keep on hand.
 
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Old 01-02-09, 01:01 AM
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I spent a number of years as a natural gas utility repairman often responding to complaints of gas leaks and carbon monoxide hazards.

As far as gas leaks, most utilities will inspect for gas leaks right away at no charge. That's a far better service than anything do it yourselfers can provide.

Gas leaks can be quite tricky, and it's easy to get focusssed on something trivial while a basement or crawl space is filled up with gas and ripe for an explosion.

Utility personnel will have good training and equipment and far more experience in identifying and assessing hazards.

My suggestion is--- if you think you have a gas leak, call the utility.

Also---- if you see a utility repairman running up the street with his gas detecting equipment, try to catch up with him!
 
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