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How to Check for Gas Line Leaks

If your home has one gas-fired appliance, you can add as many as you like. The only thing that you need is a gas line to each of the new gas appliances. If you run the gas line yourself, you need to check for leaks. Most plumbers can do this task. Permits and inspections are often required. If you install a gas line yourself, be sure to check it for gas leaks:

  1. Apply a soap-and-water solution to each connection in the gas lines. Never use a match!

    Pros use much more reliable but very expensive electronic sensors.

  2. Turn on the gas and look for bubbles.

  3. If bubbles form, tighten the fitting slightly with a pipe wrench and recheck.

    Be sure to wipe off the old solution and apply a new round of the mixture.

  4. If you still see leaks, disassemble the fitting and check the flare shape.

    You may need to redo the flare end of the copper pipe.

If you smell any gas odor, shut off the gas immediately! Open a window to help move the gas fumes out of the room. Don’t turn on a light or start an electric fan, either. Both have been known to cause a spark and ignite the gas fumes, causing a devastating and sometimes fatal explosion.

If you kink soft copper tubing, cut off the kinked section and redo the fitting. This may mean replacing the entire length of pipe. Kinked soft copper tubing usually has a split in the side wall that’s sometimes almost invisible. When you have a split, you also have a gas leak — a dangerous and possibly life-threatening situation.

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