Most of us have been enjoying the warm summer temperatures - spending time outside, going to the beach, relaxing at the cottage or enjoying a boat ride. Soon the cooler temperatures will be upon us and it will be time to turn the heat back on.
The easiest way to tell if you have a propane leak is by the smell. While propane is naturally odourless, a chemical is added to propane to give it a smell similar to rotten eggs.
Depending on where the leak is, you may also be able to hear a hissing sound as the propane escapes the gas line. This is because propane is stored under pressure.
To confirm whether the sound you are hearing is a leak, create a thick soap and water solution and apply it to the line around the suspected area. If bubbles form, it means that air is escaping from the line and you definitely have a leak.
If you do not feel confident that you will be able to identify a leak using these methods, it is recommended that you invest in a combustible gas detector. This is especially useful if you or others in your home have difficulty smelling propane, or if propane appliances are located in areas of your home that aren’t often used.
Like a carbon monoxide detector, a combustible gas detector will sound an alarm if combustible, flammable, toxic gases or a depletion of oxygen are detected in the area. They often use sensors such as infrared point sensors, ultrasonic sensors, electrochemical gas sensors, or semiconductor sensors to detect leaks.
The operation of a gas detector is not based on the concentration of odour in air. Instead, it will detect the concentration of propane near the detector.
If you do suspect a leak, there are a number of things to remember:
- Act quickly.
- Leave your home if the smell is strong and stay out.
- Call the fire department and your propane supplier.
- Turn off the gas if it is safe to do so.
- Turn off electronics, lights, appliances or anything that could create a spark.
- Do not ignite a flame.
- Leave the repairs to the professionals.
It is important to us that you and your loved ones stay safe this season at your cottage, home or business. If you have any further questions about staying safe with propane, or what to do in an emergency, please contact us.