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View Full Version : Faint natural gas smell: Should I worry?


The Shroud
12-09-2006, 03:19 PM
Just moved into a tiny apartment in Manhattan. There is a faint odor of natural gas emanating from around the stove, but the pilot light seems to be working, as all four burners and the oven are operational.

Being new to natural gas, I'm wondering, is it normal for there to be a faint smell, or should I expect a horrible explosion sometime soon?

Q.E.D.
12-09-2006, 03:26 PM
If it's only a faint odor, it's probably nothing to worry about--long before the concentration of gas reaches explosive levels, the smell becomes practically overwhelming. However, it couldn't hurt to give your gas utility a call and have them come check it out. Small leaks now could turn into larger leaks later.

Rick
12-09-2006, 04:59 PM
If you can pull the stove out from the wall, take a small cup of dish washing liquid mixed with a little water and brush it around the ends of the gas flex line. If it bubbles, you have a leak.
In any event I would get it taken care of. Otherwise you might have the first apartment in orbit.

Common Tater
12-09-2006, 06:10 PM
If you smell natural gas, call your service provider. They will be more than happy to come out right away and make sure everything is up to snuff.

ltfire
12-09-2006, 07:26 PM
If you smell natural gas, call your service provider. They will be more than happy to come out right away and make sure everything is up to snuff.

Heh. We are talking Con Ed here. :rolleyes:

Merejane
12-09-2006, 07:34 PM
Heh. We are talking Con Ed here. :rolleyes:
True, but . . . even with Con Ed, you could call them after midnight to tell them that you smell gas in your apartment, and they'll send someone out within the hour.

CC
12-09-2006, 07:40 PM
Yeah, with a match to light their way.

(Still, get it checked)

ltfire
12-09-2006, 07:44 PM
True, but . . . even with Con Ed, you could call them after midnight to tell them that you smell gas in your apartment, and they'll send someone out within the hour.
Professional opinion here.
Dial 911 and request Fire Department.
They will arrive within 5 minutes, and they won't leave until they find the leak. If Con Ed is needed, they will come a lot quicker if FDNY requests them.

Muffin
12-09-2006, 07:47 PM
The nice thing about stove gas leaks, is that they can be repaired even after midnight, unlike the little wafts floating down from neighbours with poor personal hygiene, whom one might not necessarily wish to contact in the wee hours.

Is Con Ed the outfit that uses manhole covers for rousing rounds of pedestrian frisbee?

Bewildebeest
12-10-2006, 12:13 AM
Is Con Ed the outfit that uses manhole covers for rousing rounds of pedestrian frisbee?

No, that's PEPCO in Washington, DC.

Rayne Man
12-10-2006, 03:13 AM
Although you say it's just a faint smell, it doesn't take much gas to cause an explosion. In the case of natural gas (which is about 93% methane ) the mixture that will ignite is anywhere in the range of 5% - 15% gas in air.

chowder
12-10-2006, 06:02 AM
What ltfire said, and do it NOW!

Kalhoun
12-10-2006, 06:14 AM
Not sure how old your place is, but may of those fittings have to be replaced (at least, that's what the gas company told us) because they're old or outdated. There may be a problem or may not, but bettah safe than sorry, as my mom always told me.

sneezy5660
12-10-2006, 01:20 PM
It's pretty much been covered already, but let me put in my two cents. Natural gas in it's "natural" state, heh, has no odor, but scent is added later so you can tell if you have a leak, so if you can smell it, you need to deal with it. Don't mess around with it, it could be a big problem.

Merejane
12-10-2006, 01:34 PM
The Shroud, here's the information you need from Con Ed's website:

For Gas Emergencies
If you have a gas emergency, such as a gas leak, leave the premises immediately if the odor is strong. If the odor is faint, open a window to air out the area, if possible, before you leave. Do not operate any electrical equipment at the location, not even a light switch. Report the leak to Con Edison by calling the emergency number listed below.

When you call, use a telephone off the premises where you smell the gas odor. Our emergency phone service operates 24 hours a day, every day.

Call our toll-free number 1-800-752-6633 (1-800-75-CONED)

Or, follow ltfire's advice to call 911.

Common Tater
12-10-2006, 08:12 PM
Hell, ESPECIALLY a light switch.

Quiddity Glomfuster
12-10-2006, 09:52 PM
I've known people to live in places where there were gas stoves and they always smelled faintly of gas. It's one reason I never wanted a gas stove. (Besides the possible blowing-up thing).

Thrilly
06-08-2016, 01:28 PM
I have ran across the same problem where I live and I did contact my gas provider and they promptly came to investigate. They told me I did the right thing by calling and it's always the best to make sure than to just let something go. I live in Indiana and I have no idea how it works where you are at in those regards. they said that they could smell the same thing told her that I was smelling but they had a machine that tested the level and said there was nothing to worry about. So apparently you can smell a faint odor and it not be dangerous I really don't understand why any older would be coming at all but that is what they told me and I am sure they are not in the business of giving false information and having people blowing up that could later see them because their records would show we called and they said it was fine. I choose to trust what they told me. It's been over 3 years and I still have them blown up so I guess everything is alright

engineer_comp_geek
06-08-2016, 01:57 PM
Welcome to the SDMB, Thrilly.

Please note that the thread you are replying to is about a decade old. We tend to refer to old threads like this that have been revived as zombies, so don't be too surprised if you end up with a few zombie jokes.

Also note that the person who started this thread no longer posts here, and some of the original thread participants are no longer with us as well.

Crybaby Boobie
06-08-2016, 04:41 PM
I hope the reason they're no longer here isn't because the apartment went kablooey.

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