COMMUNITY FORUM

Kathy55

09:31AM | 02/08/11
Member Since: 02/12/06
34 lifetime posts
Bvplumbing
Believe it or not I am now smelling natural gas coming from behind the controls of our new hot water heater. We have had the gas company out and our plumber twice to check it with a gas sniffer and the sniffer is not picking up any leaks. My neighbor came over to see if she could smell it and she described the odor as a sulphur type odor which is what natural gas smells like. She then checked for odors around her hot water heater and she has none and she has the same type of controls that we have. I don't know what to do at this point. I am not comfortable with this situation. Is it possible to have a leak without the sniffers picking it up? Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.

LarryG

10:15AM | 02/08/11
Member Since: 07/22/04
525 lifetime posts
Check for good draft at the hood. If you can, post a picture of the setup.

Kathy55

10:15PM | 02/08/11
Member Since: 02/12/06
34 lifetime posts
I checked the draft at the hood and I don't know how it should be but I could feel warm air rising from the water heater. I think the odor is coming from the control. The only place we can smell the gas odor is from behind the control. My husband and I both describe it as a constant smell but then we get an occasional warm puff of air when we have our nose by the control with more of the gas smell. I am sorry I took a picture of the water heater but I don't know how to post it. It is a Bradford White hot water heater with a Honeywell control. The inspector came by today and approved it. We told him about the smell but he said he couldn't smell anything. In any case, everything else was up to code. Is it possible that the control itself might have a specific odor? It is plastic. Or my brother suggested it could be residual oil from the manufacturer? The odor is coming from the control so I don't know if residual oil would be the answer. But I, my husband and my neighbor all describe it as a gas smell. Thanks again.

LarryG

06:30AM | 02/09/11
Member Since: 07/22/04
525 lifetime posts
Another thing it could be is pipe thread joint compound.
My honest opinion is I think it's ok. The plumber checked it,gas co,inspector, ect. I don't think you are in any danger. I would wait. P.S. Sometimes the unit will have a toll free number on it that you can call, Maybe call and just tell them and see what they say?

Kathy55

07:59AM | 02/09/11
Member Since: 02/12/06
34 lifetime posts
We were smelling the joint compound and it has a slightly different odor than the odor we were smelling. We have decided to purchase our own gas sniffer and see if we can find the leak if there is one. We decided we could use the sniffer for other things too so it will be a good investment. What do you think about the Bacharach Jr.? It detects methane at 50 ppm whereas I read that the TIF 880A detects methane at 500 ppm. The TIF 880A was the one recommended to us but I don't like the high ppm reading. Thanks again for your help.

Kathy55

08:05AM | 02/09/11
Member Since: 02/12/06
34 lifetime posts
sorry, meant to say TIF8800A.

LarryG

01:02PM | 02/09/11
Member Since: 07/22/04
525 lifetime posts
I'm sure they're good. All my stuff is UEI. I would like to hear if you find anything.

The TIF is 50 and the Bacharach is 50 also 20 in high sensitivity mode. Like I said I'm partial to UEI equipment. The choice is yours they're all good.

Kathy55

03:00PM | 02/09/11
Member Since: 02/12/06
34 lifetime posts
Thank you again Larry for all of your help with this. We have to order the gas sniffer on-line so it will be a few days before we will be able to test. I will definitely check back in and let you know what we find.

Kathy55

02:45PM | 02/11/11
Member Since: 02/12/06
34 lifetime posts
Hello again. I just contacted the manufacturer of our hot water heater and they informed me that it is normal to smell some gas from the control area of the hot water heater. They told me that the gas vents out of the upper right hand corner of the control and this is where we have been smelling the gas. They then sent me this link to a video explaining more about this so they must get calls about this quite frequently. So although I still don't like this situation I guess I will just need to let it go at this point. Thanks once again Larry for your assistance.

http://www.ahrinet.org/gas+controls.aspx

Kathy55

07:04PM | 02/15/11
Member Since: 02/12/06
34 lifetime posts
We received our gas sniffer today. We decided to go with the UEI that Larry suggested. It immediately detected the leak behind the control so we had the gas company out and this time they were able to detect a gas leak. Our plumber is coming out tomorrow to replace the control. It is pretty sad that the professionals were unable to find the leak and we had to find it ourselves and have been living with a gas leak for a week and a half.
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