How To Detect A Natural Gas Leak

Natural gas is present almost everywhere, and in the presence of fire sources, it can cause an explosion that will lead to loss of life and property. That is why, in this article, I will explain how to detect a natural gas leak.

What is natural gas?

Natural gas is a broad term for explosive compounds. Natural gas is a fuel source primarily made of methane

It is often associated with other fossil fuels, such as methane clathrates, in coal beds and is naturally created in a biological process. 

Ethane, Butane, Propane, Pentanes, Hydrogen Sulphide, Carbon Dioxide, water vapor, and occasionally Helium and Nitrogen may also be present in natural gas.

What are the symptoms of natural gas presence? 

  1. The smell of rotten eggs. In its natural state, natural gas is odorless and colorless. 
  2. Hissing sounds. 
  3. Air bubbles outside your home. …
  4. Dead or dying plants. 
  5. Physical symptoms of natural gas poisoning. 
  6. Higher-than-normal gas usage.

What is the composition of natural gas?

Typical Composition of Natural Gas
Methane CH4 70-90%
        Carbon Dioxide CO2 0-8%
        Oxygen O2 0-0.2%
          Nitrogen N2 0-5%


How to detect a natural gas leak

The most common way to detect a natural gas leak is by using your sense of smell. If you smell an odor similar to rotten eggs, there may be a natural gas leak.

A gas detector is an additional and/or alternative safety measure for detecting a natural gas leak.

Gas leak detectors are relatively easy to install and can be lifesavers in case of an undetected leak.

These devices are specifically designed to detect the presence of natural gas or propane in a given area.

They can be portable or mounted in a fixed location. When a leak is detected, it typically emits an audible alarm.

This device measures the presence of natural and propane gases in your home and alerts you immediately.

What gas detectors can detect natural gas?

Natural gas is mostly composed of methane. Other combustible gases are also included.

Therefore, a gas leak detector using a pellister sensor or non-specific semiconducting oxide material will detect all combustibles within the natural gas.

Any single or multigas monitor with an LEL sensor can detect natural gas. If you want only to detect natural gas, pick a single gas, but if you want to detect natural gas and other gases, such as Oxygen and Carbon Monoxide, you can pick a multigas monitor.

Where to put natural gas detectors

I recommend placing your natural gas detectors near natural gas sources. This includes any room with windows or a gas appliance, such as your kitchen and basement.

When adding to a room with windows, position natural gas detectors above all doors and windows.

Positioning detectors away from windows is best since the fresh air coming in could deter and interfere with accurate readings on the device.

Some manufacturers recommend placing the detectors 2 to 6 feet below the ceiling and 6 feet away from the gas appliance. 

Each natural gas monitor is different. Please read the manufacturer’s guide to find out how to mount your natural gas detector.

Where can I get a natural gas leak detector?

You can get a natural gas leak detector from Amazon, and my recommendation is TopTes PT199.

natural gas detector

The TopTes PT199 is suitable for LPG, methane, ethane, propane, butane, natural gas, coal gas, gas fuel, liquefied natural gas, etc.

It will pinpoint a leak exactly, reducing the risk of gas explosion and keeping your family and property safe.

The gas detector employs visual and audible alarms as fast as 0.5 seconds of detection.

Gas is detected when the bar graph increases and the detector beeps. The alarm increases with the amount of gas, and the LCD screen will turn red when the gas concentration is high.

Will carbon monoxide detector detect gas?

No, a Carbon Monoxide gas detector will not detect natural gas. You cannot rely on it to detect a natural gas leak. A carbon monoxide detector will sense carbon monoxide, not raw fuel or gas fumes.

Can a 4-gas meter detect natural gas?

Most 4-gas meters come with an LEL sensor, which detects natural gas; you can follow the manufacturer’s user guide and verify whether the 4-gas monitor can detect natural gas.

Four Gas Monitor-Everything You Need To Know

Is methane the same as natural gas?

Natural gas is an odorless, gaseous mixture of hydrocarbons—predominantly made of methane (CH4). 

What is LEL for natural gas?

The Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) varies from gas to gas but is less than 5% by volume for most flammable gases.

Final words

Natural gas consists of 70 to 90% methane, which can be detected using a gas detector that can detect Methane.

There are good natural gas detectors on the market, but if you are looking for a cheap one that you can use at home, the TopTes PT199 is a good choice.

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