Gas appliances are convenient, highly efficient, economical, and make our life more comfortable and simple. But in handling them, you need to be extremely careful, since blue fuel is a source of increased potential danger.
Due to violation of operating rules and untimely identification of problems with equipment, explosions, fires, serious poisoning, and suffocation occur. To eliminate unpleasant consequences, it is important to be able to recognize abnormal situations and take appropriate action. This knowledge will help protect yourself and your family.
The main factor that indicates a malfunction is leakage. We will show you how to check for a gas leak at home and what to do if it is found. We will also consider the probable causes of the problems and recall what preventive measures must be followed when using gas appliances.
The content of the article:
- The main causes and locations of gas leaks
How to check for a leak in an apartment or house?
- Method # 1 - by smell and by ear
- Method # 2 - feel for leaks
- Method # 3 - testing with soapy water
- Method # 4 - pressure test for residual pressure
- Method # 5 - using sensors and a gas analyzer
- Leakage Procedure
- A set of preventive measures
- Conclusions and useful video on the topic
The main causes and locations of gas leaks
Sometimes an ordinary household leak is enough to cause a powerful explosion. An explosive mixture is formed when the concentration of blue fuel in the air reaches 5-15%. In such circumstances, even turning on the light in the room will serve as a "trigger".
There are two types of gas used in everyday life: natural, which is centrally supplied through the main pipeline, and liquefiedstored in special cylinders. Often the trouble is associated with gas cylinders. They explode if dropped, stored or used improperly.
When released into the ambient air, methane contributes to a decrease in the amount of oxygen available. As a result, people in a gas-polluted room experience oxygen starvation, which leads to suffocation.
In addition to basic negligence and disregard rules for the operation of devicesSome of the common causes of leakage are:
- re-equipment, unauthorized installation of gas boilers and stoves in the wrong place, without prior agreement with specialists;
- illegal connection of devices by individuals who do not have permission for such work;
- wear of gas pipes;
- poorly performed welding, rupture of welded joints;
- corrosion damage to the walls of the gas pipeline;
- tears and damage hosesconnecting the equipment to the trunk;
- erasure of sealing materials on taps and hoses, poor quality of threaded connections;
- loose closing of the gas valve;
- extinguished flame when the burner is on (due to a draft, spilled water, contamination of the structure);
- incorrect operation of the burner.
One of the most commonplace everyday reasons is incomplete closing of the gas burner.
Typically, leakage occurs at points of deformation of pipes and valves outside and inside the house, in the area of the rupture gas stove hoses, leaking threaded, flange connections. This results in wear and tear of materials.
How to check for a leak in an apartment or house?
Determination and timely elimination of leaks is the main condition for the safe operation of gas appliances. If you notice any signs that signal a problem, it is advisable to immediately call the gas service.
There are several ways to check to help you understand if there is a gas leak and whether it is worth sounding the alarm.
Method # 1 - by smell and by ear
The main symptom of a probable leak is the characteristic odor in the room.
Fragrance for blue fuel is ethyl mercaptan - a poisonous substance with a rich, specific odor. It is added to the mixture in an insignificant amount that is safe for health, which is sufficient for the aroma to be clearly felt in the air.
The gas itself, intended for domestic use, is neutral in both color and smell. But to prevent accidents, special substances are added to it - odorants. It is these components that endow the mixture with an unpleasant aroma, which makes it possible to accurately determine the excess of the gas concentration in the air.
If there is a strong smell of rotten cabbage, rotten eggs or rotten hay in the room, then there is a leak somewhere. It is often mistaken for the stench from spoiled products, the aromas of fuels and lubricants and paints and varnishes. However, if you suspect something was wrong, you should definitely make sure that there is no problem.
Having felt the characteristic smell of gas in the room, you need to contact the gas workers or use additional verification methods. The emergency service responds to such messages quickly enough and arrives at the site within 40 minutes on average.
Another sign of leaks is a whistling sound that appears in places of depressurization. In damaged areas, gas is emitted in a strong jet with a hiss and hiss. Such a sound indicates obvious, serious malfunctions.
Method # 2 - feel for leaks
Although the gas is invisible, you can feel the leakage by touch. To do this, you should run your hand along the abutments, joints, flanged joints of the gas pipeline. The mixture coming out is felt like a jet of cold air.
Since methane is colder than air, it cools the skin slightly during tactile testing. To increase sensitivity, it is better to manipulate with wet hands.
The tactile method is only suitable for easily accessible places where gas pipes not covered by a kitchen set. Restricted areas use other verification methods.
Method # 3 - testing with soapy water
To confirm the presence of a malfunction and to identify the problem area, a visual inspection of the pipes is carried out using a soap solution to check for gas leaks.
A specially prepared foamed solution is applied with a thick brush or shaving brush to hoses, pipes, joints. Especially carefully it is recommended to coat valves, connecting elements.
After application, it is important to carefully examine each area that is smeared with a solution. If soap bubbles appear somewhere, this indicates the release of gas in this area.
Any shampoo, shaving foam, soap, washing powder is suitable for the preparation of a "diagnostic" solution. It is necessary to dilute the product in water and beat into a foam.
When checking an external gas pipeline outside the house, pay attention to brown spots in the snow, yellowing of vegetation, disturbances in the ground cover and the formation of snow frost. These are all signs of a possible leak.
Method # 4 - pressure test for residual pressure
Next, let's look at how gas leakage is determined in hard-to-reach places in an apartment. The residual pressure crimping method is ideal if it is inconvenient to wade through with soapy water and appliances. It allows you to check all connections: from the burners to the tap. It will take several minutes to complete the manipulation.
First you need to open the burners and pass gas through them. Then you should turn them off, overlap gas valve on the pipe. Thus, an unburned residue will appear in the system.
Then, after waiting from 1 to 3 minutes, perform the following actions:
- remove the lid from any burner;
- a lighted match is brought to the middle;
- the burner switch is suddenly opened to the maximum position.
In the absence of leaks, the gas remaining in the system will burn out. Otherwise, the residue will have time to escape through the damaged area and nothing will happen when the fire is brought to the burner.
Method # 5 - using sensors and a gas analyzer
The safest, most reliable and practical way to identify a leak is to install a gas detector indoors. This is a special device equipped with sensors that record the presence of methane in the air and carbon monoxide.
If the concentration of these substances is exceeded, light and sound signals are triggered, notifying the owner of the problem. The device is installed at a distance of at least 30 centimeters from the ceiling.
There are different types of sensors that differ in design, connection method, degree of autonomy, and operating principles. Their range is represented by simple models and multifunctional devices working with several types of substances (combustible mixtures, carbon monoxide)
Wired sensors work from the network, wireless ones - from batteries. The first ones are easier to maintain, do not need control over the battery charge level. The latter are mobile and do not depend on electrical power.
The main difference between the models is the way of determining the fuel concentration, according to which there are three types of gas analyzers:
Catalytic gas analyzers are more often used at industrial facilities, they can operate both from the mains and from batteries. They are equipped with a chamber in which a small amount of gas is burned, which is triggered even when its concentration is slightly exceeded. At the same time, the temperature of the coil changes, to which the electronic microcircuit reacts by triggering notifications.
Semiconductor sensors are affordable, designed for domestic use. They work only from the network, while their power consumption is minimal.
The devices are equipped with a semiconductor plate coated with a specific chemical composition. If gas hits the plate, its electrical resistance changes. This is detected by an electronic circuit that triggers an alarm.
Infrared models are the most reliable and comfortable. They function from batteries and from the network. Among their advantages are instant response, minimum false alarms, economical energy consumption.
Infrared sensors analyze air using radiation, easily detecting the presence of gas particles due to the difference in light scattering. When contamination is detected, light and sound alerts are triggered
In addition to stationary equipment for continuous analysis of the gas environment, there are portable gas analyzers, which are used to search for a leak in pipes or short-term measurement of gas concentration. They are usually used by gas service specialists.
If you suspect a leak, you should not fix the probable damage yourself. Instead, you need to immediately call the emergency gas service by phone "104" or call the unified emergency number of emergency services - "112". Moreover, it is better to do this by leaving the apartment.
It is impossible to use mobile and landline phones in a gas-polluted room..
Before the arrival of specialists, it is important to adhere to certain rules of conduct.
First of all, you need:
- Stop the gas supply as quickly as possible by shutting off the gas pipe valve located behind the stove, the column valve.
- Open all windows, vents and the front door in the room, provide through ventilation.
- Get people out and go outside or to a safe place.
- Disconnect the power supply in the panel.
In no case should you turn on and off the light, electrical appliances. Any spark can detonate an explosion.
If you suspect a gas leak or fire, you need to call the emergency services and be sure to warn your neighbors. You should not try to solve the problem on your own: you need to wait for the arrival of specialists and then act according to their instructions
If gas ignites in the damaged area, you cannot extinguish the flame yourself. As long as the mixture is burning, it will not explode. In this case, you should urgently leave the premises and call the rescue service.
A set of preventive measures
A number of preventive measures will help prevent gas leakage, associated extreme situations and other undesirable problems.
Rules that must be followed for all household consumers:
- when leaving the house, turn off all gas appliances, close the valves responsible for the gas supply;
- do not connect or repair the equipment yourself or with the assistance of dubious specialists, and you must not make any changes to the design;
- check the correct functioning of the supply and exhaust ventilation, demand checking the draft at gas company specialists, regularly ventilate the premises;
- do not use the stove to heat, dry things and other items made of flammable materials;
- remember the correct sequence of switching on the devices: first light a match, and only then open the gas;
- do not leave the switched on equipment unattended, do not allow children and persons unfamiliar with the rules of operation to it;
- when checking for leaks, do not use lighted matches or lighter.
As for gas cylinders, fill up they are needed exclusively in specialized points. Containers should be stored in well-ventilated rooms, but not on balconies, apartments and garages. They should be in an upright position in the shade, since heating from the sun's rays is contraindicated for them.
Possible problems can be judged by the color of the flame on the burners. It should be calm, have a deep blue color. Red, green and orange shades on fire - a reason to turn to gas workers
The most important rule is not to neglect the norms prescribed in the instructions for safe operation of devices.
The gas equipment installed in the house must be in good working order, meet technical requirements, undergo regular maintenance and checks. It is strictly forbidden to use faulty devices.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Useful information about a gas leak from the Ministry of Emergencies:
An overview of the most effective home leak detection methods:
Whatever gas equipment is used in everyday life, it is important to adhere to the operating rules and respond in time to signals indicating a possible gas leak. To recognize these signals and check if gas is really coming out somewhere, use the methods suggested above, and if you have problems, immediately contact the specialists.
Remember that extremely careful handling of gas in houses and apartments, and adherence to operating rules, allows you to protect and preserve health, life and property..
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