I moved a gas line and used the yellow teflon tape wrapped 3-4 tims
around the thread and it is in tight with very little thread showing
and I sprayed the leak check to make sure it isn't leaking but now and
again I smell gas faintly. I don't know if it's my imagination or the
old pipes themselves are so permeated with the smell of gas. Is there a
plumbers putty for gas I can put around the outside of each joint for
my peace of mind?
No plumbers putty. If you have a leak, you better find it and fix it.
Your gas company will come out and make sure. Don't know if they will
charge you though.
I had a similar situation after I put my new gas water heater in a couple
years ago. Faint smell; didn't know if I was imagining it. Had my fifteen
year old son come down; he not only was able to smell it, he found it's
source. I had the gas company come in. They found a leak exactly where he
said it was; the heater was defective, all my joints were fine. (they
flagged it to be fixed within a week. Company sent someone in to fix it
Anyhow the two things I learned here were: 1) the gas guy said that a smell
that you are not sure of is not dangerous. A dangerous leak smells so
strongly you can't be in the room if you wanted to, and 2) 15 year olds have
a substantially better sense of smell. Get one if you can.
If you're asking this question, you shouldn't be fooling around with
gas. Plumber's putty was not made to be put around the outside of ANY
pipe fitting to stop leaks. It's used under sink basin drains, where
it forms a seal against the basin when it' tightened down.
BEWARE THAT IF YOU CALL THE GAS COMPANY (1) THEY WILL COME OUT "RIGHT
NOW" AND IF YOU ARE NOT READY OR AVAILABLE, THEY WILL BREAK YOUR DOOR
DOWN, PLUS (2) IF THEY FIND A LEAK, THEY ARE REQUIRED TO SHUT OFF ALL
SERVICE UNTIL YOU HIRE SOMEONE TO FIX IT!!!! So, if it is the
slightest of all leaks, and you have already lived with it for
months/years, you may not want to call them until you are good and
ready. Spray the connection with soapy water to assess how much gas is
coming out, but realize that pipes swell and contract with temperature,
and the leak grows and contracts. Once you do that, IF you confirm
that it is a mere smell annoyance and not a safety threat (tiny, and
not near any flame or spark source, e.g. motors), I have had some luck
with a hot melt glue gun! No kidding!
No putty but if you've done the soapy (or detergenty) water test and
passed (no bubbles) you might want to paint each joint with shellac.
The shellac fills up every minute pore, adheres to everything, and is
sufficiently flexible to move with the expansion and contraction of
the joint. Renew every 20 years or so.
Do you have an old gas pipe laying around, or any remnants from the job
? I'd get everything like that out of the area, put a fan on for a
while to make sure the smell is gone from when you were working on it,
then go back in. Take others with you, the sense of smell does vary
from person to person. If it still smells go back over every
connection with half soap, half water. If you don't find it, go over
all the connections, maybe there's nother problem.
Plumber who hooked up a new water heater for me once tested for leaks
with...a lighter. He knew he had done things right and any remaining
leak would be tiny, so he held a lit lighter up to all the connections.
I don't recommend this. He was in his 60's.
I can't tell you what to do, but I can safely relay how I confronted a
I smelled a faint smell of gas behind my brand new stove with brand
new shutoff and brand new supply .
I called the gas company indicating I had smelled this. They sent
someone out within the hour who quickly narrowed it down to being back
in the wall. They shut the main gas supply off then had me (for
liability reasons) cut them a little bit of access through the
drywall, and he was then able to investigate, narrow it down to and
repair the first elbow in the wall. This elbow had teflon tape on it
originally, the technician said that teflon tape tended to be
implicated in a lot of joint leaks like this. He also said that it
was really unusual to have a leak back at the elbow as they are almost
always leaks in the shut off valve (which had been replaced recently).
He had some sort of substance that he coated threads with when he put
it all back together. So, the answer to your original question is
It was done quickly, it was done safely, it was done professionally,
and it cost me a whopping $70. Had I called during the day time, that
would've been more like $50. Hell I can't get a plumber to scratch
his ass on site much less fix aything for less than $100 around here.
Your mileage may vary, but I was pleasantly thrilled with this service
of my gas company. You may wish to investigate this option in your
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