Natural / combustible gas detector


I have just installed a lot of gas piping (for a natural gas fired emergency electrical generator) with many joints in the piping. I have looked online at different combustible gas detectors (at places like hvactool.com) and have found units ranging from $59 all the way up to several thousand dollars. Does anyone have a recommendation for a sensitive, reliable, and relatively low cost instrument which can detect / localize gas leaks?
Thanks very much for your advice.
Smarty
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Dish soap and water on the joints and a good nose are better.
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gas; they are much more sensitive.
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m Ransley wrote:

One time I had a gas leak that was too slow for bubbles to find. I thought I would occasionally smell gas, so I eventually wrapped the suspected joint in plastic food wrap and taped up all the seams. The next day, it was mostly inflated, and when I squeezed out the contents, it was clearly natural gas.
Probably not an immediate hazard, but it felt good to find it early. It does go to show how sensitive a nose can be.
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My sniffer is not what it used to be. Since I passed age 60, I don't want to rely on my sense of smell to determine the absence or presence of something as dangerous as a gas leak. Even my wife, who is about the same age, complains that her very acute sense of smell is no longer that sensitive. I found the plastic food wrap approach very creative, and I would have never thought of using that approach. I have about 30 joints to inspect, and will probably start with bubbles and also use a TPI detector as an alternative.
Thanks again,
Smarty

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I always liked just soap bubble testing each joint. But then that is me.
later,
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.info
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Tom The Great wrote:

That reminds me of the time I had a gas leak and the gas company was trying to find the location of the gas line. The young guy that came out had a couple of electronic devices in including a sniffer and some sort of electronic sensor. He could not find it. He called in the supervisor. The old guy got out of his truck, listened to the problem, went back to his truck and pulled out what looked like two welding rods with a 90 bend on one end. He used them like devining rods looking for water. Well he found the pipe and marked it out and found the cut off. I asked him about it after the other guy left. The run an electric tracer wire along the plastic gas lines in my area and run a small current through it. The fancy electronic tool they issue them break down often and are not as sensitive as a good operator using the metal rods. :-) High tech does not always rule.

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Joseph Meehan

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Soap bubble testing is not what I am after. I am wondering if anybody has a recommendation for a reliable and sensitive gas detector. A divining rod to find buried pipe is really not what I am looking for either.
Smarty
wrote:

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A bubble test IS the standard. (NOT soap though)
http://www.amgas.com/ltpage.htm
Unless you're going to calibrate your tester regularly, and is part of what you do for a living, bubbles are the way to go. The "electronic" gets pulled out if don't want bubble juice dripping all over the place, or other mitigating factors are in place.
http://www.coleparmer.com/catalog/product_view.asp?sku 35000
The electronic is very good, but really is a go/no-go tool. It won't tell concentration levels of the leak you have, and that isn't even necessary to know with regards to common domestic pipe work.
If I have to win a wager to find a leak, (say one pica-bubble every 20 seconds<g>) I'm using bubbles. HTH.
-zero
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Thanks zero. This really does help, and I found the link you sent extremely informative. I had no idea that this method is so sensitive, nor did I know that specialized surfactants and bubble solutions were formulated specifically to do this job very well. Thanks again for your help/
Smarty

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I own a Tif, and a TPI. I like the TPI a lot better. http://www.afcintl.com/720.htm
Check on Ebay, where I got mine. Mine didn't work when it arrived. I called their customer service, and the fellow talked me through fixing it. He let me send it back, and he replaced a bad on off switch, donated a carry case, and mailed it back to me, no cost to me.
The customer care at TPI was excellent for me.
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Thanks for the reply. I see an inexpensive TPI for $79 at: http://www.allgasdetectors.com/products/g404-0725.shtml and a more deluxe one at $179 at: http://www.allgasdetectors.com/products/g280.shtml
Does the better model 720a/b seem like the one to buy?
Smarty

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