Is it normal to smell natural gas near water heater?

On Wed, 12 Nov 2014 01:44:02 +0000, Daniel

OK - what you are smelling is the odorant Ethyl Mercaptan which is added to natural gas to make it detectable. Somehow the mercaptan is being released into the air - with or without the gas. My suspicion is some has "settled out" of the gas at the pilot. Only a fraction of a small drop will be detectable by a sensitive schnozz.
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On 11/11/2014 8:24 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I've had gas co out numerous times as the mercaptan smell is noticeable. To date they've never been able to set off their high-priced, presumable sensitive(???) detectors at any location.
I've become convinced by characteristics it's a remnant of the odorant having been left after repair/replacement when piping has been open. It's noticeably stronger in the well house if get a little water on the floor near where the heater sits which I replaced the old "wild" pilot valve on a couple of years ago with one of them newfangled, gee-whiz thermocouple-countrolled doo-jobbie ones a couple of years ago.
I've not gotten one of the n-gas wall monitors thinking the likelihood of them being sensitive enough to help if the gas company can't find it with a portable going around all the piping and end devices was likely near zero.
It is disconcerting on occasion, however, 'cuz one wonders for absolute certain whether it's just getting missed or what...
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Odorant can fool you.
I worked at a place out in the country that had a small motel for new emplo yees until they found a place. There were maybe a dozen rooms. The place smelled so strong of gas I wouldn't have walked near it. Their claim was t hat it was normal. The odorant addition machine only came in one size, and so they had a large unit for that tiny motel. With that much odorant bein g added it was bound to smell.
In hindsight, they were probably lying, but we all did survive. And move o ut quickly.
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On 11/12/2014 3:15 PM, TimR wrote:

This is a farm residence/homestead; the pot is at the tap off the pipeline at the meter location some quarter-mile from the house...which brings up other stories that initially was un-metered tap for farm/house use as part of the right-of-way easement grandfather negotiated in the 30's when they built the line. Some 30 yr ago now, the original pipeline company was acquired by another and they somehow found an escape hatch that state corporation commission backed them up on to break all those existing agreements. I've been extremely surprised they haven't come around trying to pull the tap entirely in order to get rid of the hassle of these scattered residential taps all over the county...
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Who would have a natural gas detector in their house?
I don't and don't know anyone who does.
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On 11/12/2014 10:31 AM, terrable wrote:

Some campers and RV have a LP detector near the floor. But NG detector in a home? Not heard of such.
When I did HVAC, I used to have a gas beeper for use on the job, but that's not the typical HO situation.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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On 11/12/2014 10:41 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Excellent point!
Given that propane is heavier than air, having a *small* propane leak in a house with a basement or below grade crawl space is an explosion waiting to happen. A *small* propane leak is probably less dangerous in an above grade slab house.
Given that natural gas is lighter than air, a *small* natural gas leak seems far less dangerous.
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terrable wrote:

Hi, I do, NG, CO, flame, smoke detectors, why not? I even had them in my fiver when I had it. Any thing wrong having them?
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wrote:

You lead a sheltered life. They are readily available from Home Centers. You can get a combo flammable gas and carbon monoxide detector. For that price, why would you NOT have one if you have gas? (I don't have gas so I don't)
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Kidde-Plug-In-Combination-Explosive-Gas-Carbon-Monoxide-Alarm-Detector-with-Battery-Back-up-KN-COEG-3/100003545
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No "safe amount" of any explosive gas can be detected by human nose. Our noses have not been trained to discriminate between safe and unsafe odours. This is why gas companies ask people to notify them if they ever smell gas.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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On 11/12/2014 3:46 PM, Don Phillipson wrote:

Natural gas has no detectable odor at all -- it's only the mercaptan oderant added that can be detected by the nose. It's so strong simply so that a tiny amount is detectable by almost everybody (albeit I can often not notice the trace amounts spoken of above when some others claim it smells strongly of it to them; my sniffer ain't so hot as some I gather).
The measurement devices used by the gas co aren't "smelling", they're using active sensing to detect the actual methane/propane/whatever...
--


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On Wed, 12 Nov 2014 10:41:00 -0500, Stormin Mormon

Why is it worse when a camper goes boom than when a home does?

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On 11/12/2014 8:14 PM, micky wrote:

Campers usually lighter weight material, they burn down FAST. Of couese, now days homes go down fast, also. per goes boom than when a home does?

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I have CO and smoke detectors, but wrt NG and flame, I say, Bring it on!

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On Wed, 12 Nov 2014 10:41:00 -0500, Stormin Mormon

Getting more common - Co detectors are now MANDATORY in any living space in Ontario, joining smoke detectors. Many Co detectors are combination natural gas detectors. $63 is about the average cost. Likely more like $40 yankee bucks.
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On 11/12/2014 8:36 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

New York State passed some thing about monoxide detectors, about five to ten years ago. So, it's aparently favored by socialist governments in the US, also.
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At least it is natural gas, which is lighter than air and dissipates, instead of propane which pools on the floor until it reaches an ignition source.
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On Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:36:54 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Years ago my brother gave me a CO detector for my birthday. He always finds good things to buy, that I don't even realize would be good**
I don't remember how the problem started. but the loud CO alarm woke me up one night. I opened the window and turned off the oil furnace. It was a cold night, and after a while I was torn whether to shut the window again, so I could go to sleep. But I didn't want the big sleep.
The alarm wasn't alarming, but I think I had a slight headache and didn't want to take chances. But it was getting cold quickly. After 20, 25 minutes I shut the window and went back to sleep.
Next day called the furnace guy. He took off the 6" stove pipe leading to the chimney. A two-inch doughnut made of nothing but soot!!!. Leaving only 2 inches in the middle for the exhaust. That's 1/4 the intended cross-section.
BTW, there's a story running around that oil furnaces can't make CO. NOT true.
**He also gave me an electronic stud finder. My brother doesn't do home repairs. I wonder how he even thought of that. My reaction was, I'll never use it, but I used it over and over and over agains.

Wow. The difference has grown. Last I noticed, I think 93c US was a
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wrote:

It's more than the difference in the buck (right now in the 88 cent range).A lot of that type of stuff is just plain cheaper in the USA even taking exchange into consideration. I guess having a market ten times the size of the Canadian market has something to do with it??
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On Wed, 12 Nov 2014 22:51:50 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Hmmm. I guess there's a lot about marketing and economics that I don't know.
I know a lot of electronics products made in Japan, or at least made by Japanese companies in countries near them, are cheaper in the US than in Japan. But I thought that had to do with Japanese taxes or something.
(I don't know what prices are like in China, or how many Chinese can afford to buy their products, even at US prices.)
I would think one could treat Canada as any 30 million person section of the US. Most chains in the US don't cover the whole country, or if they do like the mail-order catalog, I mean webpage, of Sears, they are still just one of many buyers. .
Does NAFTA only affect things made in the US, Canada, and Mexico, and not how Chinese or Japanese companies exporting here elate to us?
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