I smell a small natural gas leak in my crawl space. I think it's been that way for several years. Previously I had called the utility company to check. The guy refused to go into the crawl space. Instead, he looked at the gas meter for a few minutes and decided that there is no leak, and left.
Today I went into the crawl space, and again, when I'm near a certain section of the gas pipe I smell gas. So I'm pretty sure there is a leak. The pipes are metal rigid pipe, with a little bit of rust.
I'm thinking DIY repair, but the pipes are rigid and screwed together. In order to remove one section of pipe, I'd have to turn it which would loosen it on one end and tighten it on the other end. Are they designed to be loosen this way, or would I strip the thread on the tighter end? If I can losen the pipe, then I think adding a piece of pipe tape to the thread and screwing it back may do the trick, except that the other end may now start to leak after being overtightened and then loosen again.
If I get a contractor to fix this, what are they most likely to do to fix this?
The house is 20 years old and the gas pipes probably are as well.