What smells like gas but probably isn't gas?

On 07/12/12 17:03, QuackDuck wrote:

some electrical things smell funny when they're getting a bit burnt/old?

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On 08/12/2012 15:58, george - dicegeorge wrote:

Certainly can. In a former life I was usually first at work and switched on various kit - including an old Laserjet 4. Some days, maybe one in four but without any obvious pattern, it would stink for a while. A strange "organic chemical" smell - towards petrol but not quite.
--
Rod

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On Saturday, December 8, 2012 3:58:52 PM UTC, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

The old ceramic type holders from the 60s & 70s I think although normmaly only smell when they get hot,m but smells more like cats piss IIRC.
The only other thing Students ;-)

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'whisky-dave[_2_ Wrote: > ;2975778']On Saturday, December 8, 2012 3:58:52 PM UTC, > snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:- > On 07/12/12 17:03, QuackDuck wrote: > - > - > - > Hi everyone, I hope you don't mind my first post being a request for- > - > help, but I've been trawling the internet for days and read about > every- > - > website/forum post there is about gas smells in buildings.- > > > > some electrical things smell funny when they're getting a bit > burnt/old?- > > The old ceramic type holders from the 60s & 70s I think although > normmaly only smell when they get hot,m but smells more like cats **** > IIRC. > > The only other thing Students ;-) > - > - > - > - > --
Ah yes, I know that cat pee smell from faulty electrics. Definitely not that. Nah this does smell like cooker/flue gas.
I think it's a very small amount building up during the day, because it disappears quickly when we open the window in the communal hallway when getting home in the evening. If it builds up when no-one is around for that week at Christmas though, that could be bad news. I'm leaving my neighbour a detailed note for the boiler servicing tomorrow - hopefully that will turn up something. If not, assuming we all survive until then, we're moving out in the new year!
--
QuackDuck


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I had to have British Gas out once (in the days before Transco)when I thought I smelt gas, the bloke who came also thought it was gas, but it turned out to be coming from next door where an Asian family lived and was a cooking smell.
There's certainly one spice called asafoetida that really pongs as I remember buying some and everyone at work was commenting on the smell even thought it was inside my rucsack inside two plastic bags!
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On 08/12/2012 17:06, Murmansk wrote:

I smelt gas, the bloke who came also thought it was gas, but it turned out to be coming from next door where an Asian family lived and was a cooking smell.

buying some and everyone at work was commenting on the smell even thought it was inside my rucsack inside two plastic bags!

It is used by ENT consultants to check people who claim to have lost their sense of smell!
When I have consumed a relatively large amount of it (in truth a tiny fraction of a teaspoonful), even I can smell it in my sweat for a day or two after.
--
Rod

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It is not sufficient to test gas pipework.
NG inspectors should insist they test all services. For example supply cable entering via a duct will track a gas leak some distance away from the house into that house. BT damaging an underlying gas pipe in this way led to a large explosion some years back.
This is one reason they dig up many areas to find a leak because it can track - clay is the worst for this, rain opens up clogged areas and the leak can be hundreds of yards away.
Rotting organic material can give a gas smell, but it does not have the same additive. However, vapourised paraffin can have a similar smell - greenhouse & similar burners can create unusual smells. Someone who is not used to the house when walking in can typically spot the smell of a gas leak well, because it is very distinct.
That it has undergone conversion could mean there is pipework no longer connected, this CAN hold a gas smell for some time and only release it occasionally if vented only at the bottom. An example being open at the bottom but still containing lighter than air gas right up through the house.
It is not uncommon for lead gas mains to run under houses, so beware. There can be faults out of sight resulting in occasional release of gas trapped under an otherwise impermeable layer during rain. Gas leaks into the sewer network are very bad news - but usually obvious re a stinky area due to people's soil pipe vents.
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Hi everyone, I just wanted to update to say the problem is now solved. I thought it would be polite to do so, in case anyone finds this discussion in the future while doing a search on the same problem, so they will know how it worked out in the end!
It turns out that the mystery gas smell was in fact the fumes from the flue of my neighbour's boiler downstairs. Since it was already burned (although as discussed there's never perfect combustion) the gas detector guys and our CO alarm never picked it up, and what we smelled was just the unburned chemical additive to make the 'gas smell'. Although the flue fumes had never bothered us before, it started to do so because the boiler was situated in an outdoor shed attached to the back of our building, below where we were smelling the gas. The shed had started falling to bits, and the boiler exhaust had turned really, really rusty (the guy poked a hole in it with a biro pen to demonstrate), so the fumes were coming back inside and travelling up to our flat that way. So our neighbour is rebuilding the shed and has even arranged to get a brand new boiler installed.
So a happy ending, and thank you very much for all the help :)
--
QuackDuck

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Good result and thanks for the update. It's always nice to know the root of a mystery.
--
Tim

"That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
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replying to QuackDuck, Ratman wrote: Having spent more than 21 years in the pest control industry I can assure you that the most likely cause is dead rodents. That said you should always report the smell of gas to the appropriate authority. Absolutely no doubt about it!
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I can remember us getting a very strong pong of gas in our house. We knew it couldn't be mains gas because the nearest gas main is about a mile away, and it was only in our house, not outside or in a neighbour's house.
And yes, it was a dead rat in the loft. Fortunately it had died within arm's length of the edge of the floorboarding because the pillocks who had boarded our loft had glued all the 1x2 metre boards down as well as screwing them down. Since I'd no idea where the smell was coming from, I'd have had to destroy every board in turn by cutting along both sides of the rafter till I found the corpse. Luckily I found it after only searching between a few of the rafters. Dragging it out using a turned--inside-out plastic bag and then triple-wrapping it in more bags was not the nicest job in the world.
Is bottled propane and butane "scented" with similar chemicals (mercaptans, IIRC) as mains gas so leaks can be detected?
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On 11/09/17 18:57, NY wrote:

Yes, the various LPGs are all odourless and have Ethyl Mercaptan added, at least in fuel applications. The Butane used in things like aerosols (since CFCs were banned) is left unodourised. I seem to recall that not everyone can smell Mercaptan. Some say it smells like rotten eggs but not I don't think so.
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I suppose if someone has no sense of smell, they can't smell mercaptans, but to me they smell like a combination of rotten eggs and dogshit.
The only thing that is worse is the chemical that smells of vomit (or rather vomit contains this chemical, hence its smell - let's get cause and effect the right way round). I remember in my year off before university (thirty five years ago - time flies) I worked in a chemistry research lab, and someone was using this chemical (butyric/butanoic acid) - in a well-ventilated fume cupboard. And he dropped the vial that he was extracting it from. Even a few mls, inside a fume cupboard with a large inrush of air, managed to produce a noticeable pong in the lab. And this happened a few minutes before the MD was bringing round a group of VIPs. The MD walked in, retched at the sudden smell, as did all his guests (we'd had a few minutes to get used to it) and spluttered "Is everyone... all right... in here. Has anyone been "ill"?" and ushered the VIPs out again quickly.
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As this one came from the Home owners club interface the rat is probably so old by now that its ceased to smell altogether! Brian
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On 11/09/2017 18:45, Ratman wrote:

In reply to a post from 31 December 2012... can't we just ignore the crap that comes from the super crap that is Homeownershub?
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F

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On 11/09/2017 18:45, Ratman wrote:

Don't you think the smell would have gone away by now?
This might assist you with posting to a newsgroup, albeit through a website: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1855
- If you are sending a reply to a message or a posting be sure you summarize the original at the top of the message, or include just enough text of the original to give a context.
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On 11/09/2017 18:45, Ratman wrote:

Why are you only now replying to a post made FIVE years ago ?.
The date shows very clearly, so you cannot miss it.
Did you suddenly feel bored one day ?.
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replying to QuackDuck, Everglade wrote: This sounds EXACTLY like what we have been experiencing since moving into a completely renovated home last year. We are pretty sure the smell is coming from the cabinets in the kitchen, hallway and bathrooms. Suspect it's from the stain but not positive. As you said, when we leave windows open it quickly leaves. It has a "gassy" smell but isn't gas. It moves around the house being worse sometimes by a door, above the stove, in the hallway... We don't know if it is toxic but it sure smells like it would be. The smell is never in the two rooms of the house that have no new cabinets, so highly likely it's coming from the cabinets. Very hard to pin down because it comes and goes and moves around. If anyone knows what this might be or how to eliminate it, would love to hear.
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On Friday, 22 December 2017 03:44:04 UTC, Everglade wrote:

sometimes rot smells like gas, sometimes not.
NT
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Yeah dead animals, rot, some Fungi, . Maybe its the rotting remains of the designer of the home owners club web site? :-) Brian
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