Checking for Propane Gas Leaks: Why Have a Professional Check & When to Schedule

Posted by Chris Kauffman
| August 2016

Used correctly, propane gas is one of the safest fuels for heating.

However, it’s still important to be on guard for propane gas leaks. Since propane vapor can be hazardous, manufacturers add that “propane smell” to alert consumers in the event of a leak.

(In a previous post, we discussed what to do right away if you detect propane smell.)

Propane inhalation can result in propane poisoning, with symptoms that include cough, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and convulsions. If not treated promptly, it can lead to death.

Even more serious, however, is the risk of flammable vapor ignition.

Propane gas leaks can release large quantities of flammable vapor into the home, which can ignite unexpectedly. A small spark from a cigarette, lighted match—or an appliance’s pilot light—can be enough to cause a fire or explosion.

When to Check Your Home for Propane Gas Leaks

Propane gas leaks are rare, but proper precautions are essential.

If you smell propane, it’s important to to take immediate action: Shut off the gas line, leave the area immediately, and report the leak to your propane supplier. If you can't reach your supplier, contact 911 so emergency services can help. Don't return to an area with a gas leak until given the “all clear.”

There are times when you should check for propane gas leaks even if you don’t notice anything out of the ordinary. Any time there’s a disruption in your propane gas service, it is time to look for a leak.

For example:

  • When you purchase a new propane gas tank;
  • When you fill an existing propane gas tank;
  • If a gas tank is jostled, dinged, or damaged.

You might think – if you should check for gas leaks so frequently, why not do it yourself?

This is a common question ... but it’s also one of the most dangerous ones you can ask.

DIY Projects Can Put You at Risk For a Gas Leak

At Kauffman Gas, we make it easy for customers to access the gas leak testing they need. It’s no exaggeration to say that we’ve worked on thousands of different leak tests at different times, all throughout Pennsylvania.

As you might expect, some of these situations uncovered severe leaks.

Just as worrisome, we’ve witnessed many cases where homeowners did their best to conduct a gas leak review – only to put their loved ones and property in serious danger.

For example: We saw one DIY case where the gas line was sawed off and taped using a combo of duct tape and electrical tape. Although we were able to help out in time, this could have ended in disaster at any moment!

The most important thing to know is this: Do-it-yourself leak testing can accidentally disrupt gas lines!

Even if you’re absolutely certain something is wrong with your gas line, don’t try to fix it alone.

Instead, contact the professionals!

Professional Service Means High Safety Standards

With the right preventive maintenance, most people may go their whole propane-using lives without encountering any propane gas leaks. Still, no leak is a good leak!

When you choose professionals for your leak testing and remediation, you can rest assured your gas hookup meets established safety standards. That, in turn, keeps your family safe.

A professional gas leak inspection can uncover underlying problems with the gas line or your propane appliances, helping you prevent future gas leaks. With an amateur approach, you never know what additional problems might crop up later.

At Kauffman Gas, we provide total gas leak testing and safety services. You don’t have to be a current propane gas customer to benefit ... but please, don’t try to do it yourself.

Chris Kauffman

About the Author

Chris Kauffman

Chris is the Vice President of Kauffman Gas. He is the fourth generation of Kauffmans involved in the daily operations of Kauffman Gas. He helps lead the team in delivering propane gas and top quality service to customers in Chester County, Lancaster County and parts of Delaware County, Pennsylvania.