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is this normal -? about natural gas  RSS feed

 
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the kind you get out of the ground that is  never had a place with more than a propane water heater and my new 'homestead' has a gas stove, three gas flame heaters and a gas water heater. my husband thinks its just the way the house smells but I think I smell gas everytime I go in. especially by the stove. we turned off the supply directly to the stove but I still smell it. I do tend to be ultra sensitive to gas and smoke smells especially and I am little paranoid about the gas stove. is it normal to have some gas smell?
 
steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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The smell is something that is added in so you can tell if you have a leak.  The actual gas is supposed to be odorless.

Do you have a natural gas pipe coming to your house?
 
Leah Sattler
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yes of course, it has a gas firplace, gas heaters in the bathrooms and teh stove is gas teh gas comes in the house on the west side but the meter is 1/2 mile away (supposedly) the old owners said that we could pay about $4000 to tap directly into the line and get free gas forever. if the gas company had known they were going to build there soon they would have given them free gas when they ran the big pipe through. geez I hope that thing doesn't blow.  my current theory is that since we have a major gas line running under the property that we are closer to the source and closer to wherever they add the smell and it hasn't dissipated as much as is typical in most gas houses I have been in where it may have had to travel several hundred miles before reaching the house  . i know its not unusual to smell it near a meter but it is annoyingly obvious in the house to me  .

we walked through the closest hardware store on the weekend and my husband and I both stopped looked at each other and said 'there's that smell'. we looked around and realized we were standing under the gas heaters near the entrance. I am totally convinced that is what I smell in the house.

it may just be part of life on top of/near a giant natural gas pocket.
 
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I grew up in a house with natural gas, and we NEVER, EVER smelled it.

Call the gas company IMMEDIATELY and report it.  If they say they can't get there for a few days, call the fire department and ask what to do in the meantime. They may be able to put a burr under the gas company's saddle.

Keep a couple of windows open.

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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I'm definitly calling the gas company today. had to get to a computer to look up who it was first though as I had already forgot the name of the provider!! being without a home puter reveals how spoilt I am    when I arrived yesterday I had to open windows and doors because I couldn't stand to be in there it was so strong. it is fine unless the house is closed up for hours.
 
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I am really curious to hear what is found out! That smell would really annoy me, especially on a migraine day, when my sense of smell is hypersensitive.
 
paul wheaton
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FIY--Whenever you have a smell from nat. gas, one way to check for leaks, is to use shaving cream on each connector-it bubbles if there's a leak.

Sometimes its just a matter of tighting the connectors.

Leigh
 
Leah Sattler
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cool tip! the soapy water trick wasn't as easy as it sounded. probably easier in a open area. shaving cream might stick better and be easier to see under the stove. I keep the stove turned off when I am not using it and it doesn't bother me near so much. I have forgoten it a few times and not noticed so I must be adapting to the smell some. 
 
                              
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Leah Sattler wrote:
cool tip! the soapy water trick wasn't as easy as it sounded. probably easier in a open area. shaving cream might stick better and be easier to see under the stove. I keep the stove turned off when I am not using it and it doesn't bother me near so much. I have forgoten it a few times and not noticed so I must be adapting to the smell some. 



You still need to get the gas company out there to check and repair any leaks you find.  It could as easily be a cracked pipe as a loose fitting. It could gas the whole lot of you or cause an explosion. Leaking gas is dangerous.

Leigh
 
pollinator
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take some water mixed with dish soap and put it on all of the areas of the pipe where there was a joint..watch for bubbles..that is how they check for gas leaks.

if you smell it..and the oven isn't on..it is not good.

it can make you very ill.
 
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I know old topic but any update? Curiosity is getting the best of me on what it was.
 
Leah Sattler
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gas company guy came out. we are less then 1/4 mile from where the smell is put in the gas. so it is very very strong smelling in the area. it apparently disipates somewhat as it goes. apparently even the tiniest amounts are detectable by me. he did an unofficial check of the stove with soapy water and it was fine. I still keep the gas turned off to it because I am paranoid.
 
Gwen Lynn
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That strong smell would be the biggest reason I'd keep the stove turned off. Maybe I'd get used to it...I dunno. When I have a migraine (with nausea) that smell would put me over the edge for sure. I'm ultra sensitive to smell when my head is trying to explode!
 
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my bro in law got a teaspoon of  methyl mercaptan on his coat at work. he smelled like gas for weeks months
 
Leah Sattler
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it appears I have become used to it to some extent. I forget to turn it off more and more. but then a walk past the range to the pantry brings me a whiff and off it goes again. when I first moved in I could smell it when I walked in the door if the house was locked up for any length of time (I was the only one who could) but now I don't. I only smell it by the stove. some smells in general can bother me and a headache only makes me more sensitive also. locking me in an elevator with a perfumy person is torture.

if I got that stuff on me I think I would have to scrub my hide off to remove it! it would drive me crazy.
 
Gwen Lynn
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I must say, I do love my gas stove. Wouldn't trade it for anything else. The little blue flames comfort me. The weather really didn't allow us to enjoy our fire pit this year. Either too wet or (now) too cold!


Ugh...perfume. My mother used to wear this really strong, old lady perfume. So I gave her some that somebody gave me, thinking it would be an improvement. It's not AS bad...if only she wouldn't put it on with a paint roller! Geeze! 
 
pollinator
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In my experience, it is very common to smell a gas leak in a house, and not be able to find it.

The odor is one of the stronger-smelling odors that might come from a rotting corpse; the gas company sometimes finds leaks in long-distance pipelines by watching for vultures overhead. It is possible that a rodent in the walls is the source of the odor.

A neighbor and good friend of mine with a...let's say "mystical"...point of view, had a theory that this smell was mostly a matter of anxiety. I'm much more of a believer in objective reality than he, but figured I'd mention it because I've found his perspective valuable before.
 
Brenda Groth
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your gas company should do a leak test for you
 
Gwen Lynn
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Leah Sattler wrote:
when I walked in the door if the house was locked up for any length of time (I was the only one who could)



I definitely noticed the smell when we helped you move in, and the house had been sealed up. I haven't noticed it during subsequent visits, though.
 
Leah Sattler
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Brenda Groth wrote:
your gas company should do a leak test for you



the gas guy (I'm sure he loves being called that :lolwas out anyway to show me where the meter was.....two doors and 10 acres down on someone elses property in the middle of an untended pasture........  ..... he also showed me how to work the fireplace which came with no instructions. I expressed my concern about the stove and he unofficially checked it out and didn't find anything wrong. its apparently quite a fiasco if you call the gas company out to do a leak check. when there isn't likely anything wrong. I want to leave well enough alone whenever possible.....I have enough cans of worms around here

joel - that makes alot of sense. rotten corpse smell ought to induce a bit of anxiety from an instinctive point of view.... it does me
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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well our OVEN will smell when the gas comes on as it has a glow plug to turn it on ..but generally nothing else smells much..occasionally the range burners will quickly smell and then dissapate when we use it..

maybe your nose is sensitive to it..but i can understand your concerns..our neighbor's propane tank smells when you walk past it too
 
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