Water heater problem??? Gas leak in wall?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by taylor2021, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. taylor2021

    taylor2021 New Member

    Oct 13, 2021
    Hi have a 20 year old Bradford White. It is still running well except I detect gas smell intermittently (not every day) in the garage where the unit is and ALWAYS detect gas smell in the bathroom which is located directly above the garage where the water heater is. Every morning and night, at around 10 pm or just in the evening and up to morning hours, the gas smell is very obvious . I have called the gas company and he said nothing registered in the garage or around the connections. He was about to just leave and then I asked why am I smelling gas if he can't detect anything. Then he tried around the controller and it registered weak signal, not enough to shut of gas supply. He said contact a plumber. I first thought the odor from the upstairs was from sewage smell from the toilet ,so I called the plumber to look into it. He changed out the wax rims and there was no back up sewage. That did not stop the gas odor. Now I am going to replace the water heater to see if the problem goes away. But I worry now after reading how everyone still detect gas from the controller even after replacing the heater. Is it possible have gas leak in pipe inside the wall in the upstairs room. Any advise is appreciated. Please help. Thanks in advance.
  2. breplum

    breplum Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Plumbing and heating contractor
    San Francisco Bay Area
    You could have a good plumber do a whole house gas piping test done by plugging all outlets and pressurizing with air and use a sensitive gauge. I still have a mercury manometer, which will detect even a slight leak.
    Most plumbers use a 15 lb gauge with one lb. increments, which is not terribly sensitive, but, over many hours can do the trick.
    A natural gas sniffer which any good plumber will carry and you could even buy a cheap version yourself, usually is only good for exposed locations.
    You really would have to open small holes and push in the sniffer nozzle into a wall.
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  4. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

    Feb 27, 2020
    if its an old school gas meter you can just turn off appliances observe how much spin the meter makes in a few minutes to an hour or so . I'm thinking its not the fuel gas you smell and leaning toward the DWV system.
    I got a real good smell for gas and can smell the faintest of leak. Keep us posted if you got more questions or things you try that help or still don't help you solve it
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