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Question to any plumbers on the forum


Dreamworkz
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A week or two ago my wife and I have been noticing a slight gas odor coming from our water heater and now every time the water heater kicks on (which is every time we are using hot water i.e washer) the gas odor get worse and worse to the point where we stopped using hot water for the washer and only to take showers. It gets bad to the point where we shut the door to the utility room where the water heater is because it fills the entire upstairs with gas (not bad enough for the carbon monoxide detector to go off.) But it is raising a huge concern, so we have a plumber coming to take a look at it on Friday.

 

This has only been happening recently since we have only lived here for 3 years and the place is only 8 years old and haven't had any problems. It's a townhouse if that helps any. I just want to get specifics for when the plumber gets here and he doesn't screw me over which seems to happen a lot in this day in age. What could be causing this issue? What are some of the things that can be done to fix it? Is there something I can do? Any suggestions would help.

 

Sorry for being so long.

 

 

Dream Workz Auto Detailing using Tapatalk

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Nick, Iam not a plumber per say, but I have never hired one. I have put in several water heaters. And installed my own heater in the garage, which entailed running gas line. Some are scared of this because of the word "gas".

 

Here is what I would do. Go to Home Depot and pick up some of this. I have the product listed in the below link. It is cheap. Go home and apply it to every fitting that you have coming off your gas line to your water heater and watch for bubbles. Even the line that runs off the gas valve to the burner. Should any bubbles show you have a leak. Try tightening any fittings that show bubbles. Don't wrench on something so tight that you over tighten the fitting and strip it out. You may have to pick up some pipe dope as well. I will list that below too. You can get it in a paste form in a can, or in a tape form. In tape form it will be in a yellowish container. Teflon tape for water comes in a blue and white container if that makes sense. If the fitting is fluted, it is just a compression fitting. No tape and no dope. Just compression. If that makes sense I will show a pic of that as well.

 

Better Bubble 8 oz. Gas Leak Detector-65554 at The Home Depot

 

Use this to reseal fittings. You can get it in a smaller size, I believe and it is cheaper than what I have listed here. I have used the tape before, but I prefer the paste.

 

No. 5 16 oz. Pipe-Thread Sealant-25431 at The Home Depot

 

1/2 in. x 260 in. Yellow PTFE Tape-31403D at The Home Depot

 

See pic below showing the tappered fitting that I mentioned above, it is the other side of the male side that is connected to the gas line in below link/pic. If that makes sense. No pipe dope on these fittings, ever. You may need a new line like what I show here they come in a lot of different sizes.

 

1/2 in. FIP x 1/2 in. MIP x 24 in. ProCoat Coated Stainless Steel Gas Appliance Connector with Fittings-CSSD54-24 X10 at The Home Depot

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQQfJcqN7k3_7pEx3YLGyT6pcw-Jpw3LXIUvBvUiDBNUvNEJ_j5No pipe dope on that tapered end, ever. Pipe dope on the right side, not the left. Anything that is tapered like above is compression. There are different sizes, just remember the tapered look and no pipe dope.

 

When reapplying any pipe dope or if you need to replace the line that I show in the above pic. Make sure you shut off your gas. Either at the shutoff where the line comes off the main gas line to the water heater or outside.

 

Water heaters are easy to put in as well. Just ask Mayben. I recently had the joy of replacing both of mine 10 o'clock at night. I have two and one went bad, so I replaced both of them. Really easy. From what your describing you may have a bad gas valve. Or it could just be a loose connection on the line that comes off the gas valve and goes inside the bottom portion of the water heater. Apply that leak detector to the connections that come off the gas valve and go into the water heater as well. If it is your gas valve and your water heater is 8 years old I would just replace it, and not mess with a new gas valve. If it just a loose connection on one of those lines running off the valve, try tightening it. Don't wrench on it hard. Just snug. Try using the leak detector that I show above and see what you get with that. Iam trying to go back to work tomorrow so I may not be able to respond till later in the day. Like 8 at night Mountain time.

 

Another thing that you could try if your nervous about working with gas is call your gas company and see if they can send someone to take a look at it. Be prepared however they may shut your gas off until it is fixed.

Edited by LFairbanks
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Your gas provider WILL come out for FREE and check it for you! They'll tell you right where the issue is.

 

Oh and they'll come out RIGHT NOW!!! lol

 

Chewy has the best advice. I have never seen a gas company fail to come out to check. Every company that I have see has been Quick.

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Your gas provider WILL come out for FREE and check it for you! They'll tell you right where the issue is.

 

Oh and they'll come out RIGHT NOW!!! lol

 

Yup! Do this -- don't mess around with gas if you don't know what you're doing. Call right now if you haven't already.

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Another thing that you could try if your nervous about working with gas is call your gas company and see if they can send someone to take a look at it. Be prepared however they may shut your gas off until it is fixed.

 

If it a simple tightening of something they will more than likely do it for you too.

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The gas company come out this past Saturday and said the water heater isn't venting properly and there's nothing they could do. Thankfully they didn't red tag it, then we would be without hot water. But until the plumber is able to come out (Friday) we are cutting back on using hot water.

 

 

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The gas company come out this past Saturday and said the water heater isn't venting properly and there's nothing they could do. Thankfully they didn't red tag it, then we would be without hot water. But until the plumber is able to come out (Friday) we are cutting back on using hot water.

 

 

Dream Workz Auto Detailing using Tapatalk

 

Take a pic and show us what you have. You should have 1/4 inch slope per foot.

 

That sounds strange that you would have a gas smell (rotten egg) due to a venting issue. The gas is burnt by the time it enters the flue and is by then odorless carbon monoxide. I would be questioning their explanation.

Edited by LFairbanks
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If you are smelling the "rotten egg" smell please turn off the gas valve on your heater. I AM a licensed plumber and the venting issue has no bearing on the gas smell. I will not try to diagnose the problem except to say that if you smell "rotten egg" you have a gas leak, BOTTOM LINE.

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We had it fixed and inspected today. The plumber just cleaned it out and then replaced a switch on the inside that lets in fresh air which was the problem.

 

Thanks for all your help guys.

 

 

Dream Workz Auto Detailing using Tapatalk

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We had it fixed and inspected today. The plumber just cleaned it out and then replaced a switch on the inside that lets in fresh air which was the problem.

 

Thanks for all your help guys.

 

 

Dream Workz Auto Detailing using Tapatalk

 

Glad you got it fixed. Fresh air from outside, or a louvered door is important.

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