Bad Smell From the Gas Heater

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Gas emanating from a gas heater contains carbon monoxide gas, which has no smell. However, utility companies add an additive to the gas; smelling the odor of the additive alerts you that a malfunction may have occurred. The additive permeates the air and produces an odor similar to that of rotting eggs, not unlike the smell of sulfur. Ignoring the foul odor may result in death through carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Turn off the gas supply to the heater. Look for the gas supply pipe that enters the room through the wall and carries the gas to the heater. Locate the valve that controls the gas. With the valve in the open position, the valve handles become in line with the pipe. Close the valve to shut off the gas. With the valve closed, the handles of the valve become perpendicular to the pipe. A closed valve shuts off all gas supply to the heater.

  • Open all windows and doors to the room. This will help to bring in a supply of fresh air and increase the movement of air. Currents of air flow will help to disperse the poisonous gas.

  • Leave the room. Go to a location outside and breathe in as much fresh air as you can without making yourself dizzy. Outside air will replace any carbon monoxide your lungs may have absorbed.

  • Call the fuel provider or utility company that provides the gas for your heater and tell them of the problem. They will give you instructions to follow.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase a carbon monoxide detector from a home supply center.
  • Gas that accumulates may explode in the presence of smoking materials.

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  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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