How to Check for Gas Leaks in a Furnace

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If your home has a gas leak in your furnace you may not be aware until its too late. Check for gas leaks in a furnace with help from a certified firefighter in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Home Safety Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Gabriel Williams. I'm a certified firefighter in the state of Illinois. Today, we're going to talk about how to check for gas leaks in your furnace. Now gas from your furnace is usually natural gas. Natural gas has an odor to it. That odor isn't the actual gas. It's an additive in the gas called mercaptan that smells like rotten cabbage, or some people think rotten eggs. If you detect that odor in your home, you could potentially have a leak in your furnace or in another gas appliance. Here's what you want to do. If you've recently had work done to your furnace, a lot of times you can have that odor. It kind of lingers in your house for a little bit. Open up some windows, air out your home a little bit, try to get rid of that odor. After you've aired out your home for a little bit, close the windows again and see if you can still detect that odor. If you still smell that odor of rotten cabbage or rotten eggs, you might have a leak. The next thing you could try to do is take a mixture of soap like laundry detergent and a little bit of water, mix it together so it makes a bubbly solution, then take a common paintbrush or any type of brush and rub that solution on the gas fittings that run to your furnace where you suspect the leak might be. If there is a leak, it will create bubbles in that soapy solution that you've put onto the pipe. If you see these bubbles or find a leak, you want to turn your gas off and call a professional to come out and have that repaired or secured. You want to fix that leak as soon as possible. If you don't know how to shut off the gas, then open up some windows so that your home stays aired out and call a professional and have them come and fix that leak and also inform you on how to shut off your gas in case something like this happens in the future. I know some of the stuff seems like common sense but it's only common sense if it's common to you and now it is. Remember, if you're not sure, call a professional and have them come take a look at it. I'm Gabriel Williams and we've been talking about how to check for gas leaks in your furnace.

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