What Causes a Boiler to Smell Like Gas?

Posted on April 18, 2017 in  | Tags:

Once your boiler is installed, it’s likely that you don’t give it a moment’s thought unless you need to alter the timer, when it’s time for an annual service or when it has developed some kind of problem.

Modern boilers are reliable, efficient, quiet and odour-free, so it’s easy to forget that they’re there. However, if you’ve noticed that your boiler has started to emit strange smells, it may be time to contact a professional for a gas boiler service. 

Does your Boiler Smell of Rotten Eggs or Gas?

There are several smells normally associated with malfunctioning boilers; from an eggy-odour, which indicates that there may be bacteria in the system or even a gas leak, to a rotten odour which smells like something has died nearby.

However, if you detect a distinctive gas odour coming from your boiler, what should you do?

The gas odour you can smell comes from the liquid propane fuelling your boiler.

There’s a difference between the rotten egg smell emitted from a boiler, arising from a bacterial problem, and a typical gas smell. The majority of boilers installed today run on natural gas or liquid propane.

Natural gas includes an additive that makes it smell like rotten eggs so that you can detect when you have a gas leak, while liquid propane smells like you would expect gas to smell.

Therefore, if you can smell gas around your boiler, it’s likely to be that liquid propane is leaking from the boiler.

How to Test for a Gas Leak

If you’ve noticed a gas smell coming from your boiler, you can check to see if the gas valve has become loose by spraying the fittings with a mixture of soap and water. If bubbles appear, then the fix is simple and involves tightening up the valve with a wrench.

If you don’t feel confident to carry out this test or if you can still smell gas after you’ve tightened the valve, then it is essential that you call your local boiler engineer and  let a professional take a look.

In any event, it’s always wise to consult registered gas engineers if you think you may have any kind of problem with your boiler. Don’t just rely on your sense of smell.

Some of us have an impaired sense of smell, or the smell of gas might not be obvious due to other odours in the vicinity. It may be that something in the atmosphere is covering up the smell making it almost undetectable.

Regular maintenance of boilers is a must to keep your boiler efficient and safe.

In order to minimise the chance of your boiler developing problems, it’s recommended that you get your boiler serviced at least annually to ensure that it’s operating in a safe and efficient manner.

Furthermore, you should always call a gas engineer promptly if you think that your boiler may have developed a fault. Remember, your safety is paramount, so don’t ignore any unusual smells coming from your boiler.

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