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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Romo-Martinez

Do home inspectors check for Gas Leaks?

One aspect of home inspections that tends to induce anxiety for both buyers and sellers is the presence of a gas leak. Gas companies nationwide emphasize the importance of immediate action in such situations: “If you detect the smell of gas, get out.”

Surprisingly, minor gas leaks are frequently found in older homes, but they can typically be easily addressed by a plumber.

do home inspector check for gas leaks?

Do home inspectors check for Gas Leaks?

Checking appliances and checking for gas leaks is beyond the Standards of Practice scope of a Home Inspection.

According to InterNACHI's Standards of Practice, home inspectors should inspect or test for gas or fuel leaks or indications of leaks. However, neither state regulations nor third-party standards require gas leak detection, so it's not part of a standard home inspection. in other words, A reasonably competent and diligent home inspection is not required to be technically exhaustive.

LEAKAGE ALLOWANCES: The AGA and ANSI STANDARDS allow for 200 cubic centimeter per hour of external gas leakage when pressure of 3/4 PSI is supplied to the gas control valve. These standards also allow 234 cubic centimeters per hour of leakage at 1/4 PSI, through the gas control valve to the main or pilot burners with the gas control valve turned off. (See AGA STANDARD Z21.21) This basically means that some home inspectors using meters are calling out for gas leaks that are within AGA & ANSI standards. It is not unusual to replace a leaky gas valve with another leaky gas valve that is in compliance within these standards.

This is why the smell test for mercaptan (rotten eggs) is the best defense we all have other than contacting the gas company or a qualified professional for regular testing.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):


  • Leave the house immediately.

  • Don’t use your phone or cell phone; call the local utility from outside the dwelling or ask a neighbor to notify the utility call center operator for assistance from the adjacent home.

  • Don’t light a match.

  • Don’t turn on or off a light.

  • Don’t switch on or off anything electrical.

  • Don’t send a text.

It is important to have a "Qualified" professional conduct the inspection of gas lines for leaks, as they are properly trained to carry out this service.

Home Inspectors have a broad knowledge base but are not specialized in heating, electrical, or plumbing, so it is advisable to consult a licensed specialist for such issues.

In case of detecting a gas odor during the inspection, a home inspector should recommend seeking assistance from a "Qualified" specialist to check the gas lines.

Remember, anyone can buy a gas leak detector and wave it around stating that the house was checked. If that was done by a home inspector who was not specifically trained and licensed to perform gas leak detection with properly calibrated equipment, you are typically given a false sense of security.

With that said, going back to the question Do home inspectors check for Gas Leaks? a home inspector might smell gas during a home inspection, then the Inspector may opt for an electronic gas leak detector, commonly known as a gas sniffer. One drawback of relying on a gas sniffer is its high sensitivity, leading to frequent false alarms. For example, if there is new pipe dope present at a connection, the gas detector could trigger a false alert.

Upon discovering a leak with a combustible gas detector, it is essential to verify it by employing a gas leak detection solution; a liquid that bubbles in the presence of a leak. NO bubbles indicates no leak. To make it easier the repair process for the subsequent technician, the report will note the area the leak with a picture and usually accompanied by an arrow pinpointing the exact location of the leak if possible.

The Silent Threat of Gas Leaks

Gas leaks are often not easily detected as gas is colorless and odorless. Without professional detection methods, homeowners may unknowingly be exposed to harmful gases such as carbon monoxide or natural gas, which can have severe health implications if left undetected.

Gas leak detection is important is for several reasons:

1. Safety: The most important reason for gas leak detection is to ensure the safety of the occupants. Gas leaks can be extremely dangerous and can lead to fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Identifying and addressing any gas leaks in the home can prevent these hazards and protect the health and well-being of the residents.

2. Property damage: Gas leaks can also cause significant damage to the property. If left undetected, gas leaks can lead to corrosion of pipes, damage to appliances, and even structural damage to the home. This can result in costly repairs and decrease the value of the property.

3. Legal requirements: In many areas, it is a legal requirement for homes to undergo a gas leak inspection before being sold or rented out. This is to ensure that the property is safe for occupancy and to protect the new occupants from any potential hazards.

4. Peace of mind: Knowing that a home has been thoroughly inspected for gas leaks can provide peace of mind for both the buyer and seller. It can also help to avoid any potential disputes or liability issues in the future.

5. Energy efficiency: Gas leaks can also impact the energy efficiency of a home. Leaks can cause appliances to work harder, leading to higher energy bills. By identifying and fixing any gas leaks, homeowners can save money on their utility bills and reduce their carbon footprint.

If you smell a gas leak, you should contact the utility company immediately.

Sometimes after the previous home owners move, appliances get moved or removed gas lines and other components that were not accessible or of concern can now be in different condition.

gas leak detection home inspection

If you smell gas immediately evacuate the area and when in a safe location, call SoCalGas at 800-427-2200 or 911. SoCalGas can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more info

At Strong Tower Home Inspections, we prioritize your safety. Our certified inspectors are trained to recognize indications of possible leaks, when this indications are noticed the inspector will use advanced tools and techniques to detect this invisible threat and recommend you to a Qualified professional.

Looking for buyers protection home inspection in La Mirada? we can help! Our purpose during a home inspection is to provide the buyer or homeowner with a detailed report of the property's condition, which can help inform their decision-making process. It can also help identify any necessary repairs or maintenance that may be needed. We do Mold Inspections in La Mirada, as well as Sewer Line inspections with camera. 909-784-5033 Strong Tower Home Inspections

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