Gas cylinders are one of the most common objects in kitchens. Found across Indian households, LPG gas is primarily used for cooking purposes. And now, with the widening scope of the industry, LPG gas is being used in commercial spaces as well as industries.
Although LPG is a safe fuel source, it is still flammable. If not stored or used the right way, leaking Liquified Petroleum Gas can cause fire accidents. A typical cylinder has several parts, that connect it to the burner or oven. Every gas agency recommends that all the components must be safely installed in order to keep accidents at bay.
A cylinder is connected to the burner through a pipe. Often times the pipe can get corroded due to exposure to moisture or chemicals, which makes it more susceptible to leaks. Besides, there can be damage caused by physical impact, which may lead to cracks or punctures in the pipe. Improper or poor installation of gas pipes can also cause leakage of gas. In addition, gas pipes also experience natural wear and tear due to factors like temperature changes or vibration. Gas can even leak through valves and fittings.
If you suspect a gas leak, it is best to call in an experienced person. But how do you detect it when a skilled technician is unavailable? Well, you can do a Soapy Water Test! Yes, it is as easy as it sounds.
The Soapy Water Test is a common method for detecting leaks in LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) systems. It works by applying a solution of water and soap to the area where a leak is suspected. If there is a leak, the escaping gas will create bubbles in the soapy water solution, indicating the location of the leak.
A gas leak is best suspected by a pungent odour that Liquefied Petroleum Gas commonly has. It is an odourant called Ethyl Mercaptan, that is added to the gas to make leaks easier to notice. Although there are several tests to identify gas leaks or faults in the pipes, valves, and fittings, this is perhaps one of the easiest. Follow these steps to carefully perform a Soapy Water Test.
Mix water and a small amount of liquid soap or dish soap in a spray bottle or bucket. A ratio of 1:3 soap to water is ideal to carry out the test.
If you are testing gas lines, you should not do it while keeping the supply on. Hence, turn off the gas supply before starting the test.
Spray or apply the soapy water solution onto the area you want to test, such as a joint or fitting, and watch for bubbles. The soap solution will bubble if there is a gas leak or other fault in the line.
If bubbles appear, you have a leak or other fault. Tighten the fitting or replace any faulty parts to correct the issue. If no bubbles appear, the line is secure.
After the test is complete, remember to rinse the area with water to remove any soap residue.
Please note: The Soapy Water Test should not be used to test for leaks in oxygen lines or other lines that carry flammable or toxic gases.
Irrespective of what you find during the test, if you suspect a leakage, you must call in a technician from your gas agency. Often times, there may be other causes or issues in the gas system, that may get unnoticed by you. As a result, you should ideally get the pipes, fittings, and valves checked from time to time.