Best Methane Gas Leak Detector (for the Home)

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Best Methane Gas Leak Detector (for the Home)

Methane gas is a gas commonly found leaking in homes. Potential leaking can be found and monitored using a methane gas leak detector, combustibles detector, or natural gas leak detector. Methane gas has the potential to be hazardous, so carefully paying attention to and monitoring any leaks is key for optimal safety. In particular, homeowners and landlords should be particularly watchful of methane gas leaks. Certain industries involving natural gas extraction should also take care to prevent methane gas leaks.

Pros

Cons

  • Methane gas leak detectors are not very expensive.
  • Methane gas is potentially harmful and may lead to explosions if not monitored properly. Methane gas leak detectors can help to solve this problem.
  • Methane gas leak detectors can be purchased as a natural gas detector, EX LEL or combustibles gas detector.
  • Methane gas leak detectors have a limited lifespan, typically under 10 years.
  • Methane gas leak detectors may be unable to detect other common gases of concern such as hydrogen sulfide, which increases the chances of false alarms.

What is Methane Gas?

Methane gas is both colorless and odorless. It is produced in both nature and human industrial activities, such as in the extraction of natural gas. It is composed of the molecule CH4 that is combustible and a frequent greenhouse gas contributor. Methane gas, is also known as natural gas and a very important fossil fuel source for the home (oven and cooktop) and business.

Is Methane Gas the Same as Natural Gas?

Yes and No.

Methane gas is not technically the same as natural gas but natural gas, mostly is composed on methane, along with other gases such as ethane, propane, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. But the main consistent gas in natural gas is methane.

natural gas leak detector

Is Methane Gas Dangerous?

Yes.

High concentrations of methane gas can produce dangerous health symptoms in homeowners and others who come into contact with it. Additionally, methane gas leaks have the potential to cause hazardous and deadly explosions that have been documented in the past.

What are Methane Gas Leak Symptoms?

Methane gas leaks can produce a number of symptoms in those who inhale high concentrations, thereby displacing oxygen in the body. Such symptoms may include, Increase in heart rate, Rapid breathing, Dizziness, Decrease in alertness, Weakness, Nausea, Convulsions, Coma, and Death.

Is There a Home Test for Methane Gas?

Yes.

The best way to test for methane gas in the home is to purchase a methane gas detector and, for monitoring methane gas at all times, homeowners should look to purchase a fixed gas detector that has the capacity to be mounted to a wall.

What is a Methane Gas Leak Detector?

A methane gas leak detector, or a methane detector, is a piece of sensing equipment designed to monitor the presence of methane gas in a given environment. Typically, these devices provide accurate and quick information on the presence of methane gas. Many are designed using a laser light system for detection.

gas leak detectors

What is the Best Methane Gas Leak Detector?

There are several excellent choices for a methane gas leak detector for the home. They may include the following:

What are the different types of Gas Leak Detectors?

Yes there are. They can be divided up into three main groups:

Handheld Gas Leak Detectors

These are leak detectors that are made to be held and used to find gas leak in pipes, appliances, gas connectors. They typically have a gooseneck, or are pen type design. Used by plumbers, landlords, homeowners, technicians and many others.

 

Fixed Gas Leak Detector using 110V

These are devices that are fixed within the indoors to the ceiling. Home, Business or RV, and used to alarm if the gas has accumulated from the gas unintentionally being left turned ON (i.e., oven left ON). Used by homeowners, landlords, campers, RV owners.

Personal Protection Methane Gas Leak Detector

These are devices made to be fixed to your man, clipped to your shirt or belt and will alarm if methane levels are too high. These devices are often used by employees working in the oil and gas industry or where methane is used in an industrial setting.

How Much Does a Methane Gas Leak Detector Cost?

In general, a natural gas leak detector or methane gas leak detector may cost anywhere between $50 and $300, depending on the quality of the device and its total capabilities.

Have There Been Any Explosions from Methane Gas Leaks?

Yes. In fact, there have been a number of explosions caused by methane gas leaks. Some examples include the following:

  • In 2020, investigators suspected that methane gas leak had caused the explosion of a home in Signal Hill.
  • In 2018, a methane gas leak explosion at a fracking site in Ohio ultimately led to the evacuation of a number of individuals residing in a 1-mile radius of the explosion.
  • In 2019, a methane gas leak explosion in a sewer caused a car fire and caused people to flee the scene in the French Quarter. 

methane gas detector

How Does a Methane Gas Leak Detector Work?

Methane gas leak detectors function by monitoring the level and concentration of methane gas in a given environment. Once the detectors monitors a level of gas that is higher that what it is programmed to deem normal, it alerts the user of the unusually high presence of gas.

How Do I Use a Methane Gas Leak Detector?

With a mounted methane gas leak detector, homeowners should take care to mount the devices in an appropriate area closer to the ceiling for best results. With a natural gas sniffer, homeowners should properly get the device running before using the nozzle to identify a gas leak in an environment where a methane gas leak is suspected.

How Do You Detect a Methane Gas Leak?

There are a number of methods to detect a methane gas leak, however the most effective and proper method is to use a methane detector or a combustibles detector. Other less effective methods include observing a sulfur/rotten egg smell, hearing a whistling/hissing noise, checking the stove, or conducting a soapy water test.

How Long Do Methane Gas Leak Detectors Last?

Many methane detectors and natural gas detectors are capable of lasting for five or more years. As such, homeowners and landlords should be sure to replace them as needed so that the devices can continue to do their job as they are designed to do so.

Is a Methane Gas Leak Detector the Same as a Combustible Gas Leak Detector?

In most cases, yes.

A combustible gas leak detector is used to monitor the presence of a variety of combustible gases, including methane. However, these devices are not specifically tailored to methane gas detection. On the other hand, a methane gas leak detector is specifically tailored to methane gas detection, but may not be able to detect other combustible gases.

Due to the distinctions between these two gas sensors, it is imperative that homeowners looking to purchase a gas leak detector read the specs for each device. This will ensure that a detector that detects the desired gas is purchased.

Who Uses a Methane Gas Leak Detector?

Some typical users of gas leak detectors include:

Home Owners and Landlords

Homeowners and landlords may find need for a methane detector if they own appliances or suspect gas leaks from pipes or connections. A gas leak detector would be a useful tool to pin point suspected gas leaks.

Plumbers, Technicians, HVAC, and Other Professionals

Professionals including plumbers, engineers, technicians, HVAC technicians, and more may come into contact with methane gas, so combustible gas leak detectors can help them find methane gas leaks.

Livestock Owners and Agricultural Workers

Livestock owners and agricultural workers frequently work in operations that have the potential to release methane gas into the environment.

Business and Workplace

Many businesses such as restaurants have natural gas burning appliances, cooktops, ovens and heaters. Gas leaks are common especially in location that are old and aged.

methane gas leak detector

Do I Need a Methane Gas Leak Detector?

Maybe. If you have a gas leak, and want to confirm its location, a gas leak detector may be appropriate. Calling a plumber or your gas company is also a option.

If you are a homeowner or other professional who has the potential to use and come into contact with methane gas, yes.

Where Should a Methane Gas Leak Detector be Located?

A methane gas leak detector should be located close to the ceiling if it is meant to be mounted for a sustained duration of time. This is because methane gas is lighter than air, so it will sit above the air and thus be present closer to the ceiling than the floor.

For locating gas leaks using a gooseneck like gas leak detector, place the sensor along suspected locations and run it slowly around different locations. Cross-winds, ventilation and turbulence effects all play a critical role in dilution physics, which will impact the speed of detection. Hence, the importance in obtaining a gas leak methane detector that reads parts per million resolution.

Will a Methane Gas Leak Detector Detect Natural Gas?

Yes.

Natural gas is mostly composed of methane gas. Other combustible gases are also included, therefore a gas leak detector using a pellister sensor or non-specific semiconducting oxide material will detect all combustibles within the natural gas.

How Do I Select a Methane Gas Leak Detector?

To purchase a methane gas leak detector, there are several factors that are particularly important to research.

Length of Time it Will Last
  • Different detectors possess varying battery life lengths.
  • The expiration dates of devices can vary, typically with most falling between 5 and 10 years.
Gas Type
  • Different detectors have the capacity to detect different types of gases.
  • Typically, the more gases a detector is able to monitor, the more expensive the device becomes. This is not true for all devices, however.
Sensitivity
  • Greater sensitivity is preferred, as this will allow a more accurate reading of the presence and location of methane gas. Ensure your gas leak detector has part per million sensitivity - and not just %LEL.

 

gas leak detector methane

How Reliable Are Methane Gas Leak Detectors?

Effective and reliable methane gas leak detectors have the capacity to detect low levels of gases, even down to 50 ppm or less. The Forensic Detectors' device lasts over 5 years and employs high quality Made in Japan semiconducting sensor technology. 

Final Words

  • Methane gas leak detectors are an excellent device to use to monitor the presence of a methane gas leak.
  • Methane gas leaks have the potential to cause a number of harms to humans including health problems and dangerous explosions.
  • Methane gas leak detectors may also be called methane detectors, combustibles detectors, natural gas detectors, natural gas leak detectors, or natural gas sniffers.
  • Methane gas leak detectors are relatively inexpensive, typically have a lifetime between 5 and 10 years, and are reliable.

About the Author

Dr. Koz is the President of FORENSICS DETECTORS, where the company operates from the scenic Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles, California. He is a subject matter expert on gas sensor technology, gas detectors, gas meters, and gas analyzers. He has been designing, building, manufacturing and testing toxic gas detection systems for over 20 years.

gas detector expert

Every day is a blessing for Dr. Koz. He loves to help customers solve their unique problems. Dr. Koz also loves spending time with his wife and his three children going to the beach, grilling burgers, and having a cold beer. 

Read more about Forensics Detectors here.

Email:  drkoz@forensicsdetectors.com
Phone: +1 424-341-3886


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