Best Propane Gas Leak Detector (RV, Grill, BBQ)

Combustible Gas Detector, Combustibles Meter, Combustion Analyzer, Gas Leak Detector -

Best Propane Gas Leak Detector (RV, Grill, BBQ)

A propane gas leak detector is a device used to detect and monitor the presence of a combustible gas leak; in this case, it specifically seeks the presence of propane gas. These devices are useful when using propane as a fuel source for the heating food, a room, or an RV and camper. They can protect individuals from propane inhalation and help in identifying propane gas leaks. For personal and non-commercial purposes, propane gas leak detectors may be particularly useful in homes that use propane for heating or cooking, RVs that use propane for heating, or grills that use propane for cooking. Many rural homes also use propane as a fuel source.

Pros

Cons

  • Most propane gas leak detectors are relatively inexpensive, at under $100.
  • Propane gas leaks have the potential to cause explosions. The use of a propane gas leak detector can prevent such explosions and save lives.
  • Many combustibles detectors that are capable of detecting the presence of propane gas are also able to detect other combustible gases such as natural gas.
  • Propane gas leak detectors last between 5 to 7 years.
  • Sometime tricky to find small leaks. Need to trace the line slowly to allow enough detection time.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors are not designed to detect propane gas. Also, propane gas leak detectors do not detect carbon monoxide.

What is a Propane Gas Leak Detector?

A propane gas leak detector is a monitoring device used to detect a propane gas leak in a given environment. These detectors monitor a certain concentration of propane gas in the air. Typically, they are able to emit an audible alarm when there is a propane gas leak detected.

What is the Best Propane Gas Leak Detector?

The best propane gas leak detectors are the following?:

What is Propane Gas?

Propane gas is a nontoxic, odorless, colorless gas that is typically stored as a liquid. It is used for a number of applications including cooking, fuel, and heating. It is generally considered a "clean" gas in comparison to gasoline. Propane is the gas typically used at home for grills and outdoor heaters. They come in tanks or cylinders.

grill propane gas leak detector

Is Propane Gas Combustible?

By definition, a combustible gas in one that ignites when exposed to and mixed with oxygen. Propane gas itself is flammable, thus meaning that it is a combustible gas.

Is Propane the Same as Natural Gas?

No.

Propane is not the same as natural gas. Natural gas is a fuel source composed of butane, methane, ethane, and propane. Propane is propane gas on its own with no additional gases mixed into it.

Natural gas is the gas fuel typically used in the home, when provided by the city. However, in many rural situations when natural gas line infrastructure does not exist, larger home propane tanks are used to supply the home with propane fuel for cooking, heating and hot water use.

propane gas leak meter

Does a Propane Gas Leak Detector work for Natural Gas?

Yes it does.

Propane gas leak detectors are combustibles gas leak detectors, which means they are sensitive to combustible gases such as natural gas, which is mostly made up of methane gas.

Is Propane the Same as Methane Gas?

No.

Propane gas and methane gas are two different gases. They are both used for similar applications (fuel source) but are different hydrocarbons as shown from their chemical formulas - propane is C3H8 and methane is CH4.

Can a Propane Gas Leak Detector sniff LPG?

In most cases, yes.

LPG stands for liquified petroleum gas that may be propane, butane, or isobutane. Therefore, all propane is an LPG but not all instances of LPG is it propane.

Where Does Propane Come From?

The U.S. Department of Energy notes that propane is produced when natural gas is being processed and the liquid components are separated and recovered. It can also be produced during crude oil production.

Renewable propane, chemically identical to typical propane, comes from the production of biomass-based feedstocks.

Is Propane Gas Dangerous?

Propane gas is considered dangerous hence the reason we want to detect it if it is leaking. While it is nontoxic, it can displace oxygen in the body and in a confined space, making it difficult to breathe when exposed to large concentrations.

In addition, it has the capacity to produce large and life-threatening explosions.

What are Propane Gas Leak Symptoms?

Symptoms of propane gas inhalation are wide-ranging, especially depending on the severity of exposure. Such symptoms may include the following:

 Low Exposure
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Cough
  • Irregular heartbeat
High Exposure
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Convulsions
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Heart failure
  • Asphyxiation

  

Is A Propane Gas Leak Detector the same as a Combustible Gas Leak Detector?

Yes it is.

What Does a Propane Gas Leak Detector Do?

The primary goal of a propane gas leak detector is to sense a propane gas leak and notify users of the gas leak using gas leak detection. This typically takes the form of some sort of alarm or beeping. In some cases, an actual quantitative reading of the actual propane (combustible) concentration is displayed, typically a premium feature, but allow the user to get a better understanding of the concentration in an area that is contaminated by propane gas. The propane concentration is displayed in the ppm scale, which stands for parts per million.

How Expensive are Propane Gas Leak Detectors?

Propane detectors have a large range of cost, depending on the device. Many devices, including the Forensic Detectors' Gas Leak Detector, can be found for under $100, while others can get quite expensive and be close to $500.

How Long Do Propane Gas Leak Detectors Last?

Propane gas leak detectors can last roughly 5-7 years. As such, they are a worthwhile investment for the cost that most people will pay for them. For RV owners in particular, it is recommended to get on a schedule for replacement so that the detectors are not forgotten about and left in an unusable condition for too long.

Who Uses Propane Gas Leak Detectors?

Home Owners and Landlords

Homeowners and landlords who have propane appliances on their property may need a propane gas leak detector.

Campers and RVs Owners

Owners of RVs and campers use propane appliances and hence may need to use a Propane gas leak detector 

Grilling and BBQ

Grill owners may need a propane gas leak detector to find leaks in their gas lines and connectors.

Plumbers, Technicians and HVAC

Trades people like plumbers, engineers, technicians, HVAC technicians also readily use propane and combustible gas leak detectors to find propane gas leaks.

Boating

Propane appliances are often used on boats for cooking and heating.

Ice Fishing, Camping and Recreation

Fishermen going ice fishing, campers and recreational folks also use propane for heating and cooking and may also use a gas leak detector to find any propane gas leaks.

How Do I Use a Propane Gas Leak Detector?

Most propane gas leak detectors have a gooseneck. At the end of the gooseneck the gas sensor it attached. Typically there is a warm up period. Once complete, the unit is ready to use. When the detector sniffs propane and others combustibles it alarms, beeps, or shows the ppm quantity. Take your time, be patient as small leaks are sometimes hard to detect. If moving the sensor to fast over a leak, it will not be detected.

Are Natural Gas and Propane Gas Leak Detectors the Same?

Natural gas and propane gas leak detectors are often synonymous with one another. Yet, some devices do have the chance to be specific to detecting propane only, so potential buyers should take care to make sure that the propane detector they are looking to purchase can, in fact, detect the gas they are most interested in monitoring.

Propane heater

Will a Propane Leak Set off a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

No.

Carbon monoxide detectors are not equipped to detect the presence of propane. Thus, a detector designed to monitor the explicit presence of propane is necessary to detect a potential leak.

Do I Need a Propane Gas Leak Detector?

Plumbers and HVAC professional carry them often. They are less likely to be found by the average homeowner, but more popular with RV owners. 

Where Should a Propane Gas Leak Detector Be Located?

If the propane gas leak detector being set up is not a portable detector used to detect the exact location of a leak, it should be located just a few inches from the floor. These type of propane gas leak detectors are typically fixed location, and are plugged into wall power. This is because propane is a heavier gas and will rest closer to the ground. This is how permanent combustibles detectors should be set up.

 

Have There Been Any Propane Gas Leak Explosions?

Yes.

In fact, propane gas leak explosions are not terribly rare and many have been documented in recent years. Several examples from 2020 include the following:

What Does a Propane Leak Smell Like?

Propane is typically described as having a strong, repugnant smell that many describe as reminiscent of either rotten eggs or skunk spray. Some of these scents are actually purposefully added to the propane to better permit people to sense a propane gas leak by scent and react accordingly. In fact, propane itself has an odor threshold of 1500 ppm.

However, scent alone is not always enough to detect a leak, emphasizing the benefit that propane gas leak detectors provide users.

Final Words

  • Propane gas leak detectors may go by other names as well, such as propane detectors, combustibles detectors, or gas leak detectors
  • Propane gas leaks can be potentially hazardous and cause life-threatening explosions.
  • Propane gas leak detectors can help find the physical location of the propane gas leak to be fixed.

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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