How to Detect Gas Leak

Finding a gas leak does not always require special tools, and may be easier than you think. Just follow the steps below (while exercising good judgment and caution of course).


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    Safety first - If the system you are looking at has something that burns in (like natural gas or propane), make certain that the area is well ventilated and there is nothing that will make a spark while you do your test.
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    Mix a few tablespoons of dish soap into a container of water.
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    Pressurize the system (turn on the gas, or use an air supply of some kind)
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    Wet down the suspected parts with the soap solution. If you see bubbles form on them, then you have found the leak! This approach will work on tires, inner tubes, gas lines pretty much anything with a gas under pressure inside.


  • A glass will work but if the parts are hard to access, a squeeze bottle with a flexible hose attached can be of big help.
  • Start by testing valves and other fittings as these will most likely be the source of the leak. Also test all of the fittings in the system, as you may have more than one leak. Nothing is more frustrating than putting something back together thinking you were done and finding out there was one more leak you didn't check for after finding the first one.
  • For tires -- remember to check the valve and stem for leaks as well.


  • Explosive gasses can be dangerous in many ways. They can displace oxygen in your air causing you to pass out. Be absolutely certain that you have doors and windows open to vent gases and maintain oxygen levels while you do this test. Professionals use special equipment for monitoring oxygen and hazardous gas levels. If the area you are working in can't be ventilated, it is always better to call in a pro.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Good light
  • Squeeze bottle or brush for application

Article Info

Categories: Home Improvements and Repairs