Best Gas Leak Detectors of 2021 (Pricing & Features)
This side-by-side table will make it easy to compare and contrast different gas sniffers. Check out the current pricing deals as well as what to expect from each of the products.
|Provider||Total Score||Price||Battery Backup||Gases Detected||Headphone Jack||Min. Sensitivity||Portable||Alarm Sounds||Weight||Warranty||Best For|
|UEi||9.6/10||$146||No||butane, benzene, halon, methane, natural gas, propane, toluene||Yes||50 ppm||Yes||Yes||15 oz.||1 yr||Overall Value|
|SGILE||9.5/10||$24||No||ethane, ketone, methane, propane, toluene||No||50 ppm||Yes||Yes||8.8 oz.||1 yr||Budgets|
|EG||9.3/10||$30||No||butane, methane, natural gas, propane||No||50 ppm||No||Yes||7.4 oz.||2 yrs||Simple Placement|
|RIDGID||9.2/10||$139||No||butane, ethanol, hydrogen, methane, propane||No||40 ppm||Yes||Yes||1.2 lbs.||1 yr||Loud Alerts|
|Techamor||9.0/10||$33||No||ethanol, methane, propane||No||50 ppm||Yes||Yes||8.8 oz.||1 yr||Response Time|
|Amprobe||9.0/10||$149||No||methane, propane||No||35 ppm||Yes||Yes||1 lb.||1 yr||Quiet Monitor|
|Signstek||8.9/10||$40||No||CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, bromine, chlorine, ethylene oxide, fluorine||No||50 ppm||Yes||Yes||1.3 lbs.||1 yr||Refrigerant Sensor|
|General Tools||8.9/10||$37||No||butane, liquid petrol gas, methane, propane||No||200 ppm||Yes||Yes||5.4 oz.||1 yr||Natural Diffusion|
|Corentium||8.8/10||$130||No||Radon||No||1 pCi/L||Yes||Yes||1.6 oz.||1 yr||Radon|
|MTI||8.8/10||$47||No||Propane||No||25% LEL||No||Yes||7.2 oz.||1 yr||Travel|
Types of Natural Gas Detectors
While the term ‘natural gas detector’ is used for most gas sniffers, not all of them are the same. One primary distinction is whether the tools are fixed or easily transportable. Here’s a closer look at what that means.
Another way to describe this type of gas leak detector is “mounted.” That’s because it sits on a mounting cradle in a fixed position at home, usually in the basement. They rely on battery power and are quite useful for industrial clients, too. When placing one of these products, ensure that it’s near appliances that emit gases. This will allow for earlier detection and the fastest response.
This type of natural gas detector is especially convenient because individuals can carry it around with them. These handheld devices rely on batteries and are commonly used by mechanics or technicians.
This way, they can go from room to room and monitor for leaks and potential dangers. Since they’re compact, they are great gadgets for homeowners, too, especially those who like to do DIY household projects.
How Gas Leak Detectors Work
Before deciding which item to try, it’s good to go over the basics of what this gadget does. As the name suggests, these handy appliances monitor the area for any gas that may be imperceptible to the human senses.
- A lot of gas leak detector models have a visual display as well as detection sound alarms.
- They check for signs of combustible, flammable, and toxic gas. These devices can also detect oxygen depletion through different sensors (electrochemical, infrared point, semiconductor, ultrasonic).
- If gas is present, the visual display will show a reading of the sensitivity level, as well as emit an indicator sound.
- For maximum efficiency, people should test the device from time to time.
Where to Install a Gas Detector
Next, clients should know where to install a gas leak detector. If it’s not in the right spot, then it may not perform properly and could pose a greater risk to the family.
Here are some helpful tips.
- Place the gas leak detector in a room that contains a natural gas appliance, such as a stove. This may require multiple products to accommodate different rooms.
- Affix it to a spot on the wall that’s about six inches from the ceiling but within 10 feet of the appliance. Try to keep it away from windows to avoid interference from airflow.
Features to Consider When Purchasing a Gas Leak Detector
It’s not enough to choose a gas leak detector at random. Rather, individuals should consider a few key factors to ensure that they’re purchasing something that will keep them safe and protected. It also helps to read feedback from customers on Amazon and other sites. Here are the top eight things to look out for when shopping around.
This is a convenient feature that allows customers to start using their gas leak detector right away. They simply take it out of the package, turn it on, and the device sets itself right all by itself. An automatic calibration process also removes the risk of human error during set-up.
Just about every gas leak detector has some kind of alert sound that makes it easy to distinguish between safety and gas detection. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing will want to get a device with flashing lights, too.
3. Indicator Light
Speaking of which, a flashing indicator light will make it clear that something is amiss. When it's combined with an audible alert, families are sure to notice even if they're in a different room. Try to find a product that also has light-up battery indicators that signal when it's time to switch them out.
4. Fixed or Handheld
Think back to the descriptions of fixed and handheld devices. Both have their strengths, so it's often a matter of preference for homeowners since they don't need it for their jobs. Larger houses may want a transportable one to avoid the expense of putting a mounted one in multiple rooms.
5. Gas Type
Depending on the model and the price, a gas leak detector may protect against one or two combustible gases, or it may provide more comprehensive coverage. Clients should know which gases their appliances use so that they know what kind of leakage the property is susceptible to.
6. Probe Flexibility/Length
Fortunately, most of these gadgets adhere to standard flexibility and length requirements. That said, if choosing one that isn't on this list, be sure to check for these measurements. It will impact how effective and far-reaching the device is.
The measurement of sensitivity is another industry standard and tends to be 50 to 70 ppm (parts per million). For reference, most people don't experience adverse side effects from 70 ppm of carbon monoxide. However, sensitive populations or heart patients could fall ill within that range and may need higher sensitivity.
8. Visual Display
Most people appreciate visual aids, so they may like a gas leak detector that maps out the leak on a little screen. This makes it easy to see which gas is detected, how far away it is, and what the ppm is.
How Long Does a Leak Detector Last?
This depends on a few different things, so it will vary by household. For instance, if it’s a cheap device made of shoddy materials, don’t expect it to last too long. That aside, consider the placement of the accessory.
If it is sitting in a dank basement or garage, then it could fall victim to environmental damage, especially if it’s cheap. Fortunately, the 2021 models in this review are standard quality and should last a few years.
Do All Gas Leak Detectors Detect Carbon Monoxide?
The short answer is no. Different models and brands detect a wide range of things, but that doesn’t mean that carbon monoxide will be on the list. If this is important to families, then they should check the specifications of the product before they buy it. Also, remember that lots of properties have CO2 monitors already.
What Should I Do If I Find a Gas Leak In My Home?
While a gas leak detector can set a person’s mind at ease, there’s always the possibility of facing actual leakage. If this happens, remain calm, but jump into action.
- First, open the windows in the house, even if they’re in a different room than the device.
- Get out and wait outside.
- Call the local utility provider and inform them of the situation. They’ll send someone over.
Isn't There a Way to Check For Leaks Using Soap Bubbles?
It might be hard to believe, but there’s a DIY experiment that uses soap and water to check for gas leakage.
- Start with a quart of clean, room-temperature water.
- Next, add about three tablespoons of dish detergent or a similar soap.
- Put in two teaspoons of liquid glycerin to make the mixture last longer. This makes it easier to spot a leak.
- If possible, leave the solution out overnight.
- The next day, apply the mixture to the gas line connections in the house. If bubbles form, there’s quite possibly a leak.
How Do I Use a Handheld Gas Leak Detector?
This type of gas leak detector makes checking for leakage quite easy. It’s just about as simple as taking it out of the box and turning it out.
- If the accessory auto-calibrates, allow it to get itself in order.
- After it is calibrated, stick the probe along all of the appliances’ gas line connections.
- Wait for an audio or visual cue, such as a repetitive sound or a ppm reading on the display screen. This will reveal the presence or absence of gas.
What is the Difference Between Carbon Monoxide and Natural Gas?
This is a great question and one that any homeowner should know.
- Carbon monoxide is produced when combustible substances are burned. That includes things like clothes, paper, and wood.
- Lots of natural gases contain carbon, particularly ethane, methane, and propane. That said, the term ‘natural gas’ simply refers to fuel that’s present in appliances like ovens and furnaces, whether they contain carbon or not.
Every House or Workplace Should Have a Gas Leak Detector
This kind of accessory isn’t a mere suggestion or something nice to have. Rather, most technicians and experts recommend either a fixed or handheld gas leak detector for all kinds of properties.
Not only does it add more peace of mind and confidence, but it could save lives. Most places have at least one combustible gas present, although it’s usually in an oven or furnace. That said, even the safest environments are at risk of leakage or damage, so better to be safe than sorry.