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  1. #1
    Jonathan Cartwright's Avatar
    Jonathan Cartwright Guest

    Question Gas leak question?

    I was talking to an inspector yesterday while doing a termite inspection. The house was REO and the water heater had been lit upon or only a very short time before our arrival.

    He was saying to the client/agent that he could not check the water heater for gas leaks as it had not run long enough. He was using one of those TIF type testers - the big red ones. He said that due to the excessive condensation in the combustion chamber, I could hear the water dripping and sizzling on the burner, there would be excessive pressure in the combustion chamber caused by the water vaporizing and that this could cause some of the combustion gasses to be forced out from under the unit through the combustion chamber opening and causing false readings on his detector. He said that after the water had heated sufficiently to stop the condensation that this condition would go away and he could check for gas leaks around the control valve area. I left before he did so I did not find out how this ended.

    Sounds plausible but I have never heard of this. Is this a real thing or just bunk?

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  2. #2
    Jim Weyenberg's Avatar
    Jim Weyenberg Guest

    Default Re: Gas leak question?

    The thing I question is the Tiff 8800 is a combustible gas detector, ( natural gas, LP, it even works on methane, sewer gas) not an exhaust gas detector. Although I applaud his thought process and caution. Waiting for the unit to heat up is the right thing to do.

    Jim Weyenberg
    HouseMaster Inc of NE. WI.

  3. #3
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Gas leak question?

    The TIFF 880 will detect CO, but at such a high concentration that there will be no one there to read the meter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Near Philly, Pa.

    Cool Re: Gas leak question?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    The TIFF 880 will detect CO, but at such a high concentration that there will be no one there to read the meter.
    I believe you are referring to the TIF 8800a. It does Not list CO as one of the gases listed in the literature I've seen. Do you have a reference?

    I do know from field experience they will sense aldehyes and if you have aldehydes, you are guaranteed to have CO present.

    The TIF 8800a is a 20 y/o technology that has seen its day and should be retired. It can only sense NG and LP down to 500 ppm, which is a joke.

    WH condensation should not be lasting that long. However, a combustible gas leak has nothing to do with CO production. Two separate issues. You will get a puff of unburned combustible gas whenever a WH first fires.Other than that, there should be no leaks.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.


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