Another gas leak that didn’t smell
Re: “Resident concerned over gas leak in apt,” T&V, Mar. 28
I had a gas leak in my apartment several years ago. And you could not smell it in the kitchen.
I noticed the smell of gas in the hallway on my floor, and more of it just inside the apartment door. So I checked in the kitchen; the jets were all off, and there was no smell of gas. So I wrongly concluded it had come from some other apartment.
A couple of days later a group of neighbors rang my bell and said I must have a gas leak. They had smelt it in the hallway and it seemed strongest near the door of my apartment. We called Stuy Town security and the man who came verified my claim that there was no smell of gas in the kitchen. The neighbors were not satisfied. Two more security officers came and they agreed there was an odor of gas in the hallway and near my apartment door, but not in the kitchen. Finally they brought in a device that dings in the presence of gas and the device went berserk.
The leak was in the connection between the gas pipe and the tube that leads to the range.
Why could it not be detected by a person’s unaided nose in the kitchen? I think the answer is that, because there is no window in the hallway, the building has an exhaust system that draws air out of the hallway and replaces it with air drawn out of the apartments by suctioning it from under the apartment doors.
Air, including gas, in the kitchen is therefore pulled to the apartment door. Since all the gas cannot get out through the small space under the door, it builds up at that place, and you can smell it there.
Don Murray, ST