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Question DetailsAsked on 12/8/2015

My gas range oven smells like gas when is on, is this normal?

My gas range oven smells like gas while is on, it is not a strong smell, or over powering. Today the technician came and replace the igniter, but it still smells is this normal, it is not a strong smell at all, but it is noticeable enough.

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1 Answer


Some people can smell the burnt odorant (similar smelling to raw gas odorant but somewhat different after burning - makes it a bit more like burnt alfalfa to me but still identifiiable as gas odorant), others can't smell it at all.

You should have asked the tech about it while he was there.

All I can say is if this is a new smell on an existing stove, definitely likely that it is a leak - and if he came because of the gas smell, should have used a sniffer to try to detect the gas leak source. Changing the ignitor would indicate you had a burner not lighting - that would NOT have solved a gas leak issue, unless a protection device had failed and a standing pilot light was out but the gas kept flowing - but that smell would build up pretty fast, and probably explode when you turned on another burner/oven after sitting unused for awhile, so that is both a very rare event and unlikely since you said not a strong smell.

If you only smell it when on, if you are comfortable trying this, you could try each burner and range independently for long enough to detect the smell, and try to tie down if it is coming from only one of them when on - at least that gives you a starting point for the technician, because it would be at that valve or in the piping from it to the burner - and you might easily be able to tell if coming from the valve area or the burner opening in the stovetop. Also, if only one causes the odor when on, definitely a leak - all should do it equally if it isjust the gas odorant in the burned gas that you are smelling.

Of course, if you smell it when off you have a leak. Personally, I distrust gas systems due to childhood experience with gas leaks so I would NOT use it in any way if I smelled gas for fear it was a leak that would build up gas when the stove is off, and I would turn off the gas valve till fixed - others are more tolerant of minor gas smell. But if this has been going on for days and stove has not exploded when you turned it on, then likely a leak that only leaks when a burner (or range) dial is on - I would guess most likely a seal in the knob stem leaking, so smell should be strongest right at the knob in that case.

One other alternative - call the non-emergency number for your gas company - they will almost always come out and use their sniffer to detect a leak in your house. There are a few penny-wise, pound-foolish ones that will only do that outside the house (on their service lines) but most will run the sniffer inside too for free. If not them, most or maybe all fire departments will send firemen with a combustible gas sniffer to check it out and determine if they can detect gas when it is off - call their non-emergency number but typically you get a real quick response - as soon as they are off the current emergency they might be on.

Personally, and ESPECIALLY if this is a new event (as opposed to your first gas stove just installed or just moved in to so you do not really know what is normal smell), I would assume it is a leak. If your first gas stove and you never grew up around one so a new experience for you, hard to say - because I know I immediately detect gas smell when I enter a house with gas appliances or gas fireplaces (as opposed to furnaces/water heaters, which are vented outside) operating in the living areas. You could ask friend/neighbor who uses gas stove to come by and smell and see what they think - but I would recommend calling gas company/fire department as applicable to run their sniffer.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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