Every home owner knows the importance of having a functional oven in your house, but it can be extremely worrying if your oven starts smelling of gas suddenly. This can be worrying not only because your oven might be faulty but a potential gas leak can be very dangerous for everyone in your family.
When you first turn on the oven, it is normal to have a gas smell caused by the combustion of gas at the burner. This smell goes away quickly but if the smell lingers, you’ll have to check to make sure you don’t have a gas leak.
It is very important to know what different kinds of smells mean and what you should do in case there is a gas leak. Smells can range from burnt food or grease, gas leaks, foil on the bottom tray, paint or other leftover packaging in the oven.
If the source of the smells is a gas leak then you might have to call for some professional help and refrain from using the oven for the time. Let’s take a deeper look into this problem.
Should You Smell Gas When Using A Gas Oven?
Your oven should not smell like gas for more than the 3-5 seconds after you turn it on. Smelling gas from your oven is not a good sign no matter how old or new it is.
It’s normal to smell gas when you first turn your oven on, but the smell should dissipate within a few second. If the smell of gas lingers after being lit (or even when turned off), open all windows and turn off your oven immediately.
How Do I Know If My Oven Is Leaking Gas?
Most gas manufacturers add an odorant to the gas which makes it easier for people to tell if there is a gas leakage in the house, it usually smells like rotten eggs or sulphur.
Although the steps for determining a gas leak are pretty much the same no matter how old your device is, there are some additional steps which you should follow if your appliance is brand new or way too old.
If Your Oven Is Brand New…
A lot of times, when a gas oven is switched on for the first time, there is a slight smell of gas in the beginning but it usually dissipates within a couple of minutes. But if this smell lingers then there might be a problem.
Another thing you should check is whether there is any leftover packaging within the oven. A lot of times this leftover packaging gets burnt inside the oven which can create a very foul smell.
Another reason for the smell can be the curing process or the type of insulation which the brand has used. Sometimes when they get heated to a very high temperatures for the first time they emit a strong odor.
If Your Oven Is Very Old…
If your appliance is very old or older than 12-15 years then the chances of a gas leak becomes very high.
As the fittings inside the oven get rusted and loose, gas leaks become increasingly common. In this case the oven is basically a health hazard for your entire family.
Problems With The Igniter
In a lot of models, the igniter can get weaker through overuse or it can get covered with food particles over a period of time. Even though a lot of these igniters are covered these days, the moisture and oil particles in the air can cover it after a period of time. These igniters are also pretty hard to clean especially if they use hot surface ignition.
So what happens when this igniter gets weak over time? It takes longer to provide ignition to the oven which further leads to some of the gas escaping in the first couple of seconds. If you don’t have much experience with electronics, I would recommend letting a professional check this out for you.
But if you do want to replace the part by yourself then make sure the oven is disconnected from the power supply and the gas pipeline first.
Remember the exact position that the igniter was in, you will have to attach the new one in the exact same way. Remove all the racks and the bottom panel to access the igniter, you should make sure where it is located in your model before doing this.
Take out the lighter mounts and detach both the wires that are connected to the igniter. When you are moving around the new igniter, be very gentle with it and make sure not to drop it. These parts tend to be very fragile.
Once all of this is done, re-attach all the rest of the components and try turning on the appliance again. There shouldn’t be any gas smell now.
How To Check For Gas Leakage
The workings of a gas oven are largely the same no matter how old your device is. Other than the obvious smell of a gas leakage there are two other common signs which can indicate that there is a leak.
First, there can be an accompanying hissing sound which can sometimes even sound like a very light whistling. If this is the case than there is almost a guarantee that there is some kind of leakage in your appliance.
Second, you will have to switch off the appliance and any gas connection to check the internal components.
If any of the gas piping or the internal components are loose, then you should immediately call for some professional help.
Accompanying signs of a prolonged gas leak are headaches, nausea and dizzy feeling. In this case you should open all the windows immediately and switch on all the fans to let the gas escape.
What To Do If There Is A Potential Gas Leak From The Oven
I would recommend that even if you don’t have a gas leak, to install a carbon monoxide sensor in your kitchen and around your home. It is better to be safe than sorry and this is a sure shot way to determine whether there is any leakage in the future.
But if you are currently facing a gas leak then the first thing you should do is make sure there is no open flame in your kitchen and in your house. Open all the windows and turn on all the fans to ensure that all the gas leaves the room.
Switch off the gas pipeline from the source and do not use the appliance till the issue gets resolved. I would also recommend that you do not switch on any electrical appliances as even small sparks can be quite dangerous.
Look for any signs of overexposure to natural gas especially if you have children in your house. These include headaches, nausea, dizziness and light headedness.
Make sure the vents of the oven are not blocked.
And unless you yourself are a professional or very experienced with electrical appliances call for some professional help immediately. If you have the number of your gas supplier give them a ring, they will be able to guide you through each of the steps more carefully.
Once the issue is resolved, make sure you properly clean and maintain your oven in the future and keep doing checks a couple of times a year. Build-up of oils and moisture can degrade your appliance much faster.
A possible gas leak is something which you shouldn’t take lightly.
If you think there is a possible leakage you should immediately take all the safety measures and contact a professional for help.
It would be much better if you install a carbon monoxide sensor in your kitchen for the future.
For the time being, only switch on the appliance once you know exactly what the issue was and if it has been fixed properly.
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