Homedit is supported by our readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How To Choose The Best Gas Leak Detector

Whether you’ve moved into a new home or have been residing at your current home for a while, a gas leak detector is a must. While they all work in different ways, depending on the gas that they’re meant to detect, the device should work in detecting the presence of combustible or toxic gas. After it has detected these gases, there’ll either be an alarm, or you’ll have an alert sent to your phone. It’s essential to have a proper gas leak detector in your home as it can be a literal lifesaver. 

Here, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about gas leak detectors. We’ll talk about the various gases you should watch out for, what you should look for in a gas leak detector, answer some frequently asked questions, and provide a detailed review of 5 of the best gas leak detectors on the market. 

What Types of Gases Should You Watch Out For? 

Depending on the gas leak detector that you purchase, some can identify more than one gas. When purchasing your gas leak detector, the manufacturer should specifically state which gas or gases their detectors will sense. Some of the most common gases include: 

Combustible gases

Natural gases that are comprised of methane and propane. There’s also an additional gas in there called mercaptan that has a rotten egg smell. If you’re not in the vicinity, however, you might not smell the leak until it’s too late. For these gases, you’ll need to purchase a gas leak detector with catalytic and infrared sensors and detectors should be placed nearer to the ground as the gas is heavier than air.

Toxic gases

If exposed to high levels of colorless and odorless toxic gases like carbon monoxide, the result could be deadly. Since these gases are lighter than air, you’d place them high up in a room. Unlike combustible gases, toxic gases are identified by electrochemical and metal oxide semiconductor technologies.

Radon

Radon gases are radioactive and are one of the leading causes of lung cancer. Hence, there’s no harm in ensuring that your gas leak detector can detect radon gases as well. 

What to Look Out for When Purchasing a Gas Leak Detector?  

Battery life

Make sure that your detector comes with an indicator, so you know whether or not it’s switched on. Make sure that your detectors are tested every month, and you should replace your batteries at least once a year. 

Expiration date

Gas leak detectors do come with an expiration date, so that’s something that you’d need to take into consideration. Units can function anywhere between five and ten years, so you’d want to make sure that you’re replacing your device before then. 

Type of gas

You’ll need to figure out which gases the device can detect and which gases it can’t. While it might be pricier, it could be a good idea to purchase a gas leak detector that can identify more than one gas and smoke.

UL-listed

To ensure that your gas leak detector functions correctly, it’s best if it reflects the UL listed mark to indicate that it has been tested and meets the necessary safety standards. 

Sensors

You should check to see if the sensors come with a good amount of sensitivity. The greater the sensitivity, the easier it is for you to identify the source of the gas leak. 

Alerts

Some gas leak detectors can send data to your phone. This will allow you to monitor the situation even if you’re not home. 

Smart home integration

If you’ve got other smart home devices at home, there’s no harm in checking if you can integrate your gas leak detector into your smart home ecosystem to boost your home’s overall security.

FAQ

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.

How do you detect a gas leak?

There are a few ways to detect a gas leak, and we’ll discuss them in greater detail below: 

  1. You’ll want to listen for a hiss or whistling noise 
  2. Check the stove – when you turn on the flames, see if it gives off a blue or orange or red flame. A blue flame indicates that there’s enough oxygen in the air while orange or red flames spell trouble. 
  3. Use soapy water – If you’d like, you can try the soapy water test. You’ll mix a teaspoon of dish detergent with a cup of water and apply it to wherever you suspect has a leak. If bubbles start to form, it indicates that gas is escaping. 
  4. One of the easiest methods is to use a gas leak detector. These nifty devices will help detect if there are any gas leaks and inform you appropriately. 

Do gas leak detectors work?

Yes, they do work. They’re specially manufactured to both measure and indicate the concentration of gases in the environment. When a high level of gas is detected, these detectors will either signify high levels of gas through alarms and lights or even send notifications to your home. While some gas leak detectors will only detect one type of gas, others can detect several gases at once.  

What is the best gas leak detector?

There isn’t a best gas leak detector per se as it really depends on your needs. For example, some individuals are okay with a gas leak detector that only detects one type of gas, while others might prefer one that detects multiple gases. Some gas leak detectors also have smart home integration functionalities while others do not. 

Can a gas leak make you sick?

Yes, gas leaks can make you sick. That’s why you must install a gas leak detector in your home to rectify the issue as soon as possible. Inhaling gas can not only lead to headaches and fatigue, but in some cases, it can even lead to shortness of breath and loss of consciousness. 

Best Gas Leak Detectors

1. UEi Test Instruments CD100A Combustible Gas Leak Detector

View in gallery

This combustible gas leak detector is precisely what you need for your home. Not only will it identify any potentially hazardous combustible gas leaks from various components, but it also comes with an adjusted, steady tic rate that’ll give you a precise indication of where the leak source is. Additional features of this gas leak detector include a compact size that’ll allow it to access hard to reach areas, a work light that’ll illuminate the search area, and a headphone jack. 

Some gases that this gas leak detector can identify include acetone, alcohol, ammonia, benzene, methane, butane and more. Additionally, your gas leak detector also comes with a one-year warranty in case you run into any issues. Individuals that have purchased this gas leak detector mentions that it really works, and they’re impressed with its overall functionality. They noted that the beeping is loud, and that the device is both well-made and feels durable. 

Pros: 

  • Comes with an adjusted and steady tic rate 
  • Compact size 
  • A work light that illuminates the search area 
  • Well-made and durable 
  •  

Cons: 

  • Customers mentioned that the detector’s incredibly fragile

2. Techamor Y201 PortableNatural Gas Leak Detector

View in gallery

Another great gas leak detector, this particular model comes with a 12-inch flexible probe that’ll allow you to both locate and detect leaks – even in hard-to-reach and tight areas. It also comes with red LED lights along with audible alerts that will increase with gas concentrations. It’s an easy-to-use device that will sense not only methane and propane but also natural gas and fuel. 

With this device, you’ll be able to find and locate the exact gas leak point with ease. Upon your purchase, you’ll also get a manual along with a protective bag to store your gas leak detector. It has high sensitivity, is battery-operated and also comes with a detection rate of 50 to 10,000 ppm. Individuals that have used this device mentioned that it’s a well-made product that has helped them with detecting gas leaks efficiently. 

Pros: 

  • Great for hard to reach areas
  • Great at detecting and locating gas leak points
  • Easy to use device
  • Comes with visual and audible alerts 

Cons: 

  • Goes through batteries quickly

3. Klein Tools ET120 Gas Leak Detector

View in gallery

This gas leak detector comes with two levels of sensitivity – low, along with high. It has a detection range of 50 to 10,000ppm and comes with visual and audible alerts that will increase with gas concentration. It’s great for detecting combustible gas, and will even detect low concentrations with ease. As it comes with an 18-inch flexible gooseneck, it’ll help with expanding the detector’s overall reach, and all you’ve got to do is clip it onto the meter for storage. 

As this gas leak detector comes with an over-molded body, it’s comfortable to grip. It’ll also automatically turn off after 10-minutes to help with conserving battery life. With your purchase, you’ll get the batteries along with an instruction manual and storage pouch. Individuals like this gas leak detector and mentioned that it’s very sensitive. They also like how the detector beeps faster when the concentration increases, and you can also turn it off with the mute button. 

Pros: 

  • Comes with two sensitivity levels 
  • Comes with visual and audible alerts 
  • Has a flexible gooseneck 
  • Conserves battery life 

Cons: 

  • Some mentioned that the instructions are difficult to figure out

4. Portable Propane Methane and Natural Gas Leak Detector

View in gallery

This portable gas leak detector is precisely what you need to detect a combustible gas leak. It comes with batteries so all you’ve got to do is put them in and it’s ready to use. Compared to other detectors, this particular product is lightweight, compact and easy to carry around. It also comes with a flexible stainless steel probe that’ll help reach tighter areas. 

With this detector, you’ll be able to pinpoint the position of your leak – thanks to the audible and visual indication that comes with this device. To help you better understand your device, this product also comes with a video tutorial so you can operate the product with ease. Additionally, the sensor’s also highly sensitive, and it’s reactive to the changes in gas concentration. As a bonus, this detector is also suited to commercial work as it can detect a wide range of gases. 

Pros: 

  • Detects a wide range of gases
  • Portable and lightweight 
  • Comes with a video tutorial 
  • Has a flexible stainless steel probe 

Cons: 

  • Some mentioned that it’s not sensitive enough

5. Inficon Combustible Gas Detector

View in gallery

Lastly, we’ve got this combustible gas leak detector that’s incredibly easy to use. You’ll get two alkaline batteries with your purchase along with a rugged carrying case. So you can reach tighter areas, this detector also comes with a 15-inch probe. What’s great about this particular detector is that it has high sensitivity to find even the smallest of leaks. 

It also has a touchpad so you can adjust sensitivity when you’re on the go, and it’s able to detect a wide range of gases from combustible gases to flammable refrigerants. Those who have used this particular detector mentioned that it’s both reliable and well-made. They also noted that it’s incredibly sensitive, works excellent, and they like how it comes with a nice case. Additionally, one customer also mentioned that they liked how the gas leak detector comes with intermittent beeping when it’s on detect mode to tell you that it’s actively “sniffing”. 

Pros: 

  • Easy to use 
  • High sensitivity 
  • Comes with a touchpad to adjust the sensitivity
  • Detects a wide range of gases 

Cons: 

  • Some mentioned that it’s challenging to remove the battery cover. 

Bottom Line 

We hope that this article was helpful, and you’ve gained a better understanding of gas leak detectors. It’s essential to have a gas leak detector in your home for safety reasons. After you’ve purchased your gas leak detector, you should always read the manual or manufacturer instructions to gain a better understanding of how to operate your gas leak detector, that way you won’t be fumbling around with your device when it detects something out of the ordinary in your home.