Combustible Gas Leak Detector

Best Combustible Gas Detector

A combustible gas leak detector is a crucial tool used for leak detection and ensuring safety in various environments. It plays a significant role in preventing potential hazards caused by the leakage of combustible gases. Essentially, a combustible gas detector is designed to detect the presence and concentration of flammable or explosive gases in the surrounding area.

Pros☢️ Cons
Combustible Gas Leak Detectors are sensitive to methane, natural gas, butane, propane, gasoline vapors, alcohols and solvents☢️ Combustible Gases and Vapors are dangerous as they can accumulate and become explosive
Combustible Gas Leak Detectors cost between $50 to $500☢️ Combustible Gas include natural gas used at home and propane used for grilling and campers
Combustible Gas Leak Detectors are used for household and industrial applications☢️ Combustible Gas Detectors DO NOT detect Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Combustible Gas Leak Detectors are made with catalyst beads, PID, or semiconducting metal oxide sensors☢️ Combustible Gas is dangerous, elusive, and sometimes odorless

What is a Combustible Gas Leak Detector?

A combustible gas detector is a crucial tool used for leak detection and ensuring safety in various environments. These sensors work by monitoring the air for any changes in the composition of gases. Once the presence of combustible gases is detected, the detector alerts users through visual or audible alarms. Leak detection is of utmost importance as it helps identify gas leaks before they escalate into dangerous situations.

Combustible Gas Detector
Indoor Air Quality Checking

Common Combustible Gases?

The following is a list of some common combustible gases that a combustible gas leak detector can detect.

  1. Methane
  2. Propane
  3. Butane
  4. Ethane
  5. Hydrogen
  6. Acetylene
  7. Ethylene
  8. Propylene
  9. Butadiene
  10. Methanol
  11. Ethanol
  12. Isopropyl alcohol
  13. Toluene
  14. Xylene
  15. Benzene
  16. Ammonia
  17. Natural gas
  18. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
  19. Gasoline
  20. Diesel fuel
  21. Kerosene
  22. Jet fuel
  23. Heating oil
  24. Paint thinners
  25. Solvents
  26. Turpentine
  27. Naphtha
  28. Varnish removers.
  29. Acetone
  30. Butanol

Gas leaks can lead to fires, explosions, asphyxiation, or other life-threatening scenarios. By using a combustible gas detector, early detection of gas leaks can be achieved, allowing immediate action to be taken.

  • Early Detection of Gas Leaks: A combustible gas detector can quickly identify the presence of gas leaks, enabling prompt repairs or evacuation if necessary.
  • Safety Precaution: By monitoring the surrounding area for gas leaks, a combustible gas detector ensures the safety of individuals present in the vicinity.
  • Preventing Fire and Explosions: Detecting and addressing gas leaks promptly helps prevent potential dangers, such as fire outbreaks or explosive situations.
  • Protecting Property and Assets: By identifying gas leaks early on, potential damage to property and assets can be minimized or prevented. Common types of combustible gases detected by combustible gas detectors include natural gas, propane, methane, and butane.

Key takeaway:

  • Early Detection of Gas Leaks: A combustible gas detector allows for early detection of gas leaks, helping to prevent accidents and potential hazards.
  • Safety Precaution: By using a combustible gas detector, individuals can take safety precautions such as evacuating the area, turning off gas lines, and contacting professionals when necessary.
  • Preventing Fire and Explosions: Detecting combustible gases early on can help prevent fires and explosions, protecting both individuals and property.

What is a Flammable Gas Detector?

A flammable Gas Detector is another name for a Combustible Gas Detector. Basically, it is a device utilized to naturally detect the presence of flammable gases in the surrounding environment. It plays a crucial role in ensuring safety, particularly in industrial settings and other areas where there is a potential risk of flammable gases.

Combustible gas detectors are specifically designed to accurately and promptly identify the presence of various flammable gases like methane, propane, and butane. They are widely used in industries such as oil and gas, manufacturing, chemical plants, and mining, where the possibility of encountering flammable gases is significantly high.

How Does a Combustible Gas Detector Work?

The detection mechanism of a combustible gas detector involves an active sensor that reacts to the presence of combustible gases. The most common type of sensor used is a catalytic bead sensor. This sensor contains a platinum wire coil coated with a catalyst material. When flammable gas comes into contact with the sensor, it reacts and produces heat, which in turn increases the temperature of the catalyst-coated wire.

Another sensor often used is a semiconducting metal oxide sensor. It works by measuring changes in the electrical conductivity of a metal oxide semiconductor material when it comes into contact with the gas. When a combustible gas is present, it reacts with the metal oxide, causing a change in its electrical properties. This change is then detected by the sensor and converted into an electrical signal that can be used to trigger an alarm. These sensors are commonly used in industrial settings to detect leaks of flammable gases and prevent accidents.

Pipe Line Checking
Pipe Line Checking

Why is Leak Detection Important?

1. Safety: Timely identification and addressing of leaks of combustible gases are vital for ensuring the safety of workers and the public to prevent explosions.

2. Cost savings: Leakages can result in significant financial losses over time.

3. Environmental protection: Leaking substances can have detrimental effects on the environment particularly methane which is a greenhouse gas and a very combustible gas.

Preventing Fire and Explosions

To prevent fire and explosions when using a combustible gas detector for leak detection, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure proper installation and positioning of the gas detector. It should be placed in areas where gas leaks are most likely to occur, such as near appliances, gas pipes, or storage tanks.
  2. Regularly inspect and maintain the gas detector to ensure its proper functioning. Check for any damages or malfunctions and replace any faulty parts immediately.
  3. Perform routine calibration of the gas detector according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. This will ensure accurate readings and reliable detection of gas leaks.
  4. Regularly check gas connections and fittings for any signs of damage or leaks. Tighten loose connections and replace damaged parts to prevent gas leaks.
  5. Train all individuals who may come in contact with the gas detector on how to properly operate it and interpret its readings. This will help in early detection of gas leaks and prevent any potential fire or explosion hazards.
  6. React immediately to any gas leak alerts or alarms from the detector. Evacuate the area and call emergency services if necessary. Do not attempt to investigate or fix the leak on your own.
  7. Establish and enforce safety protocols for handling and storing flammable substances. This includes proper ventilation, storing in approved containers, and keeping them away from potential ignition sources.
  8. Regularly educate and remind individuals about the importance of fire safety and the proper use of gas appliances. Encourage safe practices when cooking, heating, or using any flammable substances.
  9. Implement and regularly update an emergency response plan in case of a fire or explosion. This should include evacuation routes, emergency contact information, and procedures for shutting off gas supply.

Types of Combustible Gas Detectors

There are various Combustible Gas Leak Detectors made for various applications. Make sure you choose the correct type for your application.

1. Combustible Gas Leak Detectors with a Gooseneck (ppm)

These are classic combustible gas leak detector units made with a gooseneck. At the end of the gooseneck is where the sensors reside. The user points the sensor at suspected leakage sites and the units will report any combustible leaks in parts per million (ppm).

2. Personal PPE Combustible Gas Detector (%LEL)

Personal combustible gas detectors are PPE devices used to alarm when air around the user is dangerous such as in a confined space or outdoor area where explosive vapors are accumulating, hence detecting and displaying the % LEL scale. These units are made to keep On continuously while the user performs work and tasks. Not made for leak detection.

3. Combustible Analyzer with Pump for Inspectors (%LEL)

A combustible analyzer is used for inspection purposes. Similar to a gas leak detector, analyzers are used to inspect spaces to check if level of combustibles gases, or vapors. For example, they are often used to spot-check factory facilities, oil and gas facilities, and confined spaces to ensure there is no danger. The probe and pump ensure the inspector can easily inspect hard-to-reach locations.

4. Wall Mount Combustible Analyzer (%LEL)

Combustible wall mount units are used where there is a need to continuously monitor an indoor location and warn if high levels of combustibles have accumulated. These areas include occupational spaces, garages, process rooms, factories, combustion control rooms, refineries, gas stations, boiler rooms, and many indoor spaces.

5. Explosimeter (%LEL)

The explosimeter was made famous by the MSA Model 2A explosimeter, which had a significant impact on volatile organic vapor testing in various industries such as refining, oil, gas, maritime, and industrial processing. Forensics Detectors has introduced a new version. This new version allows for continuous operation and comes with a blunt needle that can be attached directly to a bottle or vial, or connected to tubing to test vapor accumulation in any apparatus.

Natural Gas Leak Detection

When it comes to combustible gases, natural gas is one of the most commonly detected gases by a combustible gas detector. It is important to understand the properties and risks associated with natural gas to effectively detect and prevent any potential leaks.

Type of Combustible GasNatural Gas
Chemical CompositionMethane (CH4)
Level of DangerHighly Flammable and Explosive
SourceUnderground deposits and fossil fuel extraction
Common UsesHeating, cooking, electricity generation
Physical CharacteristicsColorless, odorless, and lighter than air

When natural gas leaks occur, it can pose serious safety risks. As natural gas is colorless and odorless, an additive called mercaptan is added to give it a distinct odor, similar to rotten eggs. This odor helps in the detection of leaks and alerts individuals to take immediate action.

Propane Gas Leak Detection

Propane is a commonly detected combustible gas that can easily be identified using a combustible gas detector. Here are some important factors to keep in mind when dealing with propane:

  1. Explosive nature: Propane is a highly flammable gas that should be handled with care to prevent explosions.
  2. Potential hazards: Propane leaks can be extremely dangerous, leading to potential fire and explosion hazards.
  3. Detection range: It is crucial to invest in a high-quality combustible gas detector that can effectively detect propane, even at low levels, to ensure early identification.
  4. Alarm system: It is recommended to select a detector with a loud alarm system that will promptly alert you upon detecting propane. This will enable you to take immediate action.
  5. Portability: If you require the ability to detect propane in different locations, consider opting for a portable combustible gas detector that is convenient to transport.
  6. Battery life: To ensure extended usability without frequent battery changes, choose a detector with a long battery life.
  7. Multiple gases: Some detectors offer the added convenience of detecting multiple gases, such as propane, methane, and natural gas. This versatility can be beneficial.
propane tank leak
Propane Tank Leak

Methane Gas Leak Detection

Methane is one of the types of combustible gases that can be detected using a combustible gas detector. It is crucial to comprehend the characteristics and risks associated with methane in order to effectively detect and prevent leaks.

Methane, also known as natural gas, is a colorless and odorless gas. It is commonly utilized as a fuel source for heating and cooking due to its high energy content. Methane is extremely flammable and can pose various risks if a leak occurs.

When methane concentrations in the air are between 5% and 15%, it becomes highly flammable. This signifies that even a small spark or ignition source can cause a fire or explosion. It is crucial to detect methane leaks early and take appropriate safety precautions to prevent incidents.

Many combustible gas detectors are sensitive to methane and can accurately detect its presence in the air. These detectors typically use sensors that respond to combustible gases and trigger an alarm when the gas concentration reaches a certain level.

Butane Gas Leak Detection

Butane is one of the types of combustible gases that can be detected by a combustible gas detector. When using a gas detector for leak detection, it is important to understand the properties and risks associated with butane.

Properties of ButaneRisks and Hazards
Butane is a colorless gas that is highly flammable.A gas leak can lead to the accumulation of butane in confined spaces, increasing the risk of fire or explosion.
It has a boiling point of approximately -0.5°C (-32.9°F).Butane is heavier than air, so it can collect in low-lying areas, making it difficult to disperse.
Butane is commonly used as a fuel in lighters, portable stoves, and heating appliances.Inhalation of high concentrations of butane can lead to dizziness, drowsiness, and even asphyxiation.

In a true story, a homeowner in a remote cabin was using a portable butane heater during the winter. Unbeknownst to them, there was a small butane leak in the system. Luckily, they had a combustible gas detector that detected the leak early on, triggering an alarm. This allowed them to quickly identify and fix the issue before it escalated into a dangerous situation. The incident highlighted the importance of using a reliable and accurate gas detector, like those capable of detecting butane, to ensure the safety of individuals and their property.

Sewer Gas Leak Detection

Combustible Gas Leak detectors are also used as Sewer Gas Leak Detectors.

Sewer Gas Toilet Leak
Sewer Gas Toilet Leak

Combustible Gas Detector Sensitivity

The sensitivity and detection range of a combustible gas detector are essential factors to consider when selecting the right one for your needs. These aspects determine the device’s ability to accurately detect the presence of combustible gases in the air. Here is a table summarizing the sensitivity and detection range of various types of combustible gas detectors:

Type of DetectorSensitivityDetection Range
Catalytic BeadLOWLow to Medium
InfraredMedium to HighMedium to High
UltrasonicLowLow to Medium

The sensitivity of a gas detector refers to its accurate detection of low concentrations of combustible gases. A high sensitivity detector can even detect small amounts of gas, making it suitable for identifying leaks in confined spaces or areas with low gas concentrations.

Also, keep in mind that the sensitivity and detection range of a gas detector may vary depending on the type of gas being detected. Some detectors may be more sensitive to certain gases than others, so ensure that the detector you choose is suitable for detecting the specific combustible gases you are concerned about.

Combustible Gas Detector Portability and Battery Life

When considering a combustible gas detector, portability and battery life are important factors to take into account. Here are some important points to consider:

  1. Size and weight: Look for a detector that is compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry around. This is especially important if you need to use the detector in different locations or if you need to carry it with you throughout the day.
  2. Battery life: Check the battery life of the detector to ensure it can last for the duration you require. The battery life may vary depending on the brand and model of the detector. Look for a detector with a long battery life to avoid frequent charging or battery replacements.
  3. Battery type: Consider the type of battery used in the detector. Some detectors may use standard AA or AAA batteries, which are readily available and easy to replace. Others may use rechargeable batteries, which can be more cost-effective in the long run.
  4. Battery indicator: Look for a detector that features a battery indicator. This will allow you to easily check the remaining battery life and ensure that the detector is always ready for use. Some detectors may also have an audible or visual alert for low battery.
  5. Charging options: If the detector uses rechargeable batteries, consider the charging options available. Some detectors may come with a charging dock or USB charging cable, providing easy and convenient charging options.

How to Use a Combustible Gas Detector for Leak Detection?

When it comes to leak detection, using a combustible gas leak detector is a crucial safety measure. So, let’s explore how to effectively use a combustible gas detector:

  1. First, make sure to read the instruction manual. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the unique features and functions of your specific combustible gas detector. Remember, different models may have different settings and operating procedures.
  2. Next, turn on the detector by switching the power switch to the “on” position. Some models might need a warm-up period before they can accurately detect gases.
  3. To detect the desired gas type, select it using the detector’s gas selection feature. The most common types of combustible gases to detect include methane, propane, and natural gas.
  4. Always start at a safe distance from the potential gas leak area. It’s wise to begin detection a few feet away from the suspected leak location.
  5. Now, maintain a steady movement. Slowly move the detector closer to the suspected leak area while keeping an eye out for any alarming signals or readings on the device. Make sure to cover all possible leak areas systematically.
  6. Paying careful attention to the readings on the detector’s display is crucial. If the concentration of combustible gas goes beyond the safety threshold, the detector will emit an audible and/or visual alarm.
  7. If an alarm is triggered, it’s important to locate the source of the leak. Keep in mind that the highest concentration of gas detected may not necessarily indicate the exact source of the leak. You need to carefully trace the source.
  8. When you locate a gas leak, take necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. This involves immediately shutting off the gas supply, ventilating the area by opening windows and doors, and evacuating if necessary.
  9. It’s essential to seek professional help in dealing with a gas leak. Contact a qualified technician or emergency services for repair and further inspection. Never attempt to fix the issue on your own.
  10. Lastly, regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the reliability of your combustible gas detector. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, which may include replacing batteries, sensor calibration, or periodic servicing.
natural gas leak detector
natural gas leak detector

Can a Combustible Gas Leak Detector be used for purging gas lines?

Yes, a combustible gas leak detector is useful for purging gas lines. They can detect the presence of combustible gases during the purging process, ensuring the lines are completely cleared and safe for operation.

How can I use a Combustible Gas Leak Detector to survey gas leaks?

To survey gas leaks, start by turning on the combustible gas leak detector and ensuring it is calibrated correctly. Slowly move the detector along the area you want to survey, paying attention to any alarms or readings indicating the presence of combustible gases. This method helps locate potential leaks and allows for appropriate action to be taken.

Can a Combustible Gas Leak Detector detect Carbon Monoxide (CO)?

No, it cannot.

You must use a Carbon Monoxide Detector for CO gas.

Can a Combustible Detector detect Carbon Dioxide (CO2)?

No, it cannot.

You must use a Carbon Dioxide Detector for CO2 gas.


  • ✅ Combustible Gas Leak Detectors are essential tools for professionals in industries like industrial manufacturing, energy, contracting, and maintenance.
  • ✅ These detectors are designed to quickly detect and locate leaks of natural gas, propane gas, and other combustible gases.
  • ✅ Combustible Gas Leak Detectors are useful for various purposes such as locating small gas leaks, surveying gas leaks, detecting arson or accelerants, and purging gas lines.
  • ✅ There are various types of combustible Gas Leak Detectors, just make sure you select the correct type, but the gas leak gooseneck is most popular to find leaks at home or for industrial applications.