Updated: November 2017

Gas Leak Detector Reviews:

If you have ever smelled gas in your house or place of business you know how scary that can be. We have 2 gas fireplaces in our house and periodically I have had the gas company come out to check for leaks as we have suspected the smell of gas (natural gas has no natural odor so they have it smell like rotten eggs to tip you off). Both times there have been small leaks that were easily fixable and it was nice to know we weren't crazy thinking there was gas leaking. The guy from NW Natural had a UEI CD100A Leak Detector - a great tool for detecting gas leaks. For industrial and commmercial use there is no better product on the market. Even the plumber who installed our new water heater had the same instrument. He used it when reconnecting the natural gas furnace line to the water heater making sure no gas was leaking from the lines. For DIY homeowners who are looking to do things like setup a gas line to connect an outdoor barbeque, I would personally recommend letting the professionals work on it. If you have experience running gas hookups from the house to something like a BBQ, then do it with caution and always have a gas leak detector on hand to check for leaks.
gas leak detector

Choosing a Gas Leak Detector - There is a huge price range on these types of devices. Starting with the more expensive Bacharach Leakator 10, Combustible Gas Detector 0019-7051 which sells for close to $300. Reviews are solid on the Bacharach models, but for nearly half as much you can get the moderately priced UEI CD100A Leak Detector for $140. With near perfect reviews from homeowners and commercials owners, the UEI device does what it's supposed to do without any problem. General Tools offers up an even cheaper model - the NGD7201 Precision Gas Leak Detector "Gas Dog" ($115) which also gets excellent feedback from consumers. The one brand that we have always had good results with is Extech. They have the Extech EZ40 EzFlex Combustible Gas Detector which detects leaks of methane, natural gas, ethane, propane, butane, and LPG. The 16" gooseneak is a key feature on this and any gas leak detector as it allows you to reach those hard to get to areas. Homeowners that want more of a detector in their house (much like a smoke alarm) can look into the First Alert GCO1CN Plug In Combination Explosive Gas/Carbon Monoxide Alarm or the SafetySiren Family Safety Combustible Gas (Propane Methane) Detector. Both are priced at about $40 and get above average reviews from owners. The Safe T AlertTM Propane/Natural Gas Alarm is even cheaper at $30 and homeowners say this works great. Reviewers note that the Safe T Alert is good for homes that have are propane heated, have LP stoves, gas fireplaces, or natural gas heaters. Where can you buy one of these? Home improvement stores will carry many of these brands and models. Online stores like Instrumart.com and Test Equipment Depot also have these in stock. You can browse the best selling gas leak detectors online here.

Best Gas Leak Detector:

RECOMMENDED - The top selling device for commercial or residential use is the UEI CD100A Leak Detector, Combustible at $140. Commercial and industrial owners like the 'Tip light' in the sensor cap which illuminates the area you are searching in. There is both an audio and visual tic rate - both are fully adjustable. The minimum detection for methan is 50 ppm and the 18" gooseneck will let you reach into tight spaces. The unit comes with a 9V battery and a 1 year limited warranty. Owner comments include 'great tool for a serious propane fitter' and 'simple to use with excellent results'. The experts we talked with (gas line installers and plumbers) say the old soap/water testing methods for leaks just aren't as accurate as these devices. One homeowner bought this device when they were moving a natural gas line during a kitchen remodel and it allowed them to do the job with confidence. Great for professionals that work around combustible gas and more than enough for the average homeowner.

Combustible Gas Detector:

RECOMMENDED - For the average homeowner concerned about gas leaks in or around their homes, the Extech EZ40 EzFlex Combustible Gas Detector is a solid purchase. At $115 it's reasonably priced given the peace of mind it can deliver. The unit is easy to operate, has a sensitivity adjustment control so you can locate even the smallest leaks, and the visible and audible alarms at 10% LEL for methane. Owners say it's great for tracking down combustible gas leaks and if you have natural gas piped into your home, this is great for those once a year checks that are recommended. The 16" gooseneck is ideal for any location that is hard to reach. Just poke in the gooseneck and get a reliable reading. I talked with a home inspector in our area and this was his 'weapon' of choice while doing his inspections. The accurate readings and ability to get the gooseneck over and around pipes was why he preferred it over some of the other options on the market.