My Gas Oven Smells Like Gas Whether On or Off, Not the Stove Top. What Would Cause This?

Updated December 11, 2020
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Question by bsmith1479: It's not especially strong but it is noticeable. Could it be the lines behind the oven?

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Answered by LCD: If it is noticeable, it is a potential fire hazard, and you don't know if it might develop suddenly into a major leak - say a cracked pipe or tubing which might break through without warningor a gas valve which might start leaking significantly and either produce a significant flame (if you have standing pilots on the burners and oven) or be an explosion hazard (if no standing pilot), so you have to treat it seriously.

Most likely a leaking gas valve in the oven or one of the burners (most likely over area since you said not evident at the burners), but could be in the connections or lines either behind or in the stove, or a leak in the gas lines leaking to the kitchen - until it is tracked down with a gas sniffer you don't know. Might be very minor like a leaking joint that just needs resealing with gas piping thread tape and retightening, could be a leaking stove valve or tubing (probably around $150-300 repair cost), could be who knows what till they locate the source. Even though smelled near the oven, because natural gas is significantly lighter than air but propane is much heasvier than air, depending on which you use, could easily be from either oven or lines behind the stove as the source with natural gas, but if you use propane could be coming from anywhere in the stove and migrating down to the floor area.

Below is another similar question with fairly detailed answer which should help - but the first thing to do is to turn off the gas to the stove at the shutoff valve behind the stove, open windows to ventilate, and don't turn any electric items like light switches on or off. If you are unable to pull it out to do this, or if worried that you might break something that is leaking and ready to break off, perhaps safer to call your gas supplier emergency number. Most or all gas utilities (whoever you buy your gas from, be it public gas company or a propane supplier who comes and fills a tank periodically) will send out a technician to turn it off for you for free. Some will also locate the exact leak source, others will not do tracking inside the house, just shut the gas off to the appliance (or to the entire house if the leak is in the supply piping in the house or they cannot localize the leak location).

If significant leak or you cannot turn it off and it would otherwise sit overnight, and gas company will not respond quickly, the fire department will also shut a gas leak off at the applicable gas shutoff valve. Your call on whether it merits that measure, but my philkosophy would be safer is better than sorry - a lot of gas explosions are caused by people saying "oh, it is not that bad" and then the gas builds up (inside an appliance like an oven, or in floor spaces or basement/crawlspace or such) and results in a major explosion.

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