Gas Leak Discovered by CRIS Inspector

Home inspector Howie Boyda, of Canadian Residential Inspection discovered a severe gas leak at a fourplex apartment in Calgary when he arrived to perform a home inspection on June 10th.  

Howie entered the unit to start the inspection and turned on his gas detector to set the ticker. He said “ I immediately saw that the ticker would not slow down, and presumed it was the battery.  While I was walking to my truck to get a fresh battery, the gas detector stopped ticking (indicting it no longer detected gas).  I went back into the residence and the gas detector started ticking again.”

He said “I shut the gas off at the meter that serviced the fourplex and opened all the doors and windows to ventilate the unit. The tenants were notified of the gas leak and asked to go ventilate their units. I called the ATCO gas leak emergency phone line and was told they would be there in 1 to 4 hours to repair the gas leak. One of the tenants, in the unit with the gas leak, became ill with vomiting and stomach cramps. The fire department and ambulance were called to the scene and he was taken by emergency services to the hospital.”

The fire department checked all the units for natural gas levels and found no trace of gas remaining in the facility.  They questioned Howie and then checked his gas detector.  Howie says “They were amazed to find that I use a similar brand of gas detector that the Fire Department uses for detecting natural gas leaks.”

The Fire Department then contacted ATCO emergency and instructed them to send someone down immediately.  The ATCO repair man arrived within 15 minutes.  He turned on the gas and quickly found the leak, inside the gas dryer.  The leak was so severe that he refused to repair it. ATCO turned off the gas to the unit and informed the landlord that the leak must be repaired and signed off by a qualified gas fitter before the gas would be turned back on to the facility.  

Howie says “While performing home inspections, just during the last two weeks, I have found three gas leaks.  Two of the leaks were found at the pipe union to the hot water tank and then this one.”

Howie, who is the owner/operator of Canadian Residential Inspection Services Airdrie, says it’s all in a day’s work but feels very happy that this was the day he arrived with his gas detector, to perform a home inspection on the unit, otherwise who knows how things would have turned out.