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Unlit gas stove left on by housemate - advice


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Old 05-03-2011, 02:25
Chocolate Monke
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Hiya, I need advice. I came home tonight at about 7.30, when my housemate got up to go on her nightshift. She's there now. I've not used the kitchen since coming in as I got a takeaway pizza for my tea. Just been about to go to bed, and checked the stove, etc as I always do, to find that one stove has been left on, unlit. Given that she left the house at 9, and didn't cook while I was there, it's been on for at least 5-6 hours. I can't smell anything but have a cold so wouldn't anyway.

I'm currently airing the house, and sat in the backyard in my pjs, wellies and my coat. Got windows and the back door open.

Any advice on how long I need to sit here for?

I'm a little relieved that I checked the stove, as I was feeling quite headachy and lethargic and have been dozing off on the couch, which I never do. I don't know what effect the gas might have on me, but a little worried about locking the house up before it's all cleared. Desperate to go to sleep though!

Any advice?
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:42
Magenta01
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Honestly, I've no idea, but it could potentially be alot of gas you've breathed in. You're doing the right thing by airing the house. I'd suggest you call the gas safety hotline on 0800 111 999 just to make you feel at ease to go to sleep. They'll be the best people to advise if you need a hospital check, I personally don't know how much gas a hob gives out, but potentially you may need to.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:45
eliteheat
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Natural gas is combustible in the atmosphere in concentrations of between 5-15%.

Unless you have no sense of smell at all I find it impossible to believe you could not smell anything, unless it was being immediately vented to the outside. The stench agent added to gas is incredibly strong and most people will be able to detect the smallest of leaks, let alone a gas ring that has been left on for hours.

The standard advice is to turn off the gas supply at the meter, open all doors and windows, get out and do not turn on or off any electrical equipment. Neighbouring houses should also be evacuated until declared safe by the emergency services. Obviously, you should not call the Fire Brigade etc using the telephone in the property.

NG will not make you drowsy, it is not toxic at all. The risk is of an explosion.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:56
woodbush
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Hiya, I need advice. I came home tonight at about 7.30, when my housemate got up to go on her nightshift. She's there now. I've not used the kitchen since coming in as I got a takeaway pizza for my tea. Just been about to go to bed, and checked the stove, etc as I always do, to find that one stove has been left on, unlit. Given that she left the house at 9, and didn't cook while I was there, it's been on for at least 5-6 hours. I can't smell anything but have a cold so wouldn't anyway.

I'm currently airing the house, and sat in the backyard in my pjs, wellies and my coat. Got windows and the back door open.

Any advice on how long I need to sit here for?

I'm a little relieved that I checked the stove, as I was feeling quite headachy and lethargic and have been dozing off on the couch, which I never do. I don't know what effect the gas might have on me, but a little worried about locking the house up before it's all cleared. Desperate to go to sleep though!

Any advice?

If it's a fairly modern appliance the gas will not flow untill the knob is pushed in and unless the thermocouple detects a flame will not allow gas to flow without a flame being detected.

To prove this, turn the gas knob on now and see if you can hear gas escaping from the burner, I doubt you will.

Just paranoia i'm sure.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:58
woodbush
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Honestly, I've no idea, but it could potentially be alot of gas you've breathed in. You're doing the right thing by airing the house. I'd suggest you call the gas safety hotline on 0800 111 999 just to make you feel at ease to go to sleep. They'll be the best people to advise if you need a hospital check, I personally don't know how much gas a hob gives out, but potentially you may need to.
Exactly
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:09
Chocolate Monke
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Still sat with the windows and doors open but think I might be worrying too much now. As you say, if I can't smell anything, then either there's only a low concentration of gas that has leaked out, or, as it was turned on low, there wasn't any gas coming out anyway. Don't really want to light a spark to find out though ! Just rang my parents to ask their advice, they said the same, that I would have smelt it by now and just to keep airing the house aired for a while longer. Was a little worried that me feeling a bit dodgy was down to the gas. My parents have said the same as you eliteheat, that it won't cause me to feel lethargic (hungover is how I described it, and that's a pretty good explanation of how I've been feeling the past couple of hours. And no, I'm not hungover haha!) and that I'm probably reading things in to being tired.

Don't want to overreact and call people out! Might give the gas safety hotline a call though to feel a bit more at ease.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:13
Chocolate Monke
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If it's a fairly modern appliance the gas will not flow untill the knob is pushed in and unless the thermocouple detects a flame will not allow gas to flow without a flame being detected.

To prove this, turn the gas knob on now and see if you can hear gas escaping from the burner, I doubt you will.

Just paranoia i'm sure.
Just to add, I'm not sure how old our oven is as it's built in to the kitchen, but I'd hazard a guess at 10-15 years. However, we don't have to push the stove knobs in, they just turn freely. It also does make a hissing sound before we light it. This is one reason why I compulsively check the stove before going to bed, whether I've used it or not, because I'm paranoid someone will have nudged it on or something. And to think my housemates make fun of me for always checking it!
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:15
Magenta01
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Charming, I gave non offensive advice. It didn't incite panic, it suggested checking with a professional, what on earth is wrong with that!
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:17
woodbush
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Still sat with the windows and doors open but think I might be worrying too much now. As you say, if I can't smell anything, then either there's only a low concentration of gas that has leaked out, or, as it was turned on low, there wasn't any gas coming out anyway. Don't really want to light a spark to find out though ! Just rang my parents to ask their advice, they said the same, that I would have smelt it by now and just to keep airing the house aired for a while longer. Was a little worried that me feeling a bit dodgy was down to the gas. My parents have said the same as you eliteheat, that it won't cause me to feel lethargic (hungover is how I described it, and that's a pretty good explanation of how I've been feeling the past couple of hours. And no, I'm not hungover haha!) and that I'm probably reading things in to being tired.

Don't want to overreact and call people out! Might give the gas safety hotline a call though to feel a bit more at ease.
You didn't read my thread then. Modern appliances can't release gas after the knob is released unless the thermocouple detects a flame. Natural gas also has a smell so you know if it's leaking.

You can turn all the knobs to full, they do nothing.

But hey ho, you decide what posts to read.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:25
woodbush
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Charming, I gave non offensive advice. It didn't incite panic, it suggested checking with a professional, what on earth is wrong with that!

Your first statement was "I have no idea". Quoted for truth. The only people that should be called in an emergency situation would be the gas supplier. The OP didn't smell any gas.

You cannot turn gas on for a modern appliance without holding the knob in and a flame being detected. All the knobs on a cooker could be turned on full but without a flame being detected the gas would not be flowing.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:28
Magenta01
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Your first statement was "I have no idea". Quoted for truth. The only people that should be called in an emergency situation would be the gas supplier. The OP didn't smell any gas.

You cannot turn gas on for a modern appliance without holding the knob in and a flame being detected. All the knobs on a cooker could be turned on full but without a flame being detected the gas would not be flowing.
What in the name of safety is wrong with me suggesting she calls the gas safety hotline! They would have given the same advice as yourself, if you are right. Geez, some people are so bloody picky. It is the middle of the night and she was worried, so surely any advice is better than no advice and that's what the safety hotline is for :S
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:29
woodbush
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Just to add, I'm not sure how old our oven is as it's built in to the kitchen, but I'd hazard a guess at 10-15 years. However, we don't have to push the stove knobs in, they just turn freely. It also does make a hissing sound before we light it. This is one reason why I compulsively check the stove before going to bed, whether I've used it or not, because I'm paranoid someone will have nudged it on or something. And to think my housemates make fun of me for always checking it!
Are you certain or is it just something you do without thinking about it.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:34
woodbush
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Originally Posted by Magenta01;48561506[B
]What in the name of safety is wrong with me suggesting she calls the gas safety hotline![/b] They would have given the same advice as yourself, if you are right. Geez, some people are so bloody picky. It is the middle of the night and she was worried, so surely any advice is better than no advice and that's what the safety hotline is for :S
Absolutely nothing.

But your first line was "I know nothing"

My initial advice would be. Leave the building and call 999 if you smell gas.

Th OP said she didn't smell gas.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:40
Magenta01
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Absolutely nothing.

But your first line was "I know nothing"

My initial advice would be. Leave the building and call 999 if you smell gas.

Th OP said she didn't smell gas.
My first line was NOT "I know nothing" as I work at the receiving end of people with carbon monoxide poisoning, usually via different means. I said "I've no idea" to whether she may have been poisoned as gas stoves are NOT my area of expertise. Thanks for your further additions though.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:43
Chocolate Monke
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You didn't read my thread then. Modern appliances can't release gas after the knob is released unless the thermocouple detects a flame. Natural gas also has a smell so you know if it's leaking.

You can turn all the knobs to full, they do nothing.

But hey ho, you decide what posts to read.
In reply to this post, I clearly did read your post and replied to it. Thank you and everyone else for posting advice at this stupid hour of the morning.

In reply to your latest post woodbush, I've just checked and you're right, I do have to push the knobs in to turn them on, but not to turn them off. Obviously it is something I don't think about. However, I can clearly hear gas escaping. We light our stove with a gas lighter and, if it takes a few seconds for it to light the stove, there is a little burst of flame. Nothing I've worried about but which, along with the hissing sound, leads me to believe that the stove is releasing gas without a flame. I dont know how the stove was left on, my housemate says she cleaned the stove today. But the knob was clearly on. I turned it off without thinking about checking for the hissing sound. So again, I did read your earlier post but I had good reason to believe our stove didn't fit in to your description of fairly modern devices. I wasn't simply disregarding advice so ease off but, again, thank you for your reply.

Thanks again to everyone's advice. It's good to hear different people's suggestions.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:55
woodbush
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In reply to this post, I clearly did read your post and replied to it. Thank you and everyone else for posting advice at this stupid hour of the morning.

In reply to your latest post woodbush, I've just checked and you're right, I do have to push the knobs in to turn them on, but not to turn them off. Obviously it is something I don't think about. However, I can clearly hear gas escaping. We light our stove with a gas lighter and, if it takes a few seconds for it to light the stove, there is a little burst of flame. Nothing I've worried about but which, along with the hissing sound, leads me to believe that the stove is releasing gas without a flame. I dont know how the stove was left on, my housemate says she cleaned the stove today. But the knob was clearly on. I turned it off without thinking about checking for the hissing sound. So again, I did read your earlier post but I had good reason to believe our stove didn't fit in to your description of fairly modern devices. I wasn't simply disregarding advice so ease off but, again, thank you for your reply.

Thanks again to everyone's advice. It's good to hear different people's suggestions.
That's OK. You just press the knob without realising it. I'm glad you're safe.

It's a bit like a kick up the arse, sometimes OP's don't listen.

I was trying to help without panic and put you at ease.

I'm sorry if i've upset you or other posters, it wasn't my intention.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:04
Chocolate Monke
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That's OK. You just press the knob without realising it. I'm glad you're safe.

It's a bit like a kick up the arse, sometimes OP's don't listen.

I was trying to help without panic and put you at ease.

I'm sorry if i've upset you or other posters, it wasn't my intention.
No upset here, you made me think twice about how our stove works. Again, thank you for taking the time to reply. I've aired the house for over an hour and a half now and haven't been able to smell anything still. So going to lock up, leave small windows open and go to bed! Finally!
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:06
woodbush
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My first line was NOT "I know nothing" as I work at the receiving end of people with carbon monoxide poisoning, usually via different means. I said "I've no idea" to whether she may have been poisoned as gas stoves are NOT my area of expertise. Thanks for your further additions though.
You are right the quote was "I have no idea" and I misquoted you for which I apologise.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:08
woodbush
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No upset here, you made me think twice about how our stove works. Again, thank you for taking the time to reply. I've aired the house for over an hour and a half now and haven't been able to smell anything still. So going to lock up, leave small windows open and go to bed! Finally!

Me to. Goodnight. Glad your safe and well.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:57
ruthiebabie
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You cannot turn gas on for a modern appliance without holding the knob in and a flame being detected. All the knobs on a cooker could be turned on full but without a flame being detected the gas would not be flowing.
Just checked this statement and certainly not the case for my Whirlpool hob (fitted a year ago). If you push the knob in and turn it, it will hiss and let gas escape freely until you press the ignition button to light the flame.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:53
Erlang
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If it's a fairly modern appliance the gas will not flow untill the knob is pushed in and unless the thermocouple detects a flame will not allow gas to flow without a flame being detected.

To prove this, turn the gas knob on now and see if you can hear gas escaping from the burner, I doubt you will.

Just paranoia i'm sure.
Isn't that rather chicken and the egg situation?

Certainly for a gas hob ring?

No flame on thermocouple, then no gas flow? How is the flame on thermocouple sustained?

Now if your talking about a pilot light on a boiler for instance then I'd agree or the oven.

I'd be a bit worried advising a person who thinks a house is full of unburnt gas to try turning the gas knobs back and forth, to prove your point. For instance the knob controlling my oven automatically operates the igniter so if the house was gas filled then goodnight Vienna.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:55
Irvine
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Just checked this statement and certainly not the case for my Whirlpool hob (fitted a year ago). If you push the knob in and turn it, it will hiss and let gas escape freely until you press the ignition button to light the flame.
Snap, just tested mine that was fitted last Nov. Gas runs free when knob is pressed and turned.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:58
indianwells
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I think Woodbush was tired. What he probably meant was you couldn't release gas unless the knob was being held in, in which case the OP was perfectly safe as the knobs are spring loaded to prevent accidental release of gas.
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:25
Irvine
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I think Woodbush was tired. What he probably meant was you couldn't release gas unless the knob was being held in, in which case the OP was perfectly safe as the knobs are spring loaded to prevent accidental release of gas.
Nope push knob, turn release gas still flows.
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:27
Inspiration
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Personally I thought this post was out of order. No where in the first post does it state the appliance is 'modern' and I see no problem with the advice given in the post you took exception to. They suggested airing the house and calling a help line. Sounds like very good advice to me. If there is any doubt about gas, the experts should be called.

I once came home drunk after a night out to the smell of gas. Turns out I'd knocked one of my hobs on earlier in the evening preparing dinner and it had been letting gas out all night. Older appliances do this. Luckily I smelt the gas before going to bed and went to inspect the hob and turned it off. But there was no flame and not much sound. It was still releasing gas.
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