Leaking gas – are we all going to die?

On Sunday our boiler started leaking gas. We could smell it and so we called the emergency number and an engineer came out within the hour. He confirmed there was a leak and isolated the unit and made it safe. He didn’t fix the leak; he only turned off the boiler which is why we’ve been without central heating.

Yesterday an engineer came to fix it only he couldn’t find a leak and decided there was none and that it was safe to use. I did not feel comfortable with this assessment and so before bed last night, with visions of us being gassed to death in our sleep, I turned off the gas altogether. The boiler room is right next to our bedrooms and it didn’t seem wise to leave it on. How could it be leaking on Sunday and then without having had any repairs, suddenly be fine?

This morning I turned the gas back on again but the boiler did not start because the pilot light had gone out. An engineer had previously told me starting the pilot light is not something we can do because it’s so old. So an engineer came out again. He said intermittent gas leaks are a bad sign but then he inspected the boiler and changed his mind, adding that it’s not leaking now. Maybe I should just accept what the experts say since I really don’t know much about boilers and central heating? But last time we had British Gas fix something, the water leak, they hadn’t really fixed it at all and the water started leaking again just as a new ceiling was going in.

We’ve organised to have a new boiler installed next week. I would prefer just to leave our central heating off until then but Ben and the engineers think it’s fine to use. We’ve got an electric heater now and we’re also getting our gas fire inspected tomorrow so we’ll be able to use that as well. Maybe I’m being a drama queen. Would you leave the boiler on or turn it off?

6 Replies to “Leaking gas – are we all going to die?”

  1. Do you have a carbon monoxide alarm? If no, then definitely don’t turn on the boiler.
    Do you have a hot water tank and electric immersion heater? If so, then you will have hot water and be able to wash. It is then a matter of surviving without central heating.

    If you can manage to get hot water for washing, then I’d say turn the boiler off.

    A gas explosion is a bigger risk than asphyxiation. Just turning a light switch on or off can create a spark.

    1. Yes, we do have a carbon monoxide alarm. We also have a hot water cylinder which can be heated by electricity so it’s no big drama turning the central heating off for a week. We never had central heating in Christchurch in NZ.

      1. It’s a no-brainer to turn off the boiler, then!

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