Natural Gas Leak Discovered During Blower Door Testing
I am the un-proud owner of a new home constructed 1 year ago. I have terrible problems with air leakage particularly from the attic where blown cellulose is used. Due to this problem and after reading your columns, I called a BPI certified Energy Audit Company to perform a blower door test.
Prior to testing the company came and turned off all the furnaces and hotwater heater. The gas dryer and stove were not running.
During the blower door test run at 50 Pa, I began smelling natural gas. The test was immediately stopped and the smell dissipated. The natural gas hand-held detectors were unsuccessful in detecting a leak with the blower door turned off. The operators then turned the blower door back to 25 Pa, and behind one of the walls the detectors isolated the area of the leak. The problem however is that there are no gas lines located behind this particular wall where the leak was detected.
The plumber who originally installed the gas lines later came out and without the aid of the blower door, said confidently he couldn’t detect any leak with his detector.
What do I do now? It seems like the natural gas leak is only detectable with the blower door in place and operating. I am concerned since based on the results of the audit I believe I am going to spray foam the attic and turn it into a conditioned space. I don’t want to create a closed envelope with combustion hazard.