Can a Radiator Leak Gas?

This question is asked of gas engineers more often than you might think.  Here we take a look in more detail about whether a gas leak in radiators is possible or not.

Can a radiator leak gas?

A central heating radiator has only water running through it so it is not possible for a radiator to leak gas.  The only thing it can leak is water.  If you smell gas near a radiator, it may be a gas pipe running close to the radiator from the meter to a gas appliance.  You may need to lift up floorboards for further investigation.

Can a radiator have a gas leak

Radiator smells like gas

Sometimes when you bleed a radiator, a smell like gas may be apparent for a short while.  It’s normally nothing to worry about as it could be the smell of rust or sludge within the radiator creating a hydrogen gas that’s released.  This can happen when heating systems aren’t maintained properly. 

If the smell of gas persists, as mentioned before, check for any gas pipes running close to the radiator (maybe underneath the floorboards).  If in doubt, contact a gas engineer to investigate and resolve the issue.

Do you know how many radiators a boiler can handle? Find out here >>

Can a radiator leak carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide cannot leak from radiators. Although a gas boiler can leak carbon monoxide from various faults. Radiators have only water passing through them and are not part of the combustion process. They are there to distribute hot water to heat the different rooms in a house.

Faulty boilers can leak carbon monoxide

Known as the silent killer, because you can’t smell it and you can’t see it. carbon monoxide is produced when fuel is not burned correctly. As the fuel gas is burned inside the boiler, here is where CO is produced if the boiler is faulty.

Install a good quality carbon monoxide detector in your home and it will alert you if CO levels get too high.

Is a leaking radiator dangerous?

A leaking radiator is not immediately dangerous as only water passes through it.  But the leaking radiator needs to be fixed quickly to prevent damage to flooring and surrounding furniture. 

If left unrepaired, loss of pressure can occur in the heating system which leads to other problems.

Can radiators smell after a gas leak?

Radiators shouldn’t smell of anything if they are properly fitted and there are no leaks as they are made of metal.  But two things could cause a smell, dust build up and painting the radiators. 

Keeping the dirt and dust off including from the fins at the back can prevent odours, including those musty or burning smells.  If the radiator has been painted over, this may cause the smell too, especially if the correct radiator paint hasn’t been used. 

If this is the case, you may have to replace the radiator.

Annual boiler maintenance

This is the best way to ensure your heating system is safe and in good working order. Most boiler policies have the option of central heating cover to check the radiators too. With the amount of use a boiler gets each year, it is important to have it service annually. offer boiler services as part of their home care products which are available at a great price. Find out more on our recommended page here.

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