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Gas Leaks

Thursday, 23rd March 2023
Graham (Tech Advisor)
The Welders Warehouse Online Shop

Testing for Gas Leaks is important both for obvious safety reasons, but also because, who wants to waste expensive gas?

Testing for Gas Leaks is, however, not as simple as it might seem!

Where Fuel Gases are concerned, these have a distinctive odour, so you can normally smell a leak. Oxygen, Argon and Co2 however, are odourless.

Leak Detector Products

The best way to test for Gas Leaks is with a Leak Detector Spray. If you’re testing for leaks of Acetylene, Argon or Co2, this can be good old fashioned washing up liquid. Something we all have in our kitchens right!

Regular Washing Up liquid should NOT be used for Oxygen as it contains elements that can react with pressurised Oxygen and potentially combust.

When sprayed onto a joint that’s expected to be gas tight, Leak Detector Spray will form bubbles if gas is leaking.

I’ve already mentioned that Regular Washing Up Liquid should not be used with Oxygen, however, there is an exception!

Teepol, a UK Manufacturer, offer a number of products that can be used as a Gas Leak Detector for Oxygen (in addition to their designed for use), for example:

These products don’t contain elements that are potentially hazardous when used with pressurised Oxygen.

The beauty of these products is that you can use them for the purpose they were intended AND as a low cost Gas Leak Detector when you need to!

Leak Detector Spray

If on the other hand, you would prefer a dedicated Leak Detector Spray, well we can help with that!

Generally speaking, there are no joints on Gas Welding Equipment that need any kind of thread seal. Mainly because the threads don’t actually form part of the gas tight seal. But if you do have a joint that requires the thread sealing it is important the right product is used ESPECIALLY for Oxygen!

PTFE tape is one of the most common thread sealing products on the market, but you have to be careful. Regular plumbers PTFE tape is coated with a fine layer of mineral oil. This is potentially combustible if exposed to pressurised Oxygen.

Therefore it’s important to only use an OIL FREE PTFE Tape for Oxygen gas joints!

Although not the most riveting of reads, for those of you who would like to know a little more, here is an extract from MOD document JSP 319.


Clearly, testing for Gas Leaks is a good idea! But using the correct product is also important for safety.

I hope you found this blog article about Gas Leaks and Gas Leak Detection Products useful.

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  

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