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Acetylene - Propane Detector

Propane (hydrocarbon gas) detectors are a good idea and are regularly
used in the gas industry. While a detector would improve safety, it
would not totally solve the home/studio gas leak problem. If you have a
propane or other gas leak and you are at home and the detector sounds,
you can take action and shut off the gas source. If you have a leak
and no one is around to shut off the gas when the detector sounds the
end result is the same as if you had no detector. In industrial
situations, a gas leak sensed by a hydrocarbon detector triggers
ventillation systems to go into high speed and automatically shuts in
gas valves. This type of system would be costly in the home or

Re what gas floats and what gas sinks… Air has a molecular weight of
29 Natural gas is mostly methane has a molecular weight of about 16
which means it is far lighter than air and will rise. Acetylene is C2H2
and has a molecular weight of about 26, which means that it is only
slighlty lighter than air, or is neutrally bouyant, ie it really won’t
float or sink but rather it will mix well with air. Propane has a
molecular weight around 44 and is deffinately much heavier than air
and will sink and pool.

Whether a gas sinks or rises is somewhat irrelevant. A room full of
any hydrocarbon gas can potentially explode. The key is to make sure
that you use your gas safely and assure that you never have a
substantial leak of any fuel gas in an enclosed room.

Also in the note I sent out the other day, there was a typo, I meant
to say that I am an AMATURE jeweller, but I somehow typed that I am a
MATURE jeweller, a statement that my wife would dispute!

Milt Fischbein
Milt Fischbein – @mfisch1