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Blue pot on top of a gas stove

Experts Explain How to Detect a Gas Stove Leak and Methods to Prevent It

Blue pot on top of a gas stove

When properly installed, a gas stove is easy and convenient to use. However, it’s prone to gas leaks which can cause negative reactions in humans and pets. Furthermore, leaving a gas leak untreated increases the risk of an explosion.

In this article, learn how to detect a gas leak from experts and methods used to prevent one.

What Causes a Gas Stove to Leak?

Corrosion of internal gas pipe

Moisture from spilling water or cleaning the stove can cause the gas pipe to corrode, leading to a gas leak. To counter this issue, homeowners should clean and maintain the stove regularly to help prolong its lifespan.

 

Loosening of connection joints

Movement of the gas hose below the stove can cause the connection joints of the hose and pipes to loosen.

This problem rarely occurs but can be extremely dangerous when it does. Gas may fill up the entire cabinet, potentially resulting in a small explosion when it’s unknowingly ignited.

 

Badly fitted stove

If a stove is poorly fitted, gas can escape from the gas hose that leads into it. This results in a gas leak, which may lead to adverse consequences. Therefore, it’s crucial that homeowners get their stoves installed by a professional.

How to Tell If Your Stove is Leaking Gas

Signs of a Gas Leak

  • Presence of a pungent smell

Pots and pans on a gas stove inside a kitchen

Natural gases emitted from the stove have no odour or colour. Thus, to make it easier to detect gas leaks, manufacturers add methyl mercaptan – an odorant that gives natural gases an unpleasant smell. This acts as a safety measure that alerts us to a gas leak that may otherwise go unnoticed.

If you smell a persistent odour, leave the house and engage a stove repair service to diagnose and fix the gas leak immediately.

 

  • Presence of a hissing or whistling noise near the stove

Loose connection joints can make a faint whistling sound, indicating that there’s a gas leak. However, it’s important to note that not all gas leaks will create noises.

Therefore, homeowners should stay always vigilant and keep a lookout for signs of a potential gas leak.

 

  • Dead houseplants

Dead house plant with dried leaves inside a pot

Plants are extremely sensitive to the presence of gas build-up. Therefore, dead indoor plants may signal that there’s gas leak and will require your immediate attention.

 

  • Discoloured flame

Blue flame from an ignited gas stove

A tell-tale sign of a gas leak is a discoloured flame. Gas stoves should typically have a blue burner flame when ignited. A consistently yellow or orange flame, on the other hand, is not normal and is a sign of a gas leak.

 

  • High gas bill

Another way to detect if your stove is leaking gas is to compare your gas bills over 2 – 3 months. If you notice an unusual spike in cost, there might be a gas leak.

 

  • Smell of gas when stove is turned off

If there’s a smell of gas even when the stove knobs are turned off, it’s highly likely that there’s a gas leak.

 

Physical Symptoms You May Experience When There’s a Gas Leak

A gas leak can reduce the amount of oxygen in the air, leading to physical symptoms like

  • breathing difficulties,
  • chest pains,
  • dizziness,
  • headaches,
  • eye or throat irritation,
  • nausea or
  • ringing in the ears.

How to Detect a Gas Leak

Use a Gas Leak Detector

A precise way to identify a gas leak is to install a carbon monoxide (CO) or natural gas detector in your kitchen.

Joonas Jokiniemi of Grill Smoke Love suggests to place the detector at a height of 70cm or lower, since the gas is heavier than air.

These devices will sound an alarm if the concentration of gas exceeds safety levels, informing you of a gas leak.

Note!
Not all CO detectors are designed to detect natural gas leaks. It’s recommended that you get a model that’s equipped to detect both types of gases.

 

Perform the Bubble Test

Using the bubble test on a gas pip to detect a gas leak

Source: How to Detect a Gas Leak

Another classic method to detect a gas leak is the bubble test.

To perform the test, all you need to do is to

  • mix a small amount of dish soap or detergent with water,
  • turn on the gas, and
  • use a wet sponge or cloth to wipe it along the gas pipes.

If you see bubbles, there’s a leak. The bubbles are caused by the leaking gas that is pushing through the water-soap mixture. Turn off the gas and avoid using the stove before the leak has been fixed.

– Jokiniemi

 

Use Lead Acetate Test Strips

According to Stephan Logan of Indigo Instruments, using acetate test strips is a fairly cheap and easy way to detect a gas leak.

If you use lead acetate test strips and move them near the suspected leak, the strip will change colour. This method is very commonly used in the oil drilling business as well.

What to Do If Your Gas Stove is Leaking

Evacuate Everyone in the House

If there’s a suspected gas leak, your priority is to evacuate everyone in the house. Apart from ensuring their safety, this also prevents them from inhaling more gas which puts them at risk for gas poisoning.

 

Open the Doors and Windows

As you exit your home, leave the windows and doors open. This improves ventilation, allowing the gas within your home to dissipate. Ideally, you should air out your home until the smell of gas inside cannot be detected.

 

Contact the Utility Company

Using a smartphone to make a phonecall

If you suspect that there’s a gas leak, contact the utility company’s emergency service hotline immediately.

The company will dispatch a response team to survey your home, locate the source of the gas leak, and fix it.

Note!
Make the call a safe distance from your home as this may cause the gas to catch fire.

 

Contact a Professional to Repair Your Stove

You may also engage the help of a qualified repair technician to fix or replace your faulty stove.

 

Stay Away from Fire and Electricity

Avoid turning on electrical devices or lighting up a flame as these actions can cause the gas to ignite, leading to an explosion.

What to Do After a Gas Stove Leak

Once the leak has been repaired, you should only return inside after you’ve been officially notified that it’s safe.

Additionally, you should also keep a lookout for symptoms of

  • respiratory problems,
  • depression, and
  • mood-related issues.

How to Prevent a Gas Stove Leak

Engage a Licensed Gas Service Worker

A licensed gas service worker will test and certify that your stove is ready for use, reducing the chances of a gas leak.

 

Replace Old Gas Pipes and Valves

Replacing these components are vital as they may corrode and become faulty over time, leading to a gas leak.

 

Check for Gas Leaks Yourself

You can check for a gas leak by periodically turning off all appliances in your home. Once this has been done, proceed to check the gas meter; it should remain inactive if there’s nothing wrong.

Fixing a Gas Stove Leak

Kitchen in a HDB flatDC Vision Design on HomeRenoGuru

Ignoring the signs and symptoms of a gas leak can lead to serious repercussions such as carbon monoxide poisoning or other health-related issues.

If you think that your stove is leaking gas, get it checked and fixed by a professional as soon as possible.

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Oven Cleaning Tips Revealed by 17 Bakers and Cleaning Experts

17 Bakers and Cleaning Experts Reveal Their Tried and Tested Tips to Clean and Maintain Your Oven

Oven Cleaning Tips Revealed by 17 Bakers and Cleaning Experts

According to a survey done by Jaycloth Cleaning and Ironing Services, 30% of the participants polled have quoted oven cleaning as their most dreaded household chore.

However, despite the effort that is required, it is crucial to keep your oven clean and maintain hygiene. This brings about several benefits including making your food taste better!

We have approached 17 bakers, cleaning experts and DIY professionals to tell us their tried and tested tips to clean and maintain their ovens.

Most Popular Tip: Use Baking Soda, Water and Vinegar

I use a few natural oven cleaners, both work miracles. For burnt food on the oven floor – spread baking soda, spray it with white vinegar and leave it overnight. In the morning just wipe it away, the solution should dilute the dirt.

If the entire oven is greasy and needs cleaning, the following DIY oven spray should help. The ingredients: 6 parts water, 1 part baking soda and 1 part white vinegar. First you must blend the water and vinegar and then add soda. Apply it to your oven interior and wait for 5-10 minutes. Wipe it and rinse the surface.

Jane Wilson, Marketing Manager at Fantastic Cleaners Melbourne

 

Removing baked on muck and grime from your oven is incredibly challenging, especially if you’re not interested in using heavy chemicals. These cleaning products can seep into your food and taint it. Instead, you should use the following natural recipe:

  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 1 part granulated salt
  • 3 parts baking soda

Mix it into a large container until it resembles thick cake frosting. You should layer it on the inside of the oven, wait for 24-hours and then scrub it off with a damp sponge until clean.

Jack Prenter, Founder of Chore Bliss

 

Step 1: Mix 4 parts baking soda to 1 part water in a plastic container until it forms a thick paste

Step 2: Use a spatula or a new small paint brush to spread the paste on the areas with most grime and let it sit for about 25 minutes.

Step 3: Get a quality scrub, white distilled vinegar and fill another plastic container with the vinegar just enough to be able to dip the scrub entirely.

Step 4: Using gloves dip the scrub in the plastic container and turn it over to dip the other side.

Step 5: Once the scrub is soaked in vinegar and using your gloves, start scrubbing away the nasty grime. You’ll notice it cuts through the grime like a knife through butter.

Optional: for stainless steel ovens, get a stainless steel cleaner and polish to make it shine!

Jennifer Rodriguez, Chief Hygiene Officer at Pro Housekeepers

 

Using baking soda and water to clean oven

First, remove the racks and have them soak in the sink while you clean the inside of the oven. Create a mix of 1/3 baking soda, 1/3 vinegar and 1/3 warm water and mix in a spray bottle. Generously spray the inside of the over with the solution, begin with the oven ceiling, and let the solution sit for 2-3 minutes. Use a microfibre cloth to remove the solution along with any build-up. Continue on all sides and the bottom. Repeating this process every 3 months will guarantee your oven will last for many years!

Martan Mckee, Owner and Found of Eh! Maids

 

My favourite way to clean the oven is with baking soda and water. Make a paste of baking soda and water and spread liberally over all surfaces of the oven. Let it sit for several hours or overnight, keeping it moist by misting occasionally with water. Wipe out with a damp cloth (no scrubbing required) and spray with vinegar. Let the vinegar dry to repel future stains.

This natural method of cleaning has the added advantage of leaving no chemical residue, which can cause harsh fumes when you next use the oven if you did not get every last streak of the traditional cleaners.

Laura Smith, Owner of All Star Cleaning Services

 

I do it the old-fashioned way, by mixing water and baking soda in a bowl. First, remove the oven racks, and then spread the baking-soda paste inside the oven. Let it sit overnight and then gently spread vinegar over the paste. The debris scrubs off easily!

Erika Low, Founder of Sumopocky

 

Some of our clients request only natural or organic products to clean their home. We use baking soda to clean the door of the ovens. Baking soda is not harmful – in fact, it’s a very good cleaner. You can choose to:

  • rub it in accumulated dirt on your oven
  • make a paste with baking soda and water or
  • rub it with a lime to help with eliminating grease.

For eliminating odours, you can put water and vinegar in a pot inside your oven and set it at low heat. Leave it for a while and clean your oven after. You can then use a towel and soapy water to clean the rest of the grease that has built up.

Alberto Navarrete, General Manager at Emily’s Maids

Baking Soda and Water are Sufficient

Here are some tips on how we clean and maintain our oven:

  • Only switch off the oven once the oven has cooled down.
  • Clean the oven thoroughly at least once every month
  • Wipe down the interior of the oven regularly.
  • Remove any residue and/or burnt food after every bake to prevent the oven from having any unpleasant smell.
  • Avoid using strong chemicals to clean the oven as the gas from the chemical will linger in the oven.
  • Soak racks in a mixture of hot water and dish soap to remove any stubborn stains.
  • Clean the oven by mixing baking soda and water. Spray the mixture on the oven and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before wiping down. (We learnt this method from the internet!)

Shirleen Yap, Baker at Oh My Desserts

Use Your Choice of Oven Spray or Cleaning Solution

  • Turn off and unplug your oven before cleaning it to ensure it can’t be accidentally turned on while you’re working.
  • Clean the outside of the oven first. You’ll also want to clean underneath it to prevent food debris from getting inside the oven after you clean it.
  • Remove the racks and clean them thoroughly. This includes removing debris and using approved sanitisers like chlorine or quaternary ammonium to kill remaining bacteria. After sanitising, rinse the racks with clean water and allow them to air dry.
  • Wash the parts of the oven that can’t be removed with clean water and spray the interior and exterior with sanitising solution. Allow it to air dry before putting the racks back inside.

Janilyn Hutchings, Food Scientist and Food Safety Specialist at StateFoodSafety

 

Cleaning Oven by StateFoodSafetySource: Cleaning in Place

 

Open all windows and doors prior to cleaning an oven.

Wearing a face mask, use a strong oven spray and place the shelves and supports on the open door so once the inside has been sprayed, the shelving and door can be sprayed at same time.

After leaving product to work for 30 minutes, wash and scrub the shelving with stainless steel scourer in hot soapy water.

Wash out inside of oven and door with a wet sponge.

Dry with clean cloth and replace the supports and shelves.

For maintenance, remove spillages and wipe inside oven after every use.

Julie Finch-Scally, Cleaning Expert and Managing Director of The Duster Dollies Pty Ltd

 

The secret is to use a razor scraper for the stuck on grease. Scrub with a cleaning agent of choice and a non-scratch pad. Next, use a rag to clean up and dry everything. Now use the razor at an angle to gently clean off the remaining food and grease using short quick movements. Be careful not to cut yourself! Once everything is removed, finish it up with a quick wipe of your cleaning agent to make it sparkle!

Sheryl Milligan, Chief Business Development Officer of American House Cleaners Association

 

We first remove all the oven grills, and scrub and wash them with soap water. For the interior of the oven, we scrub them with CIF oven cleaner and wipe it down a couple of times with hot water and soap. Then finally, we leave the oven on at 180 degrees celsius for 30 minutes or so to just let the oven dry and air.

Elle, Co-founder of Zee & Elle

 

Tips to Clean and Maintain Oven

We use industrial cleaners for our ovens. Although, sometimes we use baking soda and half a lemon wedge to soften some tough stains (sponge batters, drips etc.). You could add some salt to act as an extra abrasive. We like to use steel wool to scrub our ovens.

Make sure to brush the base of the oven to make sure no crumbs are left. Wipe the glass door to avoid grease build up. The same mixture can be used to clean oven glass doors.

Ernie Lim, Owner and Co-founder of Pulse Patisserie

Use Lemon Juice and Water to Get Rid of Grease

Lemons – Your Secret Oven Cleaning Weapon

Lemons are:

  • Cheaper
  • Easier to use
  • Safer
  • Just as effective as your average commercial product

You’ll need:

  • Two lemons
  • A suitable, heat-resistant dish
  • Some water

How to do it:

Cut your citric treats in half, squeeze them in the bowl, place what’s left of the lemons in the juice and add enough water, so the dish is about halfway full. Set the oven to 250 degrees, bake for 30 minutes and then let it cool off. Then, sponge the grease with lemon water. Finish by drying the inside walls off with a clean towel.

George Griffin, Marketing Coordinator at FastKlean

 

Using lemon and water to clean oven

  • Use a mixture of baking soda, dishwashing soap and hydrogen peroxide to remove burnt grease and grime from your cooker. This works exceptionally well on broader oven surfaces.
  • In a pot, mix a cup of water, the lemon juice from 2 lemons and the used lemons. Boil the mixture in the oven. The steam from the water will loosen the grease and grime and make it easier to clean.
  • Use a bag filled with 500 mg of ammonia to clean your oven racks. Put them inside the bag and leave it overnight. Rinse the oven shelves in the morning.

Cyrus Bedwyr, Professional Kitchen and Oven Cleaner at Maggie’s Oven Services

How to Prevent Mess when Baking

For non-electric ovens you can keep a roasting tray on the bottom of your oven to catch any drips without effecting the oven’s heat flow. When you are finished using the oven, soak the roasting pan over-night and it will be easy to wipe away all of the build-up in the morning. If soaking is not an option, you can scrape it between uses. One pan can last months with this method and will save you a lot of time on oven cleaning!

Chris Willatt, Owner of Alpine Maids

 

How to prevent mess when baking

My tip is more of a way to keep your oven clean, rather than how to clean it once it has been dirtied. In short, anything that I make that I think might drip from the pan (e.g. a fruit pie) or anything with a filling that might ooze (e.g. sticky morning buns), I always place a sheet tray (cookie sheet) below the pan with the baked good in it either directly below, like the baked good pan is on the sheet tray, or a shelf below. The sheet pan will then do its job by catching all the drips. I always cover the sheet pan in tin foil so that that is easier to clean as well.

Jessie Sheehan, Founder of Jessie Sheehan Bakes and Author of The Vintage Baker

Best Way to Clean and Maintain Your Oven

It seems like many of the experts who contributed have similar ways of cleaning their ovens.

Having said that, only you would know what works best for your appliances. The best way to find out which method is the most effective is to try each of the methods mentioned in this article, compare the results and stick to the best one!

✓ Bonus tip!
For those who don’t use their oven often:
To prevent oven tripping, you have to switch your oven to 150°C for 15 minutes every week!

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Buying a Dryer in Singapore Guide

WATERWERKS

Guide To Buying a Dryer in Singapore

By Fixwerks | May 8, 2018

Even though we live in a tropical sunny island, Singapore, we still find ourselves considering to buy a dryer at home due to our busy work schedules and the erratic sunshine or rainfall weather here. Just bought a new home and thinking if a dryer should be part of your appliance shopping list? What should you look out for in buying a dryer and what are the considerations one should have before purchasing one?

Some common brands of dryers in Singapore: Beko, Whirlpool, Candy, Elba, Electrolux,  Bosch, Teka etc. Each brand and model has it’s own unique feature and you will need to decide on your budget and needs to purchase a suitable dryer for yourself.

Prices for dryer can vary depending on the functionality, type and capacity. Not forgetting the brand plays an important role in the price game as well. European brand dryers tend to be more lasting but more expensive as well. Dryers has evolved much from the conventional vented dryer into a high energy efficient heat pump condenser dryer. You can expect a entry level dryer to start from $450 and a high end dryer to cost more than $2000. With the advancement in technology, you can even purchase a washer-dryer! But in this article, we will only be discussing on a standalone dryer.

Check out Fixwerks’s infographic below for dryer shopping guide.

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How long do home appliances usually last?

How long do home appliances usually last?

The Highlights :

      • Average lifespan of common household appliances.

Home appliances are the most costly expenses for any homeowners. The cost and trouble for any home appliance repair is also very undesirable for any homeowner. As such, it would be good to have an idea of how long each appliance will generally last. This would depend very much on the usage and general upkeep of the appliance. The washing machine of a couple’s home should generally outlast the one of a family of five simply due to the amount of load it washes per week.

The lifespan of an appliance also depends on how well it is being taken care of. An air-con that is regularly serviced will be less likely to break down as compared to one that has never been serviced. Many consumers overlook on the importance of maintenance and servicing until the appliance starts to breakdown.

In this guide, we will share on the average lifespan of some common appliances and some useful tips to help prolong the lifespan of your appliances.

1. Air-conditioning – 8 to 15 years

aircon-banner

The condenser coil will get dirty due to dust and this will affect the efficiency of the refrigerator cooling system. When the refrigerator cooling system is not efficient, the compressor will overwork and it will be a matter of time that the compressor breaks down.

*Tip – Always choose the right size for the room that you wish to cool. Many times the air-conditioner is overworked due to incorrect sizing of the air-conditioning unit.

2. Refrigerators – 7 to 13 years

Refrigerators are the most hardworking appliance in the house. However, many do not know that the refrigerator also requires servicing and maintenance. The lifespan of your refrigerator also depends on the location that it is being installed. Always remember that the refrigerator is a machine that helps to remove heat. Therefore, it requires proper ventilation around it to ensure heat dissipation and airflow.

*Tip – Ensure that the doors of the refrigerators are closed tightly. If the door gasket is failing, replace with a new one or purchase a refrigerator strap to seal the door tightly.

3. Ovens – 11 to 15 years

Many in Singapore do not use their ovens frequently. This is why their life expectancy is longer as compared to other appliances. However, due to the humidity in the weather, the ovens will trip if not used frequently. It would be advisable to get a reliable service engineer for any oven repair service in Singapore.

*Tip – Turn on the oven at least once a week to dry up the moisture in the heating element.

4. Microwaves – 8 to 12 years

Microwaves are great helpers in the kitchen when it comes to heating up of food. The lifespan of a microwave corresponds to the usage of it. Handling of the microwave also plays a part. If the user slams the door of the microwave frequently, the microwave door latch will definitely give way in time to come.

*Tip – Place a bowl with water and detergent mixture in the microwave and let it run for 1 minute. This will allow the grease in the microwave to loosen which makes it easy to clean.

5. Stoves – 8 to 12 years

flickr/ Credit: Oregon State University

The average household uses the stove up to twice a day. Regular maintenance must be done on the stove to ensure that it functions properly. The ignition function of the stove is usually the first to be faulty.

*Tip – Do not wet the whole stove when cleaning. Be careful not to let any water seep into the stove which will cause internal corrosion.

6. Cooker hoods – 7 to 13 years

Cooker hood filters must be washed or replaced regularly for it to be efficient. If there is heavy cooking every day, the cooker hood should be washed and cleaned at the end of each day. The suction motor may fail due to clogged oil and grease. As the cooker hood is just above the stove, even when not in used, it should be cleaned as oil and grease will be built up.

*Tip – Install a cooker hood only if you really need it. Cooker hoods require high maintenance and it must be done to prevent breakdowns.

7. Washing Machines – 5 to 10 years

Top loading washing machines typically last longer than front loading washing machines. There are many factors that lead to the lifespan of a washing machine. This includes type of washing detergent, load of laundry and number of wash cycles per week.

*Tip – Do not overload the washing machine. As a guide, load only half the tank without any manual compression.

8. Clothes Dryers – 5 to 10 years

Regular cleaning and maintenance will help reduce the risk of fire caused by clothes dryer. Similar to the washing machine, avoid over loading of clothes and allow the dryer to rest in between intervals.

*Tip – Clean the lint trap regularly and ensure that the vent exhaust is not blocked.

9. Water Heaters – 8 to 15 years

Most water heaters will outlive the other appliances in your home. The common issues will include leakages at the joints due to corrosion. Ensure that the water heater is installed in a sheltered area.

*Tip – Do not leave the water heater switched on for long period of time or when not using. This will help save electricity and prevent the water heater from over working.

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