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I just reinstalled my gas dryer after a lengthy hiatus due to remodeling. The plumbing hasn't changed much except that I had taken off but then reinstalled (with yellow Teflon tape) the 2' appliance connector.

Just before putting it back there was no gas smell but now there is throughout the house. I did run a test load and it dried fine. So I shut the valve at the outlet off, just before the connector and there is no more smell.

Is it possible that something happened to the dryer during the hiatus? Like that maybe there is a breach of some inside fitting, a gasket, valve or igniter? Should I call my gas company to see if they can detect a leak? Again, when the valve at the outlet is off, everything is fine so I know it's not the pipe leading to it.

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    Are you sure the Teflon tape is appropriate? I am not a gas expert (even the basics on gas I hand off to pros, unlike electrical or water), but I recall something previously about not using tape in some situations where it might otherwise seem logical to do so. It only takes a little leaking gas to create quite a smell - which is by design for safety, as the smell is not actually a natural part of natural gas. Dec 29 '20 at 15:10
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact I'm not sure but I find it intuitive to use tape and not dope for appliance connectors that are subject to more frequent removal
    – amphibient
    Dec 29 '20 at 15:12
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    When it comes to gas & electrical, intuitive is often dangerous. One of the experts will come along soon enough to let you know the normal practice for these installations. A picture showing the valve/connections may be helpful. Also, an installation like this does not have frequent removal - a normal dryer (or stove or water heater) hookup might be removed once every 5-10 years, if that. Dec 29 '20 at 15:14
  • I consider 5-10 years frequent. This last time was to do a flooring renovation
    – amphibient
    Dec 29 '20 at 15:15
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    Dangerous for sure. Glad you turned off the gas valve. If you have decent access, turn it on for a moment and test with soapy water for a leak at the connection. You'll see bubbles forming if you have a leak. If not there, you're probably right in your assumption that it's leaking somewhere in the dryer itself. Obviously after the test, turn off the gas valve again. Be careful with this, gas explosions are nasty, to say the least. Dec 29 '20 at 15:24
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This statement concerns me:

The plumbing hasn't changed much except that I had taken off but then reinstalled (with yellow Teflon tape) the 2' appliance connector.

Per the instructions appliance connector hoses and fitting are single-use. Simply put: you need to buy a new appliance connector.

Additionally, no pipe dope nor teflon tape is to be use on flared (tapered) connections. Do not apply pipe dope nor tape to the threads as it can make its way to the flare surface and prevent proper compression.

The male flare is designed to compress against the female flare to produce a gas tight seal. The threads are not gas tight by design because they need you to be able to compress the flare to a specific torque.

The flare metal is usually soft enough to allow microscopic deformation. These connections are single-use so once a flare has been tightened once you need a new flare connector; both male and female.


From the proverbial horse's mouth:

DO NOT reuse the gas connector or fittings. The connector, fittings and valve are designed for use on original installation only. Removal of connector and additional handling may have damaged connector making it unsafe for reuse.

From the Safety precautions section of https://images.homedepot-static.com/catalog/pdfImages/ea/ea7dc718-95fd-4033-b680-3a9d0c17db69.pdf

Product:

1/2 in. MIP x 1/2 in. MIP x 48 in. Gas Connector (1/2 in. OD) w/Safety+Plus2 Thermal Excess Flow Valve (60,500 BTU)

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Repeating the comments : Your gas line connection is probably a flare fitting and using any type of pipe dope is a big = deadly , mistake. Flare connections are metal to metal and anything in the joint interferes with the seal. I once consulted on a home fire where there were two deaths; I was called to evaluate the flex tube metallurgy . It was pretty easy ,there was still pipe dope ( not teflon tape although it is the same problem) on the flare connections.

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  • Are you saying don't use any dope or tape with flared connectors?
    – amphibient
    Dec 29 '20 at 16:00
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    @amphibient - can't see why one would need to. Flared connections are all over cars' brake piping, used on compressors, with far higher pressure than gas in a house is at. The idea is the metal moulds to form a gastight joint - if done properly.
    – Tim
    Dec 29 '20 at 16:24
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    @amphibient - not exactly. One end of the fitting is NPT which needs dope on the male thread. The other end is flare which does not - and needs not to.
    – Mazura
    Dec 29 '20 at 17:10
  • @Mazura, yes, that's what I meant, thanks for clarifying
    – amphibient
    Dec 29 '20 at 17:18
  • Pipe fittings require dope to seal the two spiral leak paths at the thread roots . Flare - metal to metal need to be bare metal. Dec 29 '20 at 19:02

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