An odor has been added to your propane gas so you can smell it if it escapes - if there’s a leak in the system, for example, or if an appliance malfunctions.
But your nose may not always work right. For example, research suggests that..
- Some people have a better sense of smell than others.
- Some elderly people are unable to detect the odorant in gas.
- On rare occasions, some people are unable to smell certain odors.
- Colds, allergies and sinus congestion can all affect your sense of smell.
- Tobacco smoke or strong cooking odors can cover up other odors, too - and remember that the use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs may affect your sense of smell.
Under certain circumstances, propane gas may lose the distinctive odor that was added. This is sometimes called “odor fade’, and it can occur both in new steel containers when first placed into service and in used steel containers left open to the atmosphere for a long time.
For example, air, water, or rust in a propane tank may weaken the gas odor through a chemical.