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Renter grows concerned after discovering strange smell emanating from shoddy plumbing: 'Most certainly not up to code'

"Don't turn that valve on."

"Don't turn that valve on."

Photo Credit: Reddit

Everyone has experienced a questionable rental situation at least once in their lives. One user living in Italy took to Reddit to ask a question about their newest rental, which included a jerry-built gas pipe. 

The user shared a photo on the r/Appliances forum with the hopes of getting their questions answered. They noted that their landlord explained the "finicky older gas stove and oven." After a while, they noticed a cooked egg-like smell coming from the appliance, which remained even after they shut off the stove for 15 minutes. 

Upon closer inspection, the photo revealed the line to the gas stove was wrapped with a PVC pipe and what looks like duct tape and a hose clamp. 

The smell from the gas leak isn't just a nuisance — it can also be dangerous. Gas stoves can leak benzene, a chemical that has been linked to childhood asthma and some cancers. One study from 2022 estimated that nearly 13% of childhood asthma cases can be linked to gas stove use. Even when the stoves are not on, they can leak planet-warming methane gas, as well as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

Improper plumbing and connections to appliances can also cause a major safety hazard when it comes to fire and flames. Gas stoves are designed to ignite easily, and improper rigging can cause them to explode, damage the home, and potentially cause bodily harm.

Before moving into a home, renters should inspect to ensure all the appliances are in working order and nothing looks fishy with the hookups. Landlords are required to comply with all building code regulations and may be issued citations if things are not up to standard. 

A better option is to avoid using a gas range altogether. While renters may have a difficult time getting their landlords to replace their gas range with an electric one, there are plenty of portable induction stovetops available. Induction stovetops are safer, easier to clean, and more efficient than gas stoves — plus, they don't emit any planet-warming gases beyond those involved in the power supply for the electric company.

Users in the comments section shared how unsafe the rigging of this appliance was. "That gas line is most certainly not up to code in any Western nation. You can't use pVC and a hose clamp on a gas line. Don't turn that valve on," one user shared

Other commenters noted that the plumbing of the gas line could potentially cause ignition and the house to burn down, citing an example of an explosion in Indiana that killed three people and damaged 39 homes. 

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