Electronics Projects: Low-Cost LPG Leakage Detector

Pamarthi Kanakaraja

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test pointsThe circuit for an LPG leakage detector is readily available in the market, but it is extremely expensive and usually based on a microcontroller (MCU). Presented here is a low-cost circuit for an LPG detector that you can build easily.

The main objective of the circuit is to detect LPG leakage anywhere. Fig. 1 shows the author’s prototype.

LPG leakage detector prototype
Fig. 1: Author’s prototype
Fig-2
Fig. 2: Circuit diagram of the LPG detector

Circuit and Working of the LPG leakage detector

Circuit diagram of the low-cost LPG detector is shown in Fig. 2. It is built around step-down transformer X1, two rectifier diodes 1N4007 (D1 and D2), a 1000µF capacitor (C1), 7805 voltage regulator (IC1), MQ-6 LPG gas sensor (GS1), dual comparator LM393 (IC2), darlington transistor TIP122 (T2), 12V high-gain siren/buzzer (PZ1) and a few other components.

parts listThe mains supply is stepped down by transformer X1, rectified by a full-wave rectifier comprising diodes D1 and D2, filtered by capacitor C1 and fed to regulator 7805 (IC1) to maintain constant 5V DC output, which is fed to the circuit.

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At the heart of the circuit is dual comparator IC LM393 (IC2). It is used to compare two different voltages, namely, reference voltage and MQ-6 gas sensor output voltage.

Reference voltage at non-inverting pin 3 of IC2 is set using potmeter VR1 to adjust voltage levels based on sensitivity requirements. LPG sensor (MQ-6) output voltage is fed to inverting pin 2 of IC2.

If reference voltage (pin 3 of IC2) is less than sensor voltage (pin 2 of IC2), output goes low, which means there is no LPG leakage. With low output, T1 remains cut-off and there is no current flow through the buzzer; it does not sound and remains in silence mode.

If reference voltage is greater than sensor voltage, output goes high, which means there is LPG leakage. The high output switches on transistor T1 and the buzzer rings loudly to alert the people around.

It is very easy to find gas leakages with this circuit, which uses low-cost components and an interactive way to adjust different sensitivity levels, based on customer needs, with the help of potmeter VR1.

Construction and testing

An PCB pattern of the LPG leakage detector is shown in Fig. 3 and its component layout in Fig. 4.

Fig-3
Fig. 3: PCB pattern of the LPG detector
Fig-4
Fig. 4: Component layout of the PCB

Download PCB and component layout PDFs: click here

After assembling the circuit on a PCB, enclose it in a box with an opening for the gas to enter. Place the unit near the LPG cylinder or gas stove, within a distance of one metre. Vary preset VR1 to adjust sensitivity of the sensor.

Verify the voltages are as per test points table before using the circuit. Now, spray the gas from the bottle (as shown on the left side of author’s prototype) towards MQ-6 gas sensor and measure voltage at TP3; it should be high.

If you do not have a gas-filled bottle, place the LPG leakage detector near the gas stove burner and turn it on for a few seconds without igniting. Then, turn the burner off and adjust VR1 until buzzer sounds.


Pamarthi Kanakaraja is associate professor (R&D cell) in Usharama College of Engineering and Technology, Andhra Pradesh. He has been working in the field of embedded designing and programming concepts for the last six years.

This article was first published on 5 September 2016 and was updated on 22 May 2019.

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48 COMMENTS

  1. i want to do this project so can you please tell me the name of the spray bottle you are used in this circuit as per your prototype?

  2. Instead of the transformer and diode, capacitor. Can u use just 12v already made supplie? And if yes, wouldn’t that voltage regulator get too hot because the volatage difference is high (12-5=7v)

    • The sensor containing a heating element which is very sensitive to voltage, only 5V+-0.2V should be apply to it. Otherwise it will get burn.

  3. 6-pin Gas sensor is easily available in the market. You can directly insert the sensor into the PCB the space provided for the same. However, please note that you cannot use directly with the 4-pin gas sensor module available in the market.

    • The author Pamarthi Kanakaraja replies.
      “I checked and verified the results again. It’s perfectly ok. The circuit and components specifications are correct. There is no factual mistake in the circuit.
      If you are not getting the output, the fault can occur due to the wrong settings of variable resistors VR1 & VR2.
      1)VR1 is used as reference voltage. It must set based on MQ6 sensor output value.
      2)VR2 is used to set the sensor sensitivity.
      Also, some sensors did not work properly due to manufacturing defects. If you suspect that you may change a new sensor and give it a try again!”

  4. i want more information about this low cost LPG detector project because i want to write black book on this & i made this first time it gives output but next time it didn’t, so what should i do please tell me?

  5. Sir we are doing mini project on this
    But im little confused about connections which i made
    Sir can u plz send ur ckt buildup image.

  6. i have one gas sensor mq6 fitted in a pcb
    but it has only four pins (vcc,gnd,a0,d0)
    how to connect it in circuit?

    • Either you can remove the sensor from the PCB you have(4pin PCB) or you can find the pin details of MQ-6 from Google.

  7. Sir, please tell about the pins of mq 6, that which is to be shorted and which is to be connected to the circuit.

  8. Sir I have a one equation about ckt distance ….when increase the distance then its not work then tell mi some information about this.

  9. Sir when switch on the circuit buzzer shout without applying any gas on the sensor please answer about this sir

  10. I want to make a machine to detect lpg gas leak( cylinder body leak, bunk leak or valve leak) that can be installed in a coveyor and check every lpg filled cylinder online before it is passed to the sealing process. Hey anybody can help me in this project?

  11. Hi, I connect the components according to the diagram. But when I spray the gas it didn’t do anything. What can I do?

  12. I was fabricate this circuit but it is not working why ?
    You use 12-0-12 750mA step down transformer so how you get 16volt dc at TP1 testing point.
    Plz reply

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