My worry is that the gas could fill the room and when the ballast kicks on my house explodes....
are there any experts in this field?
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If you get a gas leak you have what they call a pilot light on both the water heater and furnace, so that will cause an explosion, having your lights down there will raise the danger level
If you get a gas leak it's "BOOM" regardless!
Get someone to check you out for leaks, or do it yourself before you begin. Spray soapy water on the joints,,,,,, (not the ones you smoke). and inspect for bubbling. Also gas furnaces and water heaters are vented to the exterior.
Guys, I'm rolling my eyes a little here.
I have installed many water heaters, furnaces, stoves, plus replaced gas valves, burners, etc, as a function of the job I do - I manage a camp.
You really have no worries. Modern gas appliances, like your furnace and water heater are very safe. No gas can move through the valve unless the pilot light is on or your spark ignitor is sparking.
Your ballasts, lights, and any other electrical equipment you have will be fine. You probably have more chance of getting a spark from the light switch on your wall then your lights.
It is never a bad idea to check for gas leaks but most likely these would be in the fittings on the gas line. Make up a solution of mildly soapy water with some dish soap. Spray this solution on the various places where you might find a leak. If you see bubbles - you have a leak.
I would bet my next paycheck you will find no leaks. Have a good grow.
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