Have you walked into your home and been met with an acrid scent of sewer odor? Do you notice the smell gets stronger when you walk through your kitchen or bathroom? Does the water you run also have a similar overwhelming scent of sewer gas or a rotten egg smell? If so, this may be the sign of a serious problem with your sewer system.
So, why does my home smell like sewage, you ask?
Most commonly, home and business owners deal with this highly concentrated smell whenever there is a blockage or clog affecting their plumbing system. These clogs will trap waste water in your pipes, allowing for sewage smells to enter your home. When left uncorrected this can lead to the build up of bacteria and leave your plumbing unable to work properly.
Common Causes of Sewer Gas Smell
There are some pretty normal reasons why you may smell sewer gas in parts of your house that are easily fixed.
Water traps, sometimes called P-traps or S-traps, are commonly located near floor drains and laundry tubs and are underneath every sink in the house. They work by trapping water inside the curve and blocking the gas from traveling back into the house. Traps dry out when they haven’t been used much, the air in the house is very dry, or there is a leak somewhere before the trap. If the trap is dried out, the sewer gas has a clear path into the house. Here are two solutions:
If the smell is coming from a sink, simply run the water for a few seconds to restore the trap.
If the smell is coming from a floor drain, pour a pitcher of water down the drain to restore the proper function.
Missing Clean-out Plug
Check the clean-out plugs for the house traps or any trapped main line. Clean-out plugs are access points in the main sewer lines, usually at the foundation walls. They provide access to snake out the line and prevent gases from traveling into your dwelling. Clean-out lines are places for easy removal of clogs. The lines are capped so sewer gas cannot escape into the house. If one or more of these caps are missing or broken, this can be the culprit of the smell. You can buy a replacement plug at any hardware store.
Bad Wax Ring on the Toilet
In between the toilet flange and the base of the toilet, there should be a wax ring to provide a watertight and airtight seal. This wax ring can occasionally leak or become compromised, letting sewer gas into the home. If that’s your cause, you’ll need to replace the wax ring on the toilet.
More Serious Repairs
Other causes of the smell are not so simple and will require more extensive, more expensive repairs.
Sewer or Septic Pipe Leaks
Sewer and septic line leaks are harder to diagnose and require more expertise to repair. If your toilet is gurgling and your drains are slow in addition to the sewer gas odor, you probably have a sewer line leak.
Loose connections along the vent pipe or sewer line can also let pungent gases into your home. These will most typically be inside a wall or in the ceiling, so you’ll need the help of an experienced plumber to correct this issue.
Is Sewer Gas Dangerous?
Sewer gas can include hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and methane. The hydrogen sulfide is what gives sewer gas that awful rotten egg smell. It is rare to become exposed to high concentrations of sewer gas in a home. However it is more common to be exposed to higher concentrations of sewer gas in an industrial workplace. Exposure to high concentrations of these gases can cause symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, memory loss, poisoning, and asphyxiation. In large enough amounts, there is even risk of fire or explosion.
Hydro Jetting to Prevent Sewage Smell
Hydro jetting is an affordable and simple solution for clogged drains. Not only will it help to prevent clogs that get in the way of your daily activities, it can also stop unpleasant sewer gases from working their way into your home. Hydro jetting can also help to break up tree roots impacting your plumbing. Call a plumber today to learn more about getting that bad smell out of your space.
Best Plumbers in Southeast, TX
At Spindletop Plumbing LLC, nothing means more to us than the happiness and satisfaction of our customers. We are a state-licensed and insured, locally owned, service and repair plumbing company located in Nederland, Texas. Our skilled and experienced staff offers a wide range of reliable plumbing services to both residential and commercial spaces. We proudly serve the many communities of Southeast Texas.
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