Is there a Sewer Gas Smell in Your Home?
The hallmark smell of sewer gas is rotten eggs. If you notice that smell in your home, then it’s likely that sewer gas is leaking in through your plumbing system. Sewer gas is usually denied access to your home by a device called a plumbing trap. Inside the trap, water is used as a seal to prevent the gas from entering into your home. If the trap is empty (no water), then sewer gas can freely pass into your home. This typically occurs in three ways:
- The plumbing trap cracks and the water seal leaks out.
- An extended time of dry weather has evaporated the water seal inside the trap.
- The air pressure inside the piping has pushed the water out of the trap.
In the above cases, you may have to replace the trap or simply refill it with water to solve your sewer gas problem. There are a few other ways that sewer gas can get into your home unrelated to plumbing traps.
- A damaged or clogged drain line will leak or force sewer gas into your home.
- The venting system (releases pressure and sewer gas inside your plumbing) is damaged and is leaking sewer gas.
Is Sewer Gas Harmful?
Sewer gas is a mixture of toxic and nontoxic gases. It can include hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. In high concentrations, sewer gas can be deadly and even explosive. The good news is that it’s highly unlikely that concentrations of that level would exist inside of a home. Still, the rotten egg smell of sewer gas is enough for most people to want to get rid of the problem. It should be noted that prolonged exposure to low levels of sewer gas can cause symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea.
How to fix a Sewer Gas Problem?
Before calling a professional, see if the problem is a dry trap that you can refill on your own. There is a trap for each of your plumbing fixtures. If you suspect the sewer gas is coming from a faucet drain, run the faucet, and the trap may fill up. If it’s coming from the toilet, flush it a few times and see if the smell goes away. The same method applies for the tub.
If sewer gas is leaking into your home as a result of a damaged plumbing part, you may need to contact a professional plumber to fix or replace it. For sewer gas problems in Houston, contact A1 Discount Plumbing at 713-321-2005 or fill out an online form.