Sewer gas has a distinct smell that isn’t very pleasant.
However, there may be another reason to worry.
Have you noticed a strange sewer gas smell coming from somewhere in your home?
If you have ever smelled it, then you know it’s not something that you can easily ignore. However, it can also be a warning sign that there may be some serious issues you need to address.
Read on to find out what that smell is, what it means, where it’s coming from and what you should do about it.
What Is That Smell?
If you notice a strong odor in your home that smell is similar to that of rotten eggs, it’s most likely sewer gas.
Sewer gas is usually first detected in the basement. It’s often near water and utility lines, and sometimes in the bathroom. This pungent mix of gases consists of ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and a sulfur dioxide.
It’s the sulfur compound in the mixture that reeks like rotten eggs.
The sulfur compound is also the most toxic in the mixture.
The methane and bacteria can be a dangerous combination to your health. It can cause headaches and additional, more severe, health problems.
At high concentrations, methane gas can be combustible. In fact, it could even cause an explosion. So, it’s definitely a problem that should not be dismissed.
Where Does the Sewer Gas Come From?
There are a few places that the sewer gas smell can possibly originate.
Some of the potential causes include:
- sewer back-up
- leaks from rotted or cracked drain pipes
- a clogged drain
- loose-fitting pipe connections
- a stopped-up or too-short vent pipe
- toilet’s wax ring is old
- a dry trap
How to Eliminate Your Sewer Gas Smell
First, you should open your windows and take measures to ventilate your home.
Then, try to identify the source.
If you have a dry trap somewhere in your house, there may be a simple solution to eliminating the smell. These are often, but not always, found in basements.
If you do find a dry trap, try pouring a bucket of water down the trap. This will help to irrigate it. This may be all that’s needed to solve the problem.
If this does not work, you can also try mixing one cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Pour it down the trap, and then flush with hot water.
If the smell continues to be present once you have tried these do it yourself remedies, you will need to call a professional plumber immediately.
The sewer gas smell can be hazardous. It should not be inhaled any longer than is absolutely necessary.
If your sewer line is backed up, you may need professional help.
A plumber will be able to fix the problem. Within a short amount of time, the smell will be history.
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