Sewer gases leaking into your home are a nuisance, and, in some instances, they can cause a severe issue. Sewer gas is the general term used to describe the toxic mix of chemical compounds that are the result that decays waste. Sewer gas smells like rotten eggs. Some sewer gas issues are severe and require an expert to repair them; specific problems can be easily fixed. The next step is to identify the source causing the smell, improve it, and take preventative measures to keep odors at bay.

Take a walk outside to breathe fresh air. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience difficulty breathing, dizziness, or nausea that is caused due to wastewater gas (or the gas itself). Natural gas leaks may also odor like eggs that have gone rotten, though it is more the skunk scent than the raw sewer smell.

Common Causes of Sewer Gas Smell

Simple, easily fixable reasons for sewer gas leaking into your home are water traps that have dried out, leaking clean-out caps or plugs, or a faulty wax ring on the toilet.

Water Traps

Water traps, often called S-traps or P-traps, are typically located near drains on floors and laundry tubs. They are also under each sink in the house. They function by capturing water within the curve and stopping gas from returning to the home. The traps are dried out if used sparingly, the air inside the house is dry, or there’s an issue with the web. If the web has dry, then the gas from the sewer can enter the home. There are two options:

If the smell comes from a faucet, you can run the water for a few seconds to clean the trap.

If the scent originates from the floor drain, pour a cup of water into the drain to return it to the correct function.

Missing Clean-out Caps or Plugs

Make sure to check the caps or plugs that clean out the house to check for traps in the place or any main line that is trapped. Sometimes these plugs or caps are broken, fall off or disappear. Clean-out plugs provide access points within the main sewer lines, typically in the foundation walls, that allow access to snaking out the line and removing obstructions. Plugs and caps prevent the gases released by cleaning outlines from getting into your house. If the plug or cap is damaged or not working, you can purchase the replacement plug from any hardware retailer.

Sinister Wax Ring on the Toilet

Between the flange of the toilet and the toilet’s base, a wax band must be created to create an airtight, watertight seal. This ring may fail or be compromised, allowing sewer gas into the home. If this is the cause of the smell, it’s time to change the wax rings in the toilet.

Sewer or Septic Pipe Leaks

Sewers and leaks from septic lines are more challenging to identify and require a professional to fix. When your bathroom is running and drains are slow, along with the sewer gas smell, you likely have an issue with your sewer line.

Loose Connections

Connections that are loose along the sewer pipe or vent line could let toxic gases into your house. They are usually located on a wall or the ceiling. This will require the assistance of a skilled plumber to address the problem.

Preventive Measures

Specific issues like invasive root growth into sewer lines or wearing and tear from time itching plumbing systems are challenging to prevent. However, you can take steps to prevent the entry of sewer gases into your home due to preventable reasons.

Keep Water in All of the Traps

The plumbing traps are on the floor, walls, or under the toilet or sink. Locate them and ensure that the ones you don’t use maintain their water levels. For the traps that are seldom used and susceptible to drying out, pour several spoons of oil from a vegetable over the water to slow the evaporation process. 1

Clean out Your Drains

Every house has hair, toys, and other sludge-like substances that could cause blockages to drain in time. Remove the stopper and clean the drain with the drain snake or do-it-yourself hook to clean the gutter. Rinse the drain with up to 5 gallons of extremely boiling (not hot) water, and then change the stopper.

If clearing the drain using a tiny drain snake does not solve the issue, you may need to have the drain snaked professionally.

To create a hook from scratch:

Make a hook from a hanger made of metal.

Unbend it into a long length, bend a slight curve towards an end, then stick it into the drain and then pull the debris out.

Repeat until there isn’t any more dirt within the drainage.

Flush the drain with 4 to 5 gallons of boiling water.

Only use hot water as it’s safe on PVC pipes (if you don’t know the kinds of lines you have in the walls or the floor drains).

Keep the Vent Stack Free From Debris

It is the venting pipe that protrudes from your roof. It must be free of debris and clogs. If trees or other equipment could fall debris on your vent stack, you should hire an expert to conduct periodic cleanings.

Is Sewer Gas Dangerous?

The most common types of sewer gas are ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and methane.  Hydrogen sulfur smells of decomposing organic matter. It gives the sewer gas that terrible smell of rotten eggs. It is rare for large amounts of gas from sewers to flow into homes. It’s more typical for people to have higher levels that contain sewer gases in industrial settings.

Exposure to high sewer gases may cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, memory loss, poisoning, and even asphyxiation. The presence of sewer gas in large quantities increases the chance of the possibility of an explosion or fire.

Call a plumber to visit your home if you need help to identify the issue. Clean your house of odor, and then go outside for fresh air.

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