Wondering why you smell sewage in your home?A nasty smell of sewage smell is usually a sign something is wrong — So just don’t just hold your nose and ignore it.
Sometimes, a sewer smell in a bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room can indicate backed-up plumbing which is unpleasant enough. Or-It could come from the sewer itself, which requires immediate attention.
In addition to being unpleasant, sewer gas can make you sick and could be hazardous for your health. One of the primary gases in sewage is methane, and if it accumulates in large amounts, it can become highly flammable. If untreated, sewage gases can leak high amounts of methane into your home, leading to headaches, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, nausea, loss of coordination, loss of consciousness, and even suffocation.
Dried P traps. Sewer gas smell could be caused by drains in your home that are less frequently used- such as the guest bathroom drain or large floor drains in a basement.
Below most drains in a home is a pipe shaped like a “J,” which is designed to hold water at all times to form a seal that prevents sewer gasses from escaping. Yes, it looks like a J but is called a P trap. A P-trap gets its name because it looks like the letter ‘P’ after combining two 90 degree joints with a horizontal overflow pipe. The odd shape of the pipe allows for water to flow into the drainpipe, but not to flow backward toward the sink. If the water in the trap leaks or evaporates out, however, the seal is lost, and an odor will ensue.
To help prevent this, make it part of your monthly home maintenance to run water down drains that aren’t used very often, especially during colder winter months.
Plumbing Systems that weren’t installed Correctly: Becoming a licensed plumber takes many years of training, dedication, hard work, and testing. During this process, licensed plumbers learn everything from what type of material pipes should be used when accessing city water mains, to how to safely and properly vent appliances such as water heaters to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.
Many times, unlicensed plumbers can cause serious harm to your property that may not be readily apparent for months or even years. Be careful hiring random unlicensed handymen that just do this in their spare time. Their pricing may be appealing but there is a reason licensed plumbers charge what they do. They have insurance to protect you and your home. When looking for a plumbing contractor, always check with your State’s Licensing Board to make sure your contractor is in good standing, and always ask for proof of insurances and evaluate customer reviews.
Broken Toilet Wax Ring: If the wax ring around your toilet begins to deteriorate, the small space between your toilet and the wax ring could allow sewer gas to escape from the drain beneath your toilet. You’ll know when the wax ring under the toilet begins to deteriorate because the toilet might become slightly slanted or develop a wobble.
Vent Pipe Leakage: If the walls near your toilet emit a persistent sewage smell, the cause could be an improperly installed or cut vent pipe.
The vent pipe helps regulate the air pressure in your home’s plumbing system. Vent pipes also redirect odors outside your home, so they do not leak into your home or bathroom. However, sometimes unlicensed contractors install vent pipes improperly, which can cause them to send odors into your bathroom.
How to fix the problem: A professional plumber can help you solve any problems with a vent pipe. In cases involving a poor installation, an experienced plumber can quickly diagnose the problem and reinstall a new pipe.
Sometimes, a vent pipe will develop cracks that allow odors to spill out into your home. To find any cracks, a plumber will use a smoke machine to fill the pipe. Once the smoke begins to emerge, they will trace it to the source of the leak and repair the pipe.
Professional grade plumbing work requires closely adhering to approved plans and to applicable local plumbing code. While it may be tempting to hire an unlicensed tradesman in an attempt to save money, the outcome may not be so positive. Correcting inferior plumbing work can be costly, and have health and quality of life consequences in the interim.
If you’re experiencing a sewer gas smell in your home, it’s time to call in the professionals. Look for a licensed and highly reviewed plumber in your area to help you diagnose the problem and fix it.