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How to Stop Sewer Odor in Your Home

Sewer odor isn’t only unpleasant but can cause serious problems in your home. Sewer gas is the term used to describe the toxic mixture of chemicals from the decaying waste. Sewer odor can contain hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, and these gases can cause dizziness, headaches, memory loss, poisoning, asphyxiation, and even fire or explosion.

If sewer odor or backups suddenly occur in your home, evacuate and contact emergency services. If you’ve experienced recurring or pervasive sewer odor, contact a professional to make sure there is no further damage.

Not all gas backups are this sudden or severe and you can fix them quickly. What can you do to determine if your gas backup needs urgent repair? You may notice sewer odor in certain areas of your home for reasons that are quite common and easy to fix.


Not Enough Clean-out Plugs

For a clean-out plug, check the drains. Clean-out plugs are used to cap the line connecting your indoor system and your outdoor system. Clean-out lines can be found at several points within your plumbing system. They allow for the easy removal of clogs.

These lines are sealed to prevent sewer odor and gas from escaping into the home. Sewer odor can be caused by one or more of these caps being missing or damaged. Any hardware store can sell a replacement plug.

Water Traps

P-traps and S-traps are water traps that are often found near floor drains and laundry bathtubs. They are located underneath all sinks in the house. They trap water within the curve, preventing the gas from returning to the house. If water traps are dry, sewer odor may be trapped in your home.

To restore the trap, run some water in a sink for a few seconds. To restore proper function to a floor drain, pour some water down it. If traps aren't being used often, it is possible that the air is extremely dry or there is an obstruction.

Bad Wax Rings on the Toilet

To provide water - and airtight sealing, a wax ring should be placed between the toilet flanges and the base. The wax ring may occasionally become brittle or leak, which can allow sewer gas to enter the home. You will need to replace the wax ring on your toilet if this is the case.

It's getting a little more serious if the sewer odor persists, as some smells are more complex and require more costly repairs. For example, leakage of sewer or septic pipes. Sewer and septic line leaks can be difficult to identify and require more skilled repair. A sewer line leak will bring about sewer odor and is likely if your toilet is gurgling or your drains are slow.

Some other reasons you might encounter more severe sewer odor issues:

  • Loose Connections

Pungent sewer odor and gases can be released into your home by leaking connections to the sewer or vent pipe. They will usually be in the wall or ceiling. It is best to get help from an experienced plumber to fix this problem.

  • Avoiding Preventative Measures

Although you cannot prevent roots from entering the sewer lines or the wear and tear of life taking its toll on your system, there are steps that you can take to stop the sewer gas problem from returning to your home.

  • Keeping Water in all Traps

Check the location of any plumbing traps in your house. To slow down evaporation in traps that are rarely used or prone to drying out you can add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to the water.

  • Cleaning your Drains

It happens to everyone - hair, debris, toys, and other particles can build up over time. Take out the stopper and scrub the debris from the drains. It should be put aside. Attach a small hook to the end of the wire. Pull out the debris and put it in the trash. Continue doing this until the drain is clear. Use 4 to 5 gallons boiling water to flush the drain and then replace the stopper.

  • Keeping the Vent Stack Clean of Debris

The vent stack is the pipe that extends from your roof. Make sure it is free of debris and clogs. Be careful if the roof is high or difficult to reach.

If you need professional help with pervasive sewer odor in your home, contact us today.

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