Sewer Smells

Sewer gas smells in your home can be more dangerous than most realize. These gasses can include Hydrogen Sulfide, Methane, and Ammonia. Breathing in these gasses can lead to dizziness, headaches, memory loss, and poisoning. In large amounts, these gasses can be explosive, and set your home afire.

These smells normally originate from drains and septic systems when air is allowed to flow from the sewer pipes out of drains. Normally this problem can be solved quickly by a professional plumber, and fixed on the same day. Don’t risk the dangers associated with these gasses, and get a specialist to diagnose your problem.

Potential Causes

Although these smells can originate from a wide variety of places in your plumbing system, here are some of the more common culprits:

  • P-traps or S-traps can let these smells into your home if there isn’t any water in the elbow
  • Loose connections along vent pipes or sewer lines
  • Missing clean out plugs will get the gasses out into your property
  • Bad wax rings on toilets can get the gasses seep out from under your toilet
  • Sewer or septic pipe leaks

P-Traps & S-Traps

P-traps and S-traps are parts of drains that keep smells from the sewers from being able to escape through your drains.

By holding some standing water in the bottom of the looped section, the water can block sewer gasses from being able to enter your home.

If you’re noticing a smell coming from a drain, try running some water down the drain (not much is necessary, a half gallon will do), and see if the smell goes away.

If the smell dissipates, it was likely just that your P-Trap had no water in it (which blocks the gasses from coming up through the drain).

If the smell stays, this signals other issues. Reach out to us, and we’ll be on our way to fix it ASAP.

P Trap Diagram
This is a diagram of a P-Trap. Note that the standing water in the bottom seals the sewer gasses away from your drains.

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Posted on August 31, 2021