It's not a problem you can easily ignore. A foul odor coming from the sewer makes life difficult but it's also a potential danger as sewer gases can be toxic. They can also be explosive and hazardous to your health. If you notice a foul odor — even a faint one — don't hesitate to get in touch with a professional. Learning how your sewer system works can help you better understand why sewer gases are a serious issue and how to avoid future problems.
How it works
As waste materials decompose in the sewer system, gas is created. These gases produce a strong, powerful odor. Because sewer gases contain methane, it's also explosive. In a well-functioning sewer system, these gases are contained inside the pipes. If some of the gas escapes, plumbing systems have a component in place to deal with it, which are the vent pipes.
When problems occur
Foul odor coming from the sewer is likely the result of one of these problems:
- A dry plumbing fixture trap.
- A trap with a broken water seal.
- Plumbing drain lines that are cracked.
- A leaky vent pipe.
- Clogged vent pipes.
Your plumber will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the sewer system, looking for evidence of problems. Using a special machine, the plumber can assess the vent pipe for cracks. If the crack is located in a pipe close to a return-air duct, sewer gas can get drawn into the ducts and then released throughout the home. Leaks are detected with the use of a machine that releases artificial smoke. Once the smoke is sent into the pipes, it's easy to see where the leak is coming from. If there is no leak in the section of pipe, the smoke will eventually bubble up through the plumbing drain or trap. Clogged vent pipes are commonplace in older homes, which is where decades of falling rust fills up the pipe and eventually creates a stoppage where the pipe bends. In this case, removing a section of the pipe will provide evidence of the problem's source.
No matter what the problem or the cause, you need a plumber on hand to expertly diagnose the issue and provide a quick solution. Sewer gases are unsafe and potential hazardous to the entire household. Don't let foul odors rule your home. Give them the boot with the help of a professional plumber. For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.
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