How to Test For Sewer Gas in Your Home

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how to test for sewer gas

If you smell a foul, rotten egg-like odor in your home it may be the result of sewer gas. That unpleasant odor is caused by hydrogen sulfide, methane, ammonia, and other volatile gases that are a byproduct of decomposing waste in your house’s drains and pipes. These gases are heavier than air and can accumulate in basements and other low-lying areas. They can also cause a variety of symptoms, including eye irritation, nausea, and dizziness. High levels of exposure can even be deadly. Find out:

Luckily, it’s fairly easy to determine if sewer gas is the source of that awful smell by following these steps. The first step is to get outside for fresh air and see if the odor goes away. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to call a plumber to inspect your plumbing system and fix any problems.

The Nose Knows: Using Odor to Identify Sewer Gas Issues

If the odor does go away, you may have a simple solution to the problem. Most floor drains (in basements or utility rooms) are supposed to have water in a trap to prevent sewer gases from entering living spaces. If the water in your trap has evaporated, or if there is a crack in the trap, sewer gas may be entering your home through that point.

A professional plumber can perform a quick and inexpensive inspection to find the source of sewer gas in your home. They’ll use a special device to insert colored vapor into your plumbing pipes. This vapor will show up where the leak is located, making it much easier for your plumber to find and repair the source of that bad odor.

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