Imagine coming home after a long day and the first thing you smell are rotten eggs. If you didn’t forget to put your egg carton back in the refrigerator this morning, it’s a possibility you have a problem somewhere within your plumbing system. That rotten egg odor you’re smelling could actually be sewer gas resulting from a plumbing failure.
Is sewer gas hazardous to your health?
Sewer gas can be hazardous to your health depending on the exposure. Sewer gas is the breakdown of natural human waste containing a combination of gasses such as hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, ammonia and more. At lower levels, it can have the odor of rotten eggs due to hydrogen sulfide gas, but just because you can smell it doesn’t mean it will impact your health. However, exposure to high levels could cause for you to become ill or could become fatal as it can interfere with your sense of smell and become odorless. Symptoms could include:
Wisconsin Department of Health Services states anyone experiencing severe symptoms should seek immediate medical care.
Potential causes of sewer gas in the home
- Clogged drains – When drains are clogged by unnecessary items or even foreign objects, it allows the clog to decompose and sewer gas is likely to leak back into your home. Make sure to have your drains treated by using products such as Bio-Clean to eliminate waste buildup. Check with your local plumber on where and how to purchase.
- Cracked vent pipes – Although water is typically associated with a cracked drain line causing a visible water leak, a crack in a vent pipe is not as easily identified. Plumbing vents play an important role ensuring your plumbing system is working accordingly and keeping you protected from harmful gasses. Vent pipes prevent back ups of wastewater by regulating the air pressure in your pipes. If a vent pipe is cracked, most homeowners aren’t able to tackle the repair themselves, so make sure to call an experienced plumbing professional for assistance.
- Dry and rarely-used drains – Dry drains and even toilets that sit for a long time without being used, have the potential to leak sewer gas into the home. Waterflow helps deter harmful gasses in your plumbing system. The Princeton University Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) recommends running water in all sinks periodically and pouring water down floor drains monthly, preventing odors from escaping by keeping the drain traps wet.
- Damaged or degraded wax ring– If you’re still smelling sewer gas, your rarely-used drains may not be the culprit or at least the only one. Your toilet’s wax ring is designed to seal the drain and prevent any water seepage. If your toilet has become loose or wiggly, there is a possibility that the wax ring may have degraded or even become damaged. If this is the case, the wax ring would need to be replaced and the toilet reset so it has a nice and secure fit.
If there is still an odor in your home and you’re unable to pinpoint the source on your own, contact Drucks Sudden Service at 877-886-3303. Our fully qualified and experienced professionals will not only be able to diagnose the problem but give you a solution. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter for more useful information and advice for your home.