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Why do I have a sewer gas smell in my home?


Have you just walked into your home and been blasted by that nasty sewer gas smell? Looked around for hours on end to find where this unlivable odor could possibly coming from? Finally, you decided to Google it didn't you. Well, glad you got here because Forrest Anderson is here to help.


Sewer gas is the term that is used for describing the combination of chemicals that are present in decaying waste. Typically sewer gas can include, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and methane. Being exposed to these different gases can cause you to have headaches, dizziness, memory loss, and other illnesses.


That being said, not all gas build ups are that dangerous. Knowing when the situation is urgent and needs professional help and when you can handle the situation on your own can be very important.



Simple Common Causes


Smelling gas in your home can be caused by a number of normal, treatable reasons. The Forrest Anderson team has brought together a few ideas on what might be causing your home to stink!

Water Traps


Commonly located near things like floor drains, bath tubs, and underneath every sink in your house is a water trap. Often referred to as P-traps or S-traps, their main function is to "trap" water inside the curve and block gas from traveling back into the house.


When this trap becomes dry, the sewer gas has a clear path back into your home. If you find that the smell is coming from your sink, simply run the water for a few seconds to restore the trap with water. If you find that the smell is coming from a floor drain, pour water down the drain to restore it to its proper function. Your traps may begin to dry out if they are not used often. Due to Arizona's dry heat your Phoenix valley home can become very dry and your traps can try out.


Missing Clean-Out Plug


Still can't find the stink? It's time to check your drains. Between your indoor system and your outdoor system is a cap known as the clean-out plug. At various points in your plumbing structure, clean-out lines are placed to easily remove clogs. The lines are capped so sewer gas cannot escape into the house. If you have pieces of your plumbing system that are missing this cap or it has been broken in someway, you may have found the reason for your smell. Most local hardware stores have replacement plug's for purchase.


Bad Wax Ring On The Toilet


Yep, it always comes back to the toilet. The throne of the home. Who would have thought?


Between the toilet flange and the bottom base of the toilet, there should be a wax ring that provides an airtight seal. This ring can at times leak or lose it's compression, this allows sewer gas into the home. In this case just replace the wax ring on your toilet to ensure that no stink will be coming through the stinker.


Problem Is A Little More Serious

There are other time's when the smell could be the cause of something a little deeper than your common cause. These typically take a little more experience and expense to repair.


Sewer or Septic Pipe Leaks


If the sewer gas smell is coming from your sewer or septic line, it will require a little more expertise to repair. If your sewer gas smell is accompanied by a gurgling toilet and slow drains, you might have a sewer line stoppage.


We recommend contacting Forrest Anderson to help solve the problem.


Loose Connections


Loose connections along the vent pipe or sewer line can also let the pungent gases into your home. Typically these are found inside of a wall or in the ceiling, so we recommend contacting one our experienced Forrest Anderson plumbers to assist you.


Preventative Measures


If you have experienced the smell of sewer gas in your home, it is safe to say it is not a pleasant small that you want to persist. Here are a few tips to prevent sewer gas from entering the home.


Keep Water In All Of The Traps


Locate all plumbing traps in your home, whether they are in the floor, wall, under a sink or toilet, and make sure the traps are full of water. One helpful tip f