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Posted by on Mar 22, 2013 in Plumbing |

What can you do when you smell sewer gas?

What can you do when you smell sewer gas?

If you detect a smell in your house that is something like mustard gas, well there is a good chance that what you smell is sewer gas that is escaping from the sewer running from your house. Not only is the smell revolting, the methane can be dangerous to your health; it can cause headaches and other respiratory problems. If left unattended, the buildup of sewer gas can cause an explosion when the correct methane/oxygen proportions have been reached and an open flame is detected. If you smell this, you may need to contact an emergency plumber in Long Beach, or you may be able to solve the problem yourself.

How does gas get in the house?

Rarely does sewer gas get into the home where there is a well-designed sewer system, but if it does there is usually a simple reason for it, and an equally simple solution. If this does not work, then you must call an emergency plumbers in Long Beach.

Every drain leading to a sewer has what is commonly called, a “P” trap, the trap is vented. The trap holds a slug of water; the water is what acts as a barrier from the sewer gas. Under normal circumstances, every time the sink is used or the toilet is flushed, the water that is currently in the trap is discharged and replaced by a fresh plug. There may be a drain, such as a rarely used guest room toilet where the water which acts as the barrier, will evaporate and when it does, there is no longer a barrier against the gas. Using the sink or flushing the toilet will replace the water in the trap, putting things back to normal.

If the plumbing is not often used, pour a tablespoon of cooking oil into the drain, this will help slow down the evaporation.

In the event it was not just a matter of evaporation, there are a couple of other things that need to be done, for these you may feel the need to call for the emergency plumber in Long Beach. This will mean removing the toilet from the floor which can be done with a few simple tools. Once the toilet has been removed, there should be a plug in the P trap. If the plug is missing, purchase a replacement. While the toilet is off the drain, it is a good idea to replace the wax seal as well.

Getting rid of the odor:

Having found the source of the sewer gas odor and simply stopping it is one thing, getting rid of the foul odor in the house is something else again. Open all the windows and close the door to the room where the small is emanating from. Place a few pieces of charcoal in bowls and place them around the area, the charcoal will rapidly eliminate all odor; white vinegar does exactly the same.

If you are faced with sewer gas or any other issues, call for an emergency plumber in Long Beach. All Referral Plumbing offers 24 hour service for both residential and commercial plumbing problems.