Sewer gas can produce unpleasant odors in your home and create an unhealthy living environment for you and your family. If you’ve noticed foul odors in your basement, around the toilet or near drains, then sewer gas may be backing up into your home. Make sure you check these problem areas to locate and eliminate all sources of sewer gas.
Every drain should have a trap below it, which usually looks like a P-shaped bend in the pipe. This piece is designed to trap enough water to prevent gas from flowing back through the drain. Odors around a particular drain may indicate a missing or dirty trap. Clean traps at least once a year, or contact a plumber to do regular maintenance on your pipes. Floor drains should have a clean out plug inside them.
Each drain has a vent that allows sewer gas to safely escape, while drawing fresh air into the pipes to prevent a vacuum. Sucking or gurgling noises in your drains may indicate a clogged or missing vent. Locate the vent and clear any debris that’s in or around it. Some older houses or DIY jobs may not have appropriate vents.
Examine Floors and Pipes
Look around toilets, bathtubs and sinks for cracked seals or damp areas. Excess moisture can rot walls and sub-floors around them, producing odors and potentially damaging underlying plumbing. Pipes can also rust and leak, especially in older homes with steel, copper or cast iron pipes. Make sure you check all exposed pipes for signs of corrosion or cracks.
Have the Plumbing Serviced
Address all slow drains or backed up toilets immediately. Have a plumber assess and maintain your plumbing at least once a year, and keep up on DIY maintenance. If you’re unsure of the quality of the plumbing in your house, then have the entire system inspected – including the main sewer line – to ensure it’s properly designed and functioning properly.