Plumbing Tips from an Avid DIY-er

Smelling Sewer Gas? It Could Be From The Following Problems

Sewer gas can be a big problem for your home. It has a horrible smell and can be hazardous to those in your home. You're smelling the sewer gas because of some sort of malfunction with your home's plumbing system, and it could be one of the following reasons.

Electrical Problems

You may not think that your plumbing problem could be due to your home's electrical system, but it is possible. While some systems use a natural ventilation system for septic tank sewer gas to exit a home, others use a forced ventilation system that has an electrical pump doing all of the work. If this pump or the associated electrical line fails, the sewer gas won't be able to escape. This can cause it to back up into your home, where you will smell it.

Damaged Pipes

Your home's septic pipes can become damaged over the years. The kind of damage they can sustain really depends on what kind of material the pipes are made out of. For instance, metal pipes are prone to rusting, and PVC pipes are prone to cracking. Any joint where two sections of pipe meet are also prone to failing. If the pipe fails for any reason, sewer gas can back into your home. The pipes used for the ventilation stack can also become damaged and cause a similar problem.

Malfunctioning Sink Traps

Your drains have traps that help prevent all types of debris from entering the pipe and causing a clog, but they also prevent sewer gas from getting into your home. You may recognize them as the curved pieces of pipe that are underneath your sinks. These traps provide a crucial form of protection against sewer gases, but it is possible for them to malfunction and allow gas to get into your home.

One way a trap can malfunction is if any of the joints holding the trap together become loose. Water can drain out of the trap, leaving a big-enough gap for sewer gas to come up through the pipe. You could also have the water evaporate due to lack of use, which will cause the trap to become dry as well.

Septic Tank Backup

Any home that has a septic tank is susceptible to the tank itself backing up into your home. This happens when the tank is full and the waste has nowhere to go. You can fix this problem by getting the tank pumped to remove the waste.