Got plumbing smells? Let DB’s Plumbing & Drain® test for sewer gas or septic tank odor leakage.

What is that smell? Nothing like nasty smells coming from your home or business restrooms that make people uncomfortable. But, did you know it can also make you sick? If exposed to very high concentrations of sewer gas, a person can even asphyxiate and die. More common symptoms of exposure to sewer gas include nausea, eye irritation, and difficulty breathing.

Sewer gas is a complex mixture of toxic and nontoxic gases that can be present at varying levels depending upon the source. It is formed during the decay of household and industrial waste. Highly toxic components of sewer gas include hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. Sewer gas also contains methane, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxides. In extreme situations, there can be a risk of an explosion and even fatal asphyxiation.

Possible Health Problems Caused by Sewer Gas Exposure

  • Bacterial Infection of the Sinuses
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Eye Irritation
  • Headaches
  • Mold Spores
  • Nausea, Dizziness and/or Drowsiness

Anyone experiencing severe symptoms should seek immediate medical care.

smoke blower

Common Odor Causes:

  • A rarely used floor drain, sink, or toilet trap has dried up
  • A vent may have been accidentally terminated into the home or business
  • A pipe has been broken or disconnected
  • Poorly placed exterior vents may cause fumes to enter a home or business

How We Do It

DB’s Plumbing & Drain® will start with a visual inspection of the plumbing in the area where the smell occurs. If the problem is not obvious, our drain experts will pressurize the system and blow smoke through the suspected space checking where the smoke escapes.

DB’s Plumbing & Drain® uses equipment engineered for efficient smoke testing of sewer lines to detect sources of inflow and leaks. A non-toxic smoke vapor is blown into the sewer, storm drain, or grease system. The smoke will travel throughout the pipes pressurizing the drainage system and reveal itself at or near the source of any leaks.

Smoke testing eliminates the need to break through drywall resulting in unnecessary repairs. The smoke test can reveal significant issues or something as simple as the need to replace a wax ring on a toilet or a trap under a sink.

Typical Findings

  • Base of Toilets – Possible deteriorated wax ring or defective sink traps.
  • Electrical Outlets – Typically indicates a leak in adjacent pipes behind the wall.
  • Light Fixtures – Often indicates a leak in pipes in the ceiling.
  • Urinals – May indicate deteriorated gaskets or defective sink traps.
  • Wall Penetration Under Sinks – Possibly a defective trap or leak in an adjacent vertical stack.

The cause of sewage smells in a home or building can be embarrassing and frustrating. Many times the cause isn't readily obvious. The drain experts at DB’s Plumbing & Drain® can identify the odor at its source and determine the proper solution with our Smoke & Odor Testing Services.

Smoke testing is also an excellent method for revealing poorly soldered or filled joints and defective seals, which may allow water damage or intrusion of noxious gases to leak indoors. The most common place we find leaks is around a faulty toilet seal. More involved issues is when smoke comes up through the floor in areas where damaged pipes have caused cracks in concrete. Leaks behind walls can sometimes be found by signs of smoke around light switches, electrical outlets, in attics or behind drop ceilings.

If you suspect any odors might be caused by sewer gases, contact the drain experts at DB’s Plumbing & Drain® to schedule an appointment. Be sure to mention the smell when you call or complete our online form.

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