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What is Sewer Gas?

If you smell the gas in your home, this can indicate cracked pipes, blocked vents, clogged drains, and leaks. If you smell the gas in your home, you may be curious about what sewer gas is. Sewer gases are gases that combine to make a methane gas smell or rotten eggs smell. Sewer gas is an occurrence when natural human waste begins to break down. Sewer gas can be dangerous, but typically when you smell it in your home is not a significant health concern unless it is allowed to go untreated. If you are smelling gas or a sewer gas leak in your house, it is crucial to find out where the sewage smell is coming from. As it builds up, it can become more dangerous.

What is Sewer Gas Made Of?

• Ammonia
• Carbon dioxide
• Methane
• Hydrogen sulfide gas

What is Causing the Sewer Gas Smell?

If you smell the gas coming from the kitchen drain line, there is a blockage somewhere in the drain pipes or the vent. When one of these areas is clogged, it does not allow for water to go in or contact with the air. Common causes of sewer gas smells include:

Clogged drains:

If the drains in your home are clogged, this will cause a sewage backup. This will allow the smell to permeate your home.

Blocked air vents:

Blocked plumbing vents circulate the air and allow toxic sewer gases to dissipate outside your home. If the air vent becomes clogged, it will not allow the air to circulate correctly.

Leaking pipes:

If you have even a small leak in your plumbing system, it can cause a sewage smell. If you have a leak, your sewage is not making its way to your sewer system.

Cracked sewer pipes:

 If your sewer line gets a crack in it, the smell of methane gas will enter your home.

What Does The Gas Smell Like?

Sewer gas is easy to detect. Everyone knows a sewer smell when they smell it. It has a sulfuric odor and a smell similar to rotting food. This is due to all the different gases that combine. Methane, sulfides, and ammonia create this gas. The more of it there is, the bigger problem you can have.

Can you get Sick from Sewer Gas?

Unfortunately, sewer gas can be dangerous in high quantities. Since it’s a mixture of toxic and nontoxic gases so it is essential to know what makes up.

  • Ammonia. If you are exposed to high levels of ammonia. You will experience burning in the throat, nose, and eyes. In some cases, high exposure can lead to blindness, death, and more. Thankfully, ammonia is not the primary gas in your sewer.
  • Hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is the main gas found in your sewer. It is toxic to both animals and humans. If exposed to it in large quantities, symptoms can be organ damage, and in some rare cases, it can lead to death.
  • Methane gas. Methane gas is nontoxic and is the main gas you will smell with a sewer smell in house. However, it can be extremely flammable. If large quantities are getting in your home along with ammonia, this can lead to an extreme fire hazard.

It is important to note that most of the time, even when you smell the gas, you are not at risk. If these gases build up over time, it can provide a risk to you and your home.

Sewer Gas Exposure

Symptoms depend on the amount of sewer gas you or your family members are exposed to. While most people will only suffer mild symptoms, others might collapse and develop difficulty breathing with more serious conditions in that case their first call should be to emergency services. If medical professionals suspect high levels of exposure then the house should be evacuated immediately and a plumbing professional should come to do an inspection as soon as possible in order for them to assess the issue properly.

Call Your Trusted Local Plumber

If you have a sewer smell in the house, please give a call today. Our experienced plumbing techs will be able to figure out where the odor is coming from and address the issue. Please do not delay calling us as we need to get to the bottom of the sewer smell before a more significant problem is created.

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