Your drain system should not fill your house with unpleasant odors. You should know something is wrong if you smell drain gases in the house.
Why You Should Care About Drain Odors
You should not wait for drain odors to go away by themselves. The following are reasons to diagnose and deal with the odors as soon as possible.
One of the most obvious effects of plumbing odors in your house is that they make the house uncomfortable to stay in. the discomfort will affect your ability to go about your daily life or work. For example, you may struggle to entertain guests, enjoy your hobbies, or even fall asleep, if your house is smelly.
Plumbing gases comprise different specific gases. For example, methane is a common component of sewer or septic gases. Methane can accumulate in the house and reach an explosive level where a naked flame or electrical spark can ignite it. Such a situation might arise, for example, if methane leaks into the house while you are away from home.
Sewer gases do not normally accumulate to levels that affect your health. However, high concentrations of different gas compounds, which are possible with serious or prolonged leaks, are bad for your health. Some of the gases include hydrogen sulfide, methane, and ammonia. The gases might:
- Irritate your eyes
- Drive out the oxygen (that you need to remain conscious) from the house
- Trigger headaches
The effects worsen with increasing gas concentration and exposure durations.
Symptom of a Problem
Lastly, you should also take care of the gas problem because it signals that something is wrong with your plumbing system. For example, it might mean that something has blocked your plumbing vents, your drainpipes have cracked, or the P-traps are dry. Whatever the problem is, you need to diagnose it and fix it fast.
What You Can Do
You must identify the source of drain odors in your house to stop the problem. Remember to avoid all naked flames in the house until you fix the problem, especially if the smell is strong. Below are a few diagnostic measures to try:
- Walk around the house to determine where the smell is strongest, which may indicate the odor's source.
- Check whether any of your drain appliances or fixtures leak waste. For example, a damaged toilet might leak waste and allow sewer gases to flow into the house.
- Check if any of the clean-out plugs are missing.
- Pour hot water down the drains to clean them.
Contact a plumber to learn more about this topic.