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Why Does Your Plumbing Smell Like Rotten Eggs and Sulfur?

Plumber Fixing Sink Pipe With Adjustable Wrench

Are you smelling rotten eggs or sewage odors in your home? You're probably asking yourself a lot of questions. Where is it coming from? Are plumbing smells dangerous to my home? What can I do about it? We're here to help with some answers about foul smelling plumbing! If you come home one day and smell rotten eggs, it's most likely hydrogen sulfide — the smell of sewer gas. These are the most common causes of sewer gas being released in your home.

Unused Drains Create an Opening to Sewer Gas

If you have a drain in the house that isn't used much, the smell might be coming from there. Typically, as water goes down the drain, some of it flows into the P-trap and stays there. That water creates a seal or barrier that prevents sewer gas from flowing up the drain and into your home. However, if you don't use the drain for a long period of time, the water can evaporate, getting rid of the seal.

How To Get Rid of the Smell

The solution is simply to run the water through that drain for a few minutes every week or two. This will refill the P-trap and reform the barrier that keeps the sewer gas out of your house.

Clogged Sewer Drain Vents Keep Sewer Gas in Your Home

If your sewer drain vent is clogged, that can cause various plumbing odors, including the smell of sewer gas. If one of your drains is running slowly, that's a good indicator of a clog somewhere. You should also listen for a gurgling sound as water drains or as you flush the toilet. This means that air is unable to flow out of the drain vent and is instead getting into your pipes — and, thus, your home.

How To Get Rid of the Smell

In the case of a clogged sewer drain vent, professional plumbing services is required to unclog the vent.

Sewer Gas Leaks Cause Sewage Smell Issues

If the issue isn't one of the ones mentioned above, then it's likely a sewer gas leak. Our noses tend to adjust to this smell quickly, so even if it disappears, there still could be a sewage problem. 

Sewer gas doesn't require evacuation or emergency services, but it can still be harmful if inhaled over an extended period, so call the plumber as soon as possible. If anyone in your family experiences these symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Memory loss
  • Irritability

Call a doctor. Harmful effects tend only to happen after prolonged exposure, so if you spot the problem quickly and get it taken care of, you should be fine.

How To Get Rid of the Smell

Your local plumber will need to find and diagnose the source of the sewer leak in order to resolve this issue. 

Still Not Finding the Source of the Smell?

If you've checked everywhere and still can't figure out what the smell is or where it's coming from, then it's time to call a professional. They'll help you identify the source of the smell and fix the issue.

An odd smell in your home can be annoying, but it's nothing to worry about. As long as you know what to look for and have a trusted plumber whom you can call on when you need them, you can keep your plumbing in working order and your home odor-free.

To learn more about sewer gas or to schedule routine plumbing maintenance, give David Gray Plumbing in Jacksonville, FL, a call today at (904) 605-8190 or contact us online.