Sewage smells are out of place in a house. While a bathroom might experience odors now and again, the persistent smell of sewage is not normal and is something that requires some investigating and addressing. If you live in Helotes, TX, and experience sewage odors in your home, you can contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio for help. We’ll send an experienced plumber to your location to inspect the issue and provide the ideal solution. In most cases, sewage odors are easy to stop with a simple fix. However, sometimes they can hint at a serious problem that requires extensive repairs by a skilled plumber. Let’s explore.
Never Ignore Sewage Odors
Whether in the kitchen, bathroom or elsewhere in your home, sewage odors can hint at plumbing trouble. Sewage odors, of course, are unpleasant, but before you seek to mask the odors with fragrances or hope they’ll go away on their own, you should inspect your plumbing system or, better still, contact a plumber from bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio to visit your home to find out why sewage smells are entering your home.
Aside from being unpleasant, sewage gas isn’t healthy to breathe in. Methane contained in the sewage is not a healthy gas to be breathing. It’s also flammable. So, why is it entering your house? What’s causing it and what can a plumber do to stop it?
Sewage Odors and P-Traps
Very often, the reason you’re smelling sewage gas in your house is because a P-trap is dry. What does this mean? A p-trap is a u-shaped pipe that is shaped in a way that traps a small amount of water. The water acts as a barrier, blocking sewage gas from coming back up the drain system and into the house. If there is no water in the p-trap, the gas can easily back up into the home rather than through the plumbing vents and out of the house.
When visiting your Helotes, TX, home for a service call, our plumber will typically inspect your p-trap first. If the sewage smells are in your kitchen, they’ll first check your p-trap located under your sink. Often, the issue is easily fixed by adding water to the p-trap. However, sometimes the p-trap has to be replaced because of a small leak. In any case, issues related to the p-trap are often easily solved. If you do need a new p-trap, our plumber can replace it quickly, solving the sewage odor problem at the same time.
A drain clog can also be the cause of sewage odors. You might not know that there is a clog developing in your drain, however, sometimes sewage odors are a telltale sign that a drain clog is forming. Is your sink or tub draining slowly? If so, that’s also an indication that there is a clog in the drain. If left unaddressed, the clog can continue to grow until it stops up your pipe.
If you suspect you have a drain clog, you can rely on bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio for our affordable drain cleaning services. Our plumber will bring the equipment needed to remove any clog that’s developing in your drain. Once removed, the sewage smell is likely to dissipate and no longer be a problem. Drain clogs can prevent your plumbing system from working properly. While sewage smells are unpleasant, they may be the first warning sign that you need a plumber to clean out your drains.
More Serious Plumbing Problems and Sewage Smells
If your p-traps aren’t the issue and you don’t seem to have any clogs that could be causing odors, the problem could be something more serious. bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio can send a trained plumber to your Helotes, TX, home to look beyond more commonplace issues like the p-trap. If there is water in all the home’s toilets and no slow drains to indicate clogs, there is something else going on to cause the sewage smells to enter your home.
A toilet that flushes and functions properly isn’t usually the cause of sewage odors. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem with it. If the seal around the toilet is decayed, it can allow urine and dirt to seep beneath the toilet. Overtime, a mold and bacteria problem can develop that triggers the odors you might be smelling. Mold growth is a serious issue. Although replacing the wax seal is something a plumber can do easily enough, a mold issue must still be remediated. Also, if water has become trapped under the flooring, the damage and mold may be more substantial. Unless these problems are also fixed, the mold can continue to grow and the odor may continue to persist.
A wobbling toilet can also allow sewage odors to enter the room. In fact, odors can even seep through spaces where bolts are loose. When you contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, our plumber can check each part of your toilet to determine if it’s allowing sewage odors into your bathroom. We bring everything needed to your Helotes, TX, home to evaluate the situation. We’ll apprise you of our findings before we make any repairs.
If the problem isn’t a drain clog, there could be a clogged vent. Your home’s vents are crucial to your plumbing system. Sewage smells leave the home through the vents. If a vent is clogged, the sewage odors won’t be able to get out. Vents can easily become clogged by debris or even nesting birds or other animals. Our plumber might suspect that the vents are the problem. Fortunately, professional plumbers have equipment and techniques that are designed to determine where blockages are forming. We can determine if your vents are the cause of this particular problem.
Typically, however, if there is vent clog, there will be other signs in addition to the sewage odor. Usually drains will drain more slowly than usual. You may also hear gurgling sounds as the water is draining.
Another cause of sewage odors in the home is the sewer line itself. If the issue is with your sewage line, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio will be able to let you know. Each plumber on our team knows the telltale signs of a sewer line problem. Of course, the easiest way to tell if you have a sewer line problem is that multiple drains are backing up. If this is the case, it’s obvious where the sewage odors are coming from.
A sewer line problem doesn’t always result in a water backup right away. Sometimes there are warning signs that should alert you that there may be a problem. One of the warning signs is that your drains start draining slowly. This is also a telltale sign of a vent clog too. Similarly, you may also hear gurgling noises. If someone is showering but hears the toilet begin to gurgle or other nearby plumbing fixtures, there could be a sewer line clog developing.
There are a number of causes for sewer line issues. Although your sewer line is typically larger in diameter than other drains in your home (because all of your home’s drains drain into the sewer line and then into the municipal sewer system), it can still become clogged. Clogs don’t always develop all at once. Often, they develop over time.
If grease, food debris, hair, and other debris get caught in your sewer line, they can block other debris from passing through the pipe. The gunk and muck in the developing clog can be sticky. As other debris is caught, the clog can begin to solidify. This has the makings of a serious sewer line clog. Water will start to drain slowly as it meets the clog. Once the clog blocks the entire pipe, water will flow back up the drain whenever anyone flushes a toilet or uses another plumbing fixture like a shower or dishwasher.
As one can imagine, the resulting backup can be a disaster. If water comes up through floor drains, it can ruin your flooring and even your drywall if it reaches your walls. This type of problem calls for a professional plumbing technician who specializes in sewer line services. Not every plumber can deal with sewer line issues, but bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio can. If you have a sewer line issue at your Helotes, TX, home, you can count on us for fast assistance.
Dealing With a Sewer Line Clog
The property owner is responsible for the sewer line that runs across their property, connecting their plumbing system with the city’s municipal sewer system. That’s why it’s important to contact a plumbing professional for this type of job. Typically, sewer line backups are caused by a clog. Usually, the clog is caused by the types of debris mentioned above–grease, food, soap residue, and hair.
Sometimes, however, the clog is formed by tree roots that have entered your sewer drain pipe and continued to grow there. Your sewer drain is an enticing stockpile of nutrients and water for thirsty tree roots. Very tiny roots of the tree’s root system can squeeze through small holes in older drain pipes or cracks often found at the seams of aging sections of pipes. Once these thread-like roots get into the pipe and grow, they can form a clog over time.
A tree root clog is difficult to deal with, which is why you need a professional plumber for the job. When you contact our company for a service call at your Helotes, TX, home, we’ll send a professional plumber with all the equipment needed to tackle a sewer line clog. A large mechanical auger stored on a drum machine can be snaked into and through your sewer line. Our plumber will attack a root cutter onto the head of the auger before running it through the line.
If the auger encounters roots in the sewer line, it will cut through them. Our plumbing pro may send the auger through multiple times, spinning it to ensure the roots are thoroughly cut away. After running water through the drains, the roots will be flushed out into the municipal sewer system. At that point, your problem is solved and the sewage odors should go away.
Unfortunately, not all sewer line clogs are so easily dealt with. If the line actually collapsed, the pipe has to be repaired or replaced. Severe clogs or tree roots can cause pipes to rupture or collapse. However, aging pipes that have corrosion damage are also at risk for collapsing. No pipe lasts forever. If your pipe is broken, we’ll be able to determine where using an inline camera.
After inspecting your sewer line to find out the exact problem and where it’s located, we’ll be able to recommend the right fix. Sometimes the damage can be repaired with trenchless line repairs. This type of fix can usually be completed in about a day or two depending on the nature of the damage and when you contact us for service. However, some pipes are simply too old, brittle, and damaged to host this type of repair. In these cases, you’ll need excavation services and a sewer line replacement.
Sewer line replacements and excavation work are major plumbing tasks. However, once you make the fix, your sewer line should last for decades and if it was infiltrated by tree roots, you won’t have that problem to deal with any longer.
Sewage odors in the home are a definite cause for concern. Just call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio and let a plumber from our team inspect your Helotes, TX, plumbing system. We’ll find out exactly what’s causing these odors and provide the ideal solution to stop them. Call us to schedule an appointment.