Cherry Hill Plumbing: Article About Sewer Gas Safety Tips
If your home has an effective waste disposal and ventilation system, you need not worry about sewer gas. In a properly working system, unwanted gasses vent to the outdoors and the traps beneath your sinks, showers and toilets prevent them from entering through the plumbing pipes. When plumbing and ventilation problems develop, however, the acrid smell of sewer gas may be one of the first indications. Follow the tips below to protect your household from such occurrences.
Sewer gas is a mélange of several gasses, including methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide. If improperly handled, sewer gas has the potential to cause adverse health effects among family members. It also can catch fire and cause explosions. Due to the dangers of this gas mixture, immediately contact your Cherry Hill plumbing specialists if you smell it inside your home.
Household plumbing systems have built-in barriers to keep sewer gas from entering your house. Each of your drains is fitted with a U-shaped pipe section, located underneath the drain, that is always filled with water. This water provides a natural seal that prevents sewer gas from rising into the room. This water replenishes itself each time you use the fixture above. Should your home stand vacant for an extended period, the water in your traps evaporates, leaving the way clear for sewer gas entry. Therefore, make sure that someone periodically runs water through all of the drains in your home, including the toilets. Ask your plumber about installing trap primers that maintain the water seal even when no one is at home.
A plumber from Filan & Conner of Cherry Hill NJ would be happy to answer any questions you have about water heater repairs or drain issues.
Your home's plumbing ventilation system normally draws sewer gas out of your pipes and vents it to the outside air. Should your ventilation system fail due to clogging or cracked pipes, you may detect the smell of sewer gas inside your home. In some cases, concentrated gas even seeps through cracks in your home's foundation. Call your plumber to locate and address the sources of sewer gas seepage before it begins to affect your family's health.
Poor structural planning may cause sewer gas to enter your house too. If your plumbing vents are located near your heat pump's air intake or adjacent to doors or windows, the gas may find an easy point of entry. Airflow patterns around some structures, or weather systems affecting air pressure can contribute to a sewer gas seepage problem. Ask your plumber for assistance in identifying the source of sewer gas. If necessary, he or she may be able to provide a referral for a contractor to do structural work on the home.
While some of the components of sewer gas pose no imminent health threat to your family, others do. Hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs, causes respiratory and eye irritation. Exposure over the long term can be life threatening.
With the help of your plumbing contractor, you can clear up sewer gas problems quickly and effectively. Taking decisive action can make a significant difference in safeguarding your home and your family's health.