Sewer gas odors not only smell horrible, they can make your family ill. Caused by methane and bacteria, this odor in the winter months means something isn’t right with your plumbing. Proper maintenance and inspection of all your plumbing will help keep the system in working order, and keep the odors at bay.
 
What is Sewer Gas?
Sewer gas odor is caused by a mixture of methane gas and bacteria. The smell isn’t just unpleasant it can actually make you ill. The most common ailment from this methane and bacteria mixture is a headache. In addition to making you ill, a buildup of methane gas is combustible, which puts your entire family at risk if it explodes.
 
Outdoors
If you have a septic tank it’s a good idea to have it pumped at least every three years. If you have had a new tank installed, it will not need to be pumped for five years. It’s best to check with the regulations in your area, as some cities have different codes. Odors that have been created by the pumping process should dissipate in a couple of days. In order to keep your septic system healthy, try flushing a packet of baker’s yeast down the toilet a couple of times each year.
 
Before and after every winter season you need to do a visual check for any broken or leaking pipes and covers. If there are any broken, cracked or missing pipes or pipe covers you will need to replace them immediately. It’s also a good idea to climb onto the roof and check the vent stacks at the same time. Animals can nest in the stacks if the covers are loose or missing, and leaves and other yard debris can create a seal that will cause the system to leak odors into your home. To prevent the vent stacks from freezing during the colder months paint them black. The dark color will attract the winter sun and prevent a buildup of ice.
 
Indoors
Most internal home sewer odors come from dry traps. To prevent your traps from drying out, flush all toilets and run water in the sinks and bathtubs at least once every three weeks.
The cold winter months can wreak havoc on a septic system. Everything from cracks in the pipes to animals nesting and ice buildup in the vent stacks can cause horrible sewer odors to leak inside and outside the home. If you have questions about your septic system, or want a professional to check your system for you, contact the professionals at All About The Pipes Plumbing, Inc. and schedule a professional septic inspection before you have odor problems.