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Everything You Need to Know About Sewer Gas

What Is Sewer Gas? Plus Everything You Need to Know to Stop Sewer Gas Smells

Sewer gas is a serious issue that can cause health problems for you and your family. 

Not only does sewer gas smell terrible, but it can also be dangerous. If you’re not sure how to get rid of the bad smell, you could be putting your health at risk.

But we’re here to help. In this article, we will discuss what sewer gas is and how to stop the smell from coming back. Follow our tips, and you’ll be able to get rid of the smell for good. So let’s get started!

What Is Sewer Gas and What Does it Smell Like?

Sewer gas is a mixture of different gases produced by decaying organic matter. It is typically composed of carbon dioxide, methane, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxides. 

These gases exist when water and organic matter flow through the sewer system and come into contact with bacteria. The bacteria break down the organic matter, which releases the gases.

Sewer gas can often smell like rotting eggs or sewage. It is a strong, unpleasant odor that can be difficult to eliminate.

While sewer gas is not always dangerous, it can cause health problems if you are exposed to it for a long period of time. The gases can irritate your nose and throat and make you feel sick.

If you are experiencing sewer gas in your home, it is important to take action to get rid of the smell as soon as possible. Leaving the gas untreated can not only make your home unpleasant to live in but can also be dangerous.

What are the Common Causes and How to Stop a Sewer Gas Smell?

Here are the common causes of sewer gas smell and how to get rid of them permanently.

1. Leaking Pipes

One of the most common causes of sewer gas smells is leaking pipes. If there is a leak in your sewer system, the gases can escape and enter your home through the cracks.

To fix this problem, you will need to repair the leaks in your pipes. In doing this, you will also need to make sure that any cracks or holes in your pipes are sealed so that the gases cannot escape.

Here’s are the steps on how to do this:

  • Locate the cracks or holes in your pipes. You might need to use a sewer camera to do this.
  • Apply a pipe sealant to the cracks or holes.
  • Let the sealant dry completely.
  • If the leak is too large to seal, you will need to replace the pipe.

2. Broken or Clogged Sewer Lines

broken or clogged sewer line can cause foul smell in your house

When water can’t move freely through the sewer lines, it’ll start to back up in your drains and cause a bad smell. If you think your sewer line might be clogged, here are the steps you can take to clear it:

3. Improper Ventilation

improper ventilation system can cause sewer gas to smell in your house

If you don’t have a proper vent for the sewer gas, it can escape into your home through the plumbing system. This happens more often in older homes that don’t have proper ventilation systems.

To fix this problem, you need to install a vent stack. This will allow the gas to escape through the roof instead of into your home. To do this:

  • Locate the roof vent. This is usually a pipe that sticks up through the roof.
  • Cut a hole in the roof near the vent stack.
  • Install metal flashing around the hole to protect the roof from water damage.
  • Connect the vent stack to the plumbing system.
  • Seal any gaps around the vent stack with caulk or expanding foam.

If you can’t install a vent stack, you can try to improve the ventilation in your home by installing exhaust fans in the bathrooms and kitchen.

4. Dry P-Traps

a dry p trap will not function well and can cause foul smell

A dry p-trap is another common cause of sewer gas smells. The p-trap is a U-shaped pipe that you can locate under your sink. It is designed to trap water and prevent sewer gases from entering your home.

If the p-trap is dry, it will not be able to hold the water, and the gases will escape. This can cause a foul smell in your home.

To fix this problem, you will need to add water to the p-trap. You can do this by:

  • Pouring water down the drain.
  • Running the faucet for a few minutes.
  • If you have a double sink, pour water into both sides of the p-trap.

5. Dirty Sink Drains

dirty sink can cause sewer gas to smell through out your house

If your sink drains are dirty, it can also cause a sewer gas smell. The bacteria that live in the dirt and grime can produce a bad smell.

To fix this problem, you will need to clean your sink drains. You can do this by:

  • Using a drain cleaner.
  • Scrubbing the drains with a brush.
  • Running boiling water down the drains.

6. Old or Damaged Toilet Wax Ring

old or damaged wax ring will cause foul sewer gas smell if not replacement as soon as possible

The wax ring is a rubber ring that forms a seal between the toilet and the drain pipe. This ring can become old or damaged over time and it will no longer form a tight seal. This can allow the sewer gas to escape into your home.

To fix this problem, you will need to replace the wax ring. You can do this by:

  • Turning off the water to the toilet.
  • Flushing the toilet to empty the tank.
  • Disconnecting the water supply line.
  • Lifting the toilet off of the floor.
  • Removing the old wax ring.
  • Installing a new wax ring.
  • Placing the toilet back on the floor.
  • Reconnecting the water supply line.
  • Turning on the water to the toilet.

If you need help removing your toilet, give us a call and we will be more than happy to help.

7. Bad Odors from the Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal can also be a source of bad smells in your home. The bacteria that live in the food scraps can produce a bad smell.

To fix this problem, you will need to clean the garbage disposal. You can do this by:

  • Running dish soap and hot water down the disposal.
  • Scrubbing the inside of the disposal with a brush.
  • Using vinegar and baking soda mixture to clean the disposal.


Sewer gas can be a nuisance and a health hazard. If you are experiencing a bad smell from your sewer line, there are several things you can do to try to fix the problem. Hopefully, one of these solutions will work for you.

However, if the problem persists, you should call a plumber to have them take a look at your sewer line. They will be able to determine the cause of the problem and fix it for you.

If you live in the Lower Mainland of Canada and need a reliable, professional, and affordable plumber to help you get rid of the sewer gas smell permanently, look no further than Your Guy Plumbing. Our team of experts is here to help you with all of your plumbing needs, big or small. Give us a call today, and we’ll be happy to help!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sewer Gas Dangerous & Can it make you sick?

Sewer gas can make you sick if you are exposed to it for a long period of time. The most common symptoms of exposure are headaches, nausea, and dizziness. In severe cases, sewer gas can cause respiratory problems and even death.

Is sewer gas explosive?

Yes, sewer gas is explosive. If there is a buildup of sewer gas in a confined space, it can cause an explosion. This is because sewer gas is made up of methane and carbon dioxide mixture.

John Relampago

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