Sewer gas smells.

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    • #278550
      Avatar photoMasterPlumbers

        i was wondering if it is possible to get ill from sewer gas smell coming into our house. we have an
        arobic system and can not find anyone in our area to help us. we have been sick and i wanted to know if the
        smell could have anything to do with this

      • #298741
        Avatar photoJohn Aldrich1

          Dianna, I am not a doctor, but I play one on television, and I do have some knowledge regarding septic systems. Aside from the fact that the various gasses produced by the microbes in your septic system are odorous, and obnoxious, some of the gasses, in high concentrations, will have a deleterious affect on your health, and may be explosive under certain conditions. Even aerobic systems depend on anaerobic digestion as part of the treatment process. The noxious gasses are predominately produced by these anaerobic microorganisms. If you have a vent leak, I suggest that you contact a licensed plumber immediately to solve the problem. JWA

        • #298742
          Avatar photoGuest

            I’m not a doctor. I don’t even play one on TV, but I did run across this on another site (, then look under vexing problems)and thought it might help remedy your problem:

            Question: What causes my toilet to give off the odor of sewer gas when the toilet is flushed
            even though my bathroom and toilet are clean?

            A.There can be several reasons for this problem. It can be caused by the water level in the
            toilet bowl dropping too low and allowing sewer gas from the system to enter through the toilet.

            Your pet may be drinking from the bowl; the solution is to keep the lid
            down on the bowl. Photo courtesy of Robert R. Falk

            The water can also evaporate from the bowl of an unused toilet, such as
            in a basement or guest room. In this case, the solution is to regularly
            flush a toilet that is not used often.

            A damaged wax sealing ring under the toilet can allow sewer gas to
            seep out into the bathroom. If your toilet rocks or moves, this may be
            the cause of smells.

            Another common source of smells is caused by the organisms that normally reside in the
            sewer; they can get to the house side of the toilet trap. They take up residence inside the rim
            of a toilet bowl (as well as the sink and tub overflows) and whenever the toilet is flushed, you
            will smell sewer gas. The problem most often occurs during hot and humid weather. The
            SOLUTION is to pour several cups of household bleach into the overflow pipe of the flush
            valve inside the tank. This will disinfect the rim of the bowl.

            Smells in a bathroom can also be caused when the drains in a bathroom are not properly
            vented, or the vent is clogged. A vent can become clogged with a bird’s nest, body of a bird,
            etc. Also, in extremely cold climates an undersized vent can close up due to frost forming on
            the inside of the vent walls from warm humid air from washing machines, dishwashers,
            showers, etc. In addition, a vent can become clogged at the fixture connections with grease,
            soap scum, etc. A clogged vent requires running a snake down through the vent pipe from the
            oof. Climbing around on a roof is tricky and best left to professionals who have the proper
            equipment and experience.

            Another possibility is if there is an internal crack in the toilet
            bowl that allows water to slowly leak into the drain, the water
            level will gradually drop after the toilet is flushed and allow
            sewer gas to enter the bathroom. Snaking out a toilet bowl too
            aggressively can be the cause of such a crack.

          • #298743
            Avatar photoGuest

              If you or members of your family are getting sick and there is a sewer gas smell in your home, a more likely cause would be a broken drain line in a wall leaking water and causing mold to grow inside the walls. The mold that causes sick building syndrome emits spores that contain toxins. Do a web search for “sick building syndrome” to find out what the stymptoms are.

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