Quick Answer: Can Smelling Sewer Gas Hurt You?

What can cause a sewer smell in the house?

There are several potential reasons your bathroom smells like a sewer.

Some of the most common include an improperly installed or cut vent pipe, a broken or loose seal or a damaged toilet..

What does sewer gas smell like?

Like natural gas, sewer gas has a sulfuric odour. However, sewer gas generally smells more like rotten eggs and less like a skunk. The problem comes from a backup of sulfides, ammonia, methane, and other inorganic compounds. In low doses (and in most homes), sewer gas is harmless enough—even though it’s unpleasant.

Will sewer gas set off a carbon monoxide detector?

But high levels of methane (over 500 ppm) from sewage may set off an alarm. Can extremely foul smelling poop cause the CO2 alarm to go off. Possibly, since the exhaust may indeed contain carbon monoxide.

What are the symptoms of breathing in sewer gas?

Exposure to low levels of hydrogen sulfide causes irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract. Other symptoms include nervousness, dizziness, nausea, headache, and drowsiness. This gas smells like rotten eggs, even at extremely low concentrations.

How do you get rid of sewer gas smell?

8 Ways to Get Rid of Sewer Gas SmellClean the sink overflow. A sink overflow is a hole located either underneath or across from the faucet. … Check the toilet wax ring. … Caulk the toilet base. … Clean out bacterial growth in drains. … Check rarely used bathtubs and sinks. … Check for leaks. … Inspect your garbage disposal splash guard. … Schedule a video drain inspection.

Can sewer gas explode?

Methane and hydrogen sulfide are explosive components of sewer gas. Vapors from improperly disposed fuel can further increase the risk of fire or explosion; and. odor. Hydrogen sulfide is responsible for sewer gas’s characteristic rotten-egg smell, which can be overbearing even at extremely low concentrations.

Can sewer gas come up through the toilet?

The distinctive smell of sewer gas wafting through your home means something is wrong with the plumbing. Odors can signify a toilet leak or a crack in one of the plumbing vent pipes. … If it’s coming from a toilet, the toilet may need servicing. If you smell the odors at a fixture drain, the vents are probably blocked.

How do you tell if your sewer vent pipe is clogged?

The top three signs your plumbing vent is clogged include:Sputtering, gurgling toilets. When airflow is inadequate in a vent because of size or blockage, the plumbing pressure will be greater than the air in the bathroom. … Slow drain. … Strong sewer gas odor.

How long can you be exposed to sewer gas?

Standards/Exposure Limits OSHA and NIOSH have established workplace limits for hydrogen sulfide. OSHA established an eight-hour permissible exposure limit-time weighted average (PEL-TWA) of 10 ppm and a 15-minute short-term exposure limit (PEL-STEL) of 15 ppm for exposed workers.

Does sewer gas rise or sink?

Sewage gas is heavier than atmospheric gas and it “sinks” to the lowest level in the house or in a room. The sewage gas smells are caused because somewhere within or outside of the house, the rotten egg smell is not being vented and so it starts to accumulate.

Why do I smell sewer gas in my bathroom?

A sewer gas smell in the bathroom can be caused by: evaporation of water in the P-trap piping. broken seal around the toilet in the wax ring or the caulk. … tree’s roots have grown into or have caused damage to your sewer pipes.

Is the smell of sewer gas dangerous?

While sewer gas isn’t dangerous in small amounts, these compounds contribute to sewer gas toxicity at high levels. Hydrogen sulfide is the primary gas in sewer gas. … At higher levels, ammonia is toxic to humans. It can cause organ damage or death.

Why does my house smell like rotten eggs?

Rotten Eggs The two most common sources for rotten egg smell in the home are electrical components (inside of outlets for example) or a natural gas leak. Natural gas manufacturers are required to add a chemical, called mercaptan, to their gas in order to make it easier to detect a leak.