Is there a foul whiff coming from the bathroom even when it is spotlessly clean? The plausible explanation is septic gases backing up the pipes into the bathroom. The septic system harbors a mixture of gases, including ammonia, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen. These gases mix to a foul-smelling combination that can rise through the septic pipes into the house. The house can become very uncomfortable when these gases are present in high amounts. What could cause such gases to waft back into your house?
Dry Plumbing Trap
A plumbing trap is the U-shaped fixture you find at the joint of a drainpipe and sewer line. You can find a plumbing trap at the back of your toilet bowl, or below the kitchen sink. A trap is shaped that way to trap water, which blocks septic gases from rising back up the drainpipe. When this trapped water dries out, there is space for the gases to pass and they rise back up the drainpipe into the house. A plumbing trap may dry out if a plumbing fixture is not in use. For example, when you leave for a summer vacation, the plumbing trap behind the toilet will dry. The heat of the summer will generate more gases, which will rise through the pipes. Contact a septic service to fix this problem.
The Septic Tank is Overflowing
An overflow of the septic tank pushes gases back up the sewer lines into the house. Foul odors are just one sign that the septic tank is full. You will notice other signs such as:
- Gurgling sounds from the drains
- Sluggish drains
- Sewer backup into the house
- A swampy drain field around the septic tank
You should inspect your septic tank when you notice foul odors and sluggish drains. Call a septic tank pumping service to empty the septic tank before sewerage backs up into the house.
The Vent Stack is Clogged
The plumbing acts as a pressure release for the septic system. The vents regulate air pressure in the septic system, which prevents gas buildup in the piping. These vents often become clogged from assorted debris including leaves, paper litter, and dust. A clogged vent stack cannot let off septic gases. It forces them to find other pathways, the easiest of which are through drain pipes into the house. You will also notice ghost flushing toilets. Inspect the plumbing vents after ruling out dry plumbing traps and septic tank overflow. Septic gases are not only uncomfortable but also pose a health hazard. You should have a septic tank service attend to the problem as quickly as possible.