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PLUMBING SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
AGE of PLUMBING MATERIALS & FIXTURES
AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS, FIXTURES
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BACKFLOW PREVENTER VALVE, HEATING SYS
BACKFLOW PREVENTER, HEATER WATER FEEDER
BACKUP PREVENTION, SEPTIC
BACKUP PREVENTION, SEWER LINE
BACKWATER VALVES, SEWER LINE
BATH & KITCHEN DESIGN GUIDE
BLOCKED DRAIN REPAIR METHODS
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CHECK VALVES, WATER SUPPLY
CHLORINE IN SEPTIC WASTEWATER
CLEANOUTS, PLUMBING DRAIN
CLOGGED DRAIN DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPES, DIAGNOSIS
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPES, REPAIR
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPES, HOT WATER
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
CROSS CONNECTIONS, PLUMBING
DEPTH of DRAIN & SEWER PIPES
DEPTH of SEPTIC TANK
DRAIN & SEWER PIPING
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOODED HEATING EQUIPMENT REPAIR
FLOODED SEPTIC SYSTEMS, REPAIR
FLOODED WATER HEATER REPAIR
FLOOR DRAIN / TRAP ODORS
FLUSHOMETER VALVES for TOILETS URINALS
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GALVANIZED STEEL PIPING
HARD WATER - SOFTENERS
HEAT TAPES, Heat, Insulation prevent Freeze-Up
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEAD PIPES in buildings
LEAD in WATER, ACTION LEVEL & REMEDIES
LEAK TYPES, Water Supply/Drain Pipe
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MIXING / ANTI-SCALD VALVES
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
NOISE CONTROL for PLUMBING
NOISE, PLUMBING DRAIN DIAGNOSIS
NOISE, PLUMBING DRAIN REPAIR
NOISE, PLUMBING CHECKLIST
NOISE, WATER HEATER
NOISES, WATER PUMP
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OUTHOUSES & LATRINES
PIPING IN buildings, Clogs Leaks Types
PLUMBING FIXTURES, KITCHEN, BATH
PLUMBING FIXTURE TRAPS
PUMPS, WATER REPAIR
REPAIR BURST LEAKY PIPES
SEWER GAS ODORS
This plumbing traps (interceptors) article describes plumbing traps (interceptors) and how to diagnose, find, and cure odors in buildings including septic or sewage or sewer gas smells or "gas odors" in buildings with a focus on homes with a private onsite septic tank but including tips for owners whose home is connected to a sewer system as well.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.Carson Dunlop'. Also see Wet Weather or Cold Weather Septic Odors or Sewage Odor Diagnosis & Repair Guide for additional odor tracing and cure advice for odors occurring during wet or cold weather.
Watch out: Because sewer gas contains methane gas (CH4) there is a risk of an explosion hazard or even fatal asphyxiation. Sewer gases also probably contain hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) In addition some writers opine that there are possible health hazards from sewer gas exposure, such as a bacterial infection of the sinuses (which can occur due to any sinus irritation). Depending on the sewer gas source and other factors such as humidity and building and weather conditions, mold spores may also be present in sewer gases.
Technical note on sewer gas smells: because the "sulphur smell" that some people may associate with dangerous sewer gases can have other sources having nothing to do with building plumbing systems, readers should also see CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS and ODORS, SULPHUR SMELL SOURCES and ODORS, SEPTIC or SEWER and finally, ODORS & SMELLS DIAGNOSIS & CURE where we describe how to track odors to their source or cause.
What's the difference between Plumbing Traps vs Plumbing Interceptors?
Note: recent changes in plumbing codes including ASME Standards, the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the International Plumbing Code (IPC) have dropped the term plumbing trap, and substitute a more inclusive word, "interceptor".
In some building codes and plumbing texts you will see increased use of the term interceptor where you may be more familiar with the term plumbing trap. In particular, grease traps are referred to now as hydromechanical grease interceptors or gravity grease interceptors.
Common Plumbing Trap or Interceptor Defects
Here are some plumbing trap (interceptor) defects to check. Any of these can produce drainage problems and in turn may leak or cause sewer gas or septic odors to be produced in or even outside of a building:
Leaky, Missing, or Improperly Mounted/Located Plumbing Traps / Interceptors
Definition & Issues with S-Traps on Plumbing Fixtures & Drains
Garbage Disposers (food grinders) and Plumbing Traps / Interceptors
Don't forget to check for smells at your garbage disposer drain too. And in buildings where a grease trap or grease interceptor is installed, the garbage disposer (food grinder) drainage is required to bypass the grease trap. This requirement is notwithstanding that garbage disposers (and the pre-rinse function of some dishwashers) is a substantial source of fats, oils, grease (FOG) that clog plumbing drain systems.
If that is the odor source you may be able to remove the odor by cleaning liquids or even simple vinegar.
Dry Plumbing Traps / Interceptors
Clogged Plumbing Traps / Interceptors
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about plumbing drain traps & traps on plumbing fixtures, sinks, tubs, showers, etc.
Question: can a dried out floor drain trap cause a sewage backup?
Can a dried out floor drain trap cause a sewer line backup? - Daryl 12/27/12
Reply: directly, no, indirectly ... maybe
Can a dry trap cause a sewer line backup?
No Daryl, a dried out floor drain trap doesn't cause a sewer line backup, at least not directly;
Questions & answers or comments about plumbing traps or plumbing interceptors
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.