Causes of Sewer Odors in Your Commercial Building



broken-sewer-pipeThe hygiene of a commercial facility is essential for its operation. When sewer odors appear in your facility, it can indicate serious problems. But even smaller issues must be resolved quickly, and it requires professional commercial plumbers to track down the source of the problem so it can be remedy promptly and correctly.

There are several potential causes for the odor of sewage to enter a commercial building. Below we’ve listed a few of the most common.

Dried p-traps in unused or abandoned areas

Large facilities may have sections that are no longer used or have been sealed off. If there are drains in these areas still connected to the main sewage system, sewer gas can escape up through the drains and waft into the space. The p-traps in these drains (the curved section directly underneath the drain) will have dried out and removed a barrier from the movement of sewer gas. We recommend having plumbers seal up the pipes with cement.

Leaking sewer vents or inadequately installed vents

Sewer vents allow the build-up of sewer gas in the drainage system to rise and escape through the roof, balancing the pressure. If leaks develop along the sewer vent pipes, it will allow the sewer gas to enter rooms through the walls. It requires plumbers using leak detection methods to find the precise location of the leaks so they can be accessed and sealed or repiped.

If the drain vents were not installed correctly (the wrong pipe diameter, for example), poor venting will result in sewer gas rising up from drains. Plumbers will need to replace the sewer vents with the properly sized pipes.

Clogged plumbing vents

Damage to the vents, animal nests, or storm damage may clog the vent openings. This will push the sewer gas back down into the drainpipes and up through drains. (You may notice a gurgling sound coming from drains; this indicates sewer gas percolating through the water barrier in the p-traps.) Please don’t try to go to the roof of your facility if you think this is the trouble! Leave all this work to the commercial specialists.

Sewer line, septic line clogging or leaks

The sewer line (or septic line if your facility uses a septic tank) may become clogged with debris or tree root infiltration, leading to a backup in the line that will affect the whole building. Odors are often the first warning sign of a major issue like this. Professional sewer line cleaning or repair is necessary to fix the issue. In extreme cases, the sewer line may need to be replaced.

For commercial sewer line repair and commercial drain cleaning in Falls Church, VA, or any other commercial plumbing service your business needs to keep running, you can depend on our team. No other service contractor provides the wide range of commercial services that we do—if you need it done, we can do it for you. We’ve served the area since 1950, and no job is too large for our fully equipped staff.