If you notice a foul smell in your home or business, it’s important to know how to test for sewer gas. Sewer gases like hydrogen sulfide, methane, and ammonia are toxic at high levels and can be explosive if mixed with oxygen. They also can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, lead to headaches, dizziness, and nausea, and even cause extreme health problems or death in some cases. More info: Go here
Hydrogen sulfide is the primary component of sewer gas and interferes with our sense of smell at very high concentrations. When combined with methane and ammonia, these toxins can create an oxygen-deficient environment in which humans cannot survive for long. These gases are heavier than air and can accumulate in areas of a building or house where the waste is being decomposed, such as basements.
One way to detect a leak is by using a vapor tester, which emits a safe and nontoxic odor that indicates the presence of hydrogen sulfide and methane in the air. Another method of testing for sewer gas is called a smoke test, which involves the use of a handheld detector that emits a blue flame. This flame indicates that there is a high level of H2S present in the area, and can be detected even when the space is well-ventilated.
When to Call the Pros: Sewer Gas Testing vs. Professional Inspection
It’s best to call a professional pipefitter as soon as you suspect a problem so that the situation can be assessed with a proper test and remedied quickly before it becomes too dangerous. Contact your local plumber to schedule a visit, and ask for a test with a vapor detector or a smoke test.