House Smells like Rotten Eggs: How to Eliminate It
Having rooms in house with good air is very comfortable to breathe and live in. However, houses often have odor problems in various ways. Faint odors might have been tolerable, but people do not think that they can stand awfully stronger odors, like when house smells like rotten eggs. Odors might seem to only cause inconvenience to you. Even so, you need to know that they can be dangerous too. It is not a simple matter that you can just take it easy and ignore. It is a must for you to look for its source and fix it as soon as possible.
Of course, it applies to whatever odors you might get in your house. One type of odors that might simply be offensive in its smell, but can be hazardous over extended period of them, is the one that smells like rotten eggs. Before you even learn about how to eliminate such odor, it is better if you try learning what causes it first and how harmful it can be for us. Only then, you can have self-awareness about not ignoring such odor in your house. So, let’s just learn what you need to know about this smell in this opportunity here below.
About Being Smelly like Rotten Eggs
Many people do feel curious about the source of the smell of rotten eggs in their house even when there are definitely no rotten eggs there. Well, of course, it has nothing to do with rotten eggs at all. To make things clear, mostly this smell is caused by sewer gas. Be sure to not confuse it with the smell of natural gas. Natural gas is actually odorless. However, it is often added with mercaptan chemical which makes it smell like skunk. Do you know why it is added?
Well, of course, this chemical is not added without any reason. The sole reason for it would be to warn you the danger. If you smell skunk-like odor, it means that natural gas has leaked from its container. If things are like this, it will later lead to violent explosion. So, be sure to ask natural gas Company to solve this problem. How about sewer gas then? You see, sewer gas comes from either household septic system or santitary sewer (see Wikipedia: sanitary sewer) system. Sewer gas is actually methane.
In other words, it is odorless to begin with. However, it has always been mixed with other gasses, like hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide actually comes from decomposing organic matter, like animals or vegetables. When it is mixed with sewer gas, it causes the rotten egg smell. Well, this awful smell can happen in all sorts of occasions. It does not always happen all day. Even so, whenever it happens, you should be sure to check it and have it solved soon.
Occasions on the Occurrence of the Smell
Sewer gas or sewage smell in house indeed happens mostly in the drain. It is because organic matter can accumulate on its walls and end up being deposits for bacteria to grow. The bacteria are the very cause of that smell. Need to be known though; bacteria can grow in water heater as well. It can happen when the hot water is not used. It might happen when the heater is turned off for quite a long time. One more reason is that it can happen when the thermostat is too low.
These are the occurrences you will experience with water heater. Other occurrences might have been the ones coming from the source outside your house. Yes, we are talking about bacteria growing in the well here. If the smell occurs because of the water coming from the well, it is better to not use the water for there might be harmful bacteria in it. There are still other occurrences you need to know though. First of all, did your house smell like sewer when it rains?
This is one of cases from this smell occurrence. Sometimes, it can smell far stronger at that time. Well, it happens because there is overload in drain system. It is what pushes the sewer gas back to your house. Other than this occurrence, sometimes the smell can occur stronger at night too. It can be because there is not that much activity of drainage at such time compared to during the day. It gives bacteria time to grow and actually create this disgusting, rotten egg or poop-like smell.
The Smell’s Harm to Humans’ Health
Whether house smells like rotten eggs is harmful or not, it depends on the situation you are in. At first, the only inconveniences you would experience would be its offensive smell. Of course, the taste of water would be unpleasant as well. At this point, it is not a health threat. However, we have made it clear earlier that sewer gas is definitely dangerous over any extended period of time. We have to eliminate it as soon as possible because it can eventually lead to health problem too.
As it was said earlier, sewer gas is mostly methane. Although methane is basically odorless, this gas displaces oxygen we need for respiration. What we need is oxygen. It shouldn’t be something other than that. Be aware that it can be deadly, especially in a confined space. What’s more? There is the existence of hydrogen sulfide that when combines with methane will create the rotten egg smell too. This is not something to joke around either. To tell you the truth, it is toxic.
Generally, we would only smell this gas at very low levels. Thus, it is not as toxic as we think it might be. However, as it gets stronger, the more dangerous it is for us. Yes, it is toxic when it is at that level. However, it is not the only reason that it is dangerous for humans’ health. You see, as it gets stronger, the more we could not be able to smell it. Can sewer gas make you sick? There is no need to even ask. It is harmful for us to the point when we don’t even recognize the cause ourselves.
The Solutions for Sewer Gas Smell
Indeed, having house smells like rotten eggs can be really unbearable. If you keep this for a long time, you know that it would be harmful to our health. So, the best way to face it is to solve it as soon as possible. Actually, there are many ways you can try to solve this problem. First, you can check the dry traps yourself. If it is your case, you can just fill the traps with water. This will do the job to block the gas from escaping. Second, you can ask plumbers or contractors to inspect it.
They might be able to work it out about finding the possible sources of the smell. The sources can be anything. It varies depending on your case. It might be because of broken line, plugged vent, dead animal, or even other source than sewer system. Sometime, for homeowners, this is too much to take by themselves. That is why we would need the help of someone who understand about building-related. Plumbers/contractors would find the cause much easier than you.
Third, if you have done the first and the second and it does not work, it might just be the time to contact an environmental consultant. Such consultant has the proper equipment to test the existence of methane, hydrogen sulfide, and other gasses in your house. The equipment might include sewer gas detector as well. The consultants will identify the source as well as its concentration. Of course, they would guide you to eliminate this rotten egg smell too.
Now then, we have reached the end of this article. What do you think about our discussion above? Have you understood enough about the gasses in your house, the causes of the rotten egg-like smell, the various occasions that the smell occurs, and the way to solve the problem? We have that this discussion can help you understanding more about any kind of gas activities in your house. To begin with, we should know that some certain gasses are dangerous for us. It is not something we can take lightly and simply ignore it without trying to fix it.
Cases, like house smells like rotten eggs might simply make us tolerate the odor. However, as it goes on, we are sure that you yourself would not be able to bear it any longer. Anyone would want to breathe fresh air in their house after all. Furthermore, when you let it at more extended period of time, you will begin to feel its effects in your health. In a worst case scenario, it can be deadly for us. So, we suggest you this over and over again that it is very important to get rid of the smell as soon as you smell it in your house. It is all for your safety after all.