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Strange Smells – Using Your Nose to Detect Plumbing and Other Household Repairs

The sense of smell can be very useful in detecting household repairs that need your attention. A lot of the time we don’t give much thought to the integral systems of a home, that is until there is a breakdown. Most household repairs associated with your plumbing and electrical systems have some very noticeable tell-tale signs; from visible signs of damage to strange smells. Here’s how you can use your nose to detect plumbing, electrical, and other household repairs.

#1 Wet Dirt

The smell of wet dirt or a musky smell could mean that you have a mold and mildew problem. Mold and mildew thrive are warm, damp areas like bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and are exposed to moisture. With the right level of moisture and temperature, you could have a serious breeding ground for some furry spores! If you start to get a whiff of wet dirty check around for the visible signs of mold. Some signs include a recent water leak, allergies, asthma, poor ventilation, and seeing mold. Call your plumber right away if a leak is detected. You should also clean and disinfect the area with bleach. Remember just because you don’t see mold doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Mold can be sneaky so trust your nose if you smell it!

#2 Rotten Eggs

The strange smell of rotten eggs is meant to alert you that there is a gas leak. Gas naturally has no smell to it at all, so the sulfuric smell of rotten eggs is added to it. If you start smelling rotten eggs it’s important to take action right away, as a gas leak can cause serious illness, fire, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Call your gas company right away if you smell a persistent sulfuric smell, and make sure you get some fresh air. As a safety precaution make sure that all carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.

#3 Sewer Smell

The strange smell of sewer in your home is definitely not a welcome smell. Fortunately, it usually is a simple fix. The most common reason your nose is being assaulted by the foul stench of the sewer is a dried-out p-trap. If a drain isn’t used that often (for example in the guest bathroom) the p-trap can dry out. A p-trap is designed to leave a barrier of water to prevent sewer gas from traveling back up through the pipe. When this dries out, sewer gas can freely flow right but up through the drain. To fix this pour a little water down the drain to seal the trap. If a sewer stench persists, then you could have a more serious plumbing problem, like a clog or backflow issue. Call a plumber right away.

Any time something goes wrong with your plumbing system or HVAC system it’s always a good idea to call a professional right away. Getting repairs done correctly is not only important to protect health and safety but can also save you money in future repairs.

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