Smoke testing is a visual method of locating a leak coming from a pipe. We use smoke testing mostly for odor detection. If you smell a rotten egg smell or sewer odors intermittently, you may have a broken sewer vent pipe. The non-toxic mineral oil based white smoke is injected into the plumbing system through a vent pipe or an outside sewer clean out. The smoke blower forces high velocity smoke through all of the plumbing lines. The smoke will find its way to wherever the odor is coming from.
Sometimes it’s just a dry p-trap. P-traps are those U shaped fittings under your sink in the cabinet. They are supposed to retain water as this is what keeps the sewer gasses from coming in the house bringing the noxious odors with it.
The simple fix for a dry trap is to just go around the house and pour water in all the sink drains, showers and tubs. One of the biggest offenders of this is a floor drain in the basement that you have put boxes over and never even knew was there. Another one is if you have a spare bath that only gets used when guests come.
Other times the sewer gas odor can be coming from a failed wax ring at the base of your toilet. If you have a sewer gas smell coming from a bathroom, this could be the issue. Good news, it’s a simple and inexpensive fix. A toilet can be removed and wax ring replaced in about 15 minutes by a pro; it may take longer if it’s a DIY project. The wax ring cost costs a couple of dollars at your local home improvement store.
Septic systems can be tricky to verify where the septic tank vent is plumbed to. The tank vents the sewer gasses from the tank to the outside air. If you are anywhere close to this, you know by the smell. We have used smoke to verify the electrical conduit for the septic pump system was not sealed and every time someone flushed a toilet that foul sewer smell in the septic tank would be forced through the electrical conduit into the house to the basement electrical panel! A dab of silicone fixed this issue that had been going on for two years.
Some odor detection jobs are cut or broken DWV (drain waste vent) pipes behind the sheetrock wall. This is what smoke test is all about! The smoke will pour out of the cut or cracked pipe, or periodically we have found pipes that weren’t even hooked up. When the non-toxic smoke fills, our technician will find and mark the location where the majority of the smoke is coming from. Then you or your hired pro star cutting the walls to locate the broken pipe. Note: we do not cut walls open.
Our team of experts is always at your service, ready to follow your command and offer you services that are both effective and efficient. Our reputation and happy client base make us one of the best smoke testing for sewer companies in the industry. We render services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia.
This is not an exhaustive list. Our technicians have travelled all over Virginia & Maryland. We have also worked in West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina and Colorado. If you would like to inquiry about our services at your location, complete this brief form.