Odor Leak Locating

If you are detecting an unusual order in your home, locating the source of that odor can be more important than you think.  There are several ways to perform odor leak locating, both for plumbing, and non-plumbing related scents.

your First Step

This is definitely one of those times where being as informed as you can could really help things along, and save you some money.  The first thing you will want to do seems pretty obvious, but it still bears mentioning…

You should look everywhere you can for the possible source of the odor.  Look under sinks, in closets, outside under your windows… even your crawlspace, if you feel comfortable doing that.  Keep in mind, that if you can find the source before you call for help, it will make the process an easier one over all.

Call a Qualified Plumber

If you cannot find the source, or if you found it, and it is plumbing related, your next step is to call a qualified plumber.  Unless the odor is obviously an “electrical” scent, it is more often than not a plumbing related issue.  Here are a few of the many things it could be:

  • A broken sewer pipe somewhere – This means that sewage could be “pooling” somewhere under your house, or in another location causing water damage and attracting parasites.  It might also be a broken vent line that is leaking the smell into your home.  Sewage emits methane gas.  Methane gas is toxic to breath, and in high concentrations can cause an explosion.
  • A broken water line somewhere – This can cause a great deal of water damage, and since it is usually constantly leaking, the water damage grows geometrically.  Water damage also causes mold (which is what you are smelling).  Mold spores entering your lungs can make you very sick.
  • Drain odors – Drain odors that come from a kitchen sink, lavatory sink, tub drain, etc. can be the easiest to solve.  Although there are times when a drain smell can be pretty persistent, they are usually pretty easy to solve with a combination of thorough drain cleaning (hydro jetting often works well here) and degreasing treatment.
  • Gas leak – A gas leak poses, by far, the most imminent danger. If you suspect that a bad order is due to a gas leak, do NOT try to find it yourself.  Call a plumber immediately!  Natural gas is highly flammable, and breathing just a little of it can make you feel light-headed.  Breathing too much can knock you unconscious, at which point you run the risk of dying from asphyxiation.

What to Expect

As I said earlier, there are many different ways to perform odor leak location.  An experienced plumber can usually get a good idea of what kind of smell it is, just with his nose.  That just comes with experience.  There are some smells that elude even the best trained noises, though.

Next, the expert will usually go about doing a manual check for the source, and likely look a lot of the places you already tried.  Who knows, his trained eye (and nose) may find something you did not spot.  If searching for it manually does not provide results, there are much more elaborate, and high-tech ways to find your odor.

Keep in mind that some odors can be really tough to find.  If you want the best odds at getting to the root of home bad odor problem, you need a professional.  We humbly suggest you give Gogo Rooter Plumbing in San Jose a call.

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