Noxious Gases And Plumbing Repair

Whenever plumbing repair tasks are performed, there is a hidden danger of noxious gases entering the home. Some of these gases are released by faulty appliance components or installations, while others occur naturally and are kept out of the home by water inside drain pipes.

Poisonous gases from home appliances

Plumbing repairs or installations of gas powered appliances should only be performed by plumbing professionals. Poor connections or leaks of natural gas could result in explosions or fire, while improper venting can fill the home with carbon monoxide, 

Gas stoves

Older stoves may be equipped with flexible metallic gas supply hoses, which may crack from repeated jostling of the stove over years of use. Some of these connections may also lack a turnoff valve at the hose connection, which would allow an excessive quantity of gas to enter the home if the hose is completely breached.

This also requires the homeowner to turn off the gas at the main valve if a leak is suspected, necessitating the relighting of the pilot lights of every gas appliance in the home when the gas flow is restored.

A plumbing professional can replace the metallic hose with a plastic hose, while adding a shut off valve to the connections site, eliminating the possibility of an unknown hose breach that fills the home with gas as the inhabitants sleep.

Hot water heaters

Faulty connections or new installations of gas powered water heaters include the possibility of gas leaks but also present an additional danger. Gas water heaters expel carbon monoxide through a venting system on the top of the heater.

The venting system must be aligned properly, with the exhaust flowing slightly upward through the exhaust duct and out of the home. If the exhaust system is jarred or otherwise moved out of position during plumbing repairs, carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas, can fill the home.

Leave gas water heater work to the pros.

Sewer gases from drains

Sewer gases are kept from rising into the home by the design of drains, which use curved fittings to trap water inside a small section of  drain pipes. 

When plumbing repairs are being performed by the average homeowner, they should keep this in mind and block off drains that will be left open while repairs are being performed. Examples include:

Toilet replacements

When the old toilet is removed, shove a rag into the open floor drain while you're preparing the new toilet for installation. Be sure to remove the rag before you place the new toilet and wax ring into position, or you'll be scrapping off wax and lifting the toilet once again.

Sink traps

The "J" shaped fitting under your sink does more than catch debris that might clog your drain. It is also designed to remain filled with water to keep sewer gases at bay. 

If a sink trap is replaced in a timely manner, no blocking of the drain is necessary, but if you need to run to the store for a replacement or the trap has a massive clog, shove a rag into the drain pipe until the new or cleaned trap can be installed. Remember to remove it before restoring the trap.

Also, if your sump pump hasn't been used in a long time, it is a good idea to dump some water into the pit to fill the pump trap, because the water in the trap may have evaporated over time.

For more information, contact Angeles Plumbing or a similar company.