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Sweet smell of sewer gasses

Home Inspector with Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area InterNACHI 10041206

I could smell it as soon as I walked into the house. Sewer gasses, not that pleasant of a smell! I knew there was a drain or venting problem somewhere in the house. When I got to the kitchen and opened the sink cabinet door, there it was... a Cat! Can you find him in the picture? Scared the crap outta me, lol... but he never moved! Maybe he was delirious from the sewer gasses! Also there was this... no P-Trap!

What is a P-Trap and what does it do? A P-trap gets its name because it combines two 90 degree joints with a horizontal overflow pipe and gives the entire unit the shape of the letter “P.” One of the 90 degree joints exits the drain of the sink and then is joined to another which contains a water seal system that allows for water to flow into the overflow pipe, but not to flow backward toward the sink. It is this back flow prevention that prevents sewer gas from escaping into the house.

Sewer gas can contain many noxious odors which at the least, may smell like rotten eggs and at their worst, can be explosive and poisonous. The traps installed in the plumbing lines help to form a barrier of water within the P-trap. At the bottom of the “P” is a small cleanout tap that can be used to remove clogs the P-trap has contained.

The Cat? He was cool as a cucumber... just layed there and watched me till I closed the cabinet door.



Posted by

Fred Hernden 


 Superior Home Inspections





 Albuquerque, Rio Rancho New Mexico and surrounding areas...


“My mission is to provide superior quality home inspections to my clients to ensure peace of mind so they can confidently make the largest investment they may ever make!"


Please visit my website at: www.SuperiorHomeInsp.com for details!







Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Homeowner work is just that!  Homeowner!

I am going to bet this isn't the first time you have run into this!

Jan 09, 2019 10:30 AM
Fred Hernden, CMI

Hahaha, you know it isn't! I haven't contributed too much here lately and thought this was a good one to talk about!

Jan 10, 2019 09:00 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Fred- I do see the cat in the photo!!!!  I hope that poor cat didn't get sick from the fumes. 

Jan 09, 2019 05:33 PM
Fred Hernden, CMI

He didn't seem sick Kathy, but he sure watched me closely!!

Jan 10, 2019 09:00 AM
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

Oh the fun things you find as an inspector!  How did the homeowner not notice this odor?!

Jan 09, 2019 05:45 PM
Fred Hernden, CMI

I dunno Francine, I guess you can get used to anything!

Jan 10, 2019 09:01 AM
Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

Poor kitty. Argh That sounds just awful, makes me sick just thinking about it. Ha. Guess you can get used to odors if you live with it everyday...although, I'm guessing most of us would deal with it before we become immune to a noxious odor. 

Jan 10, 2019 09:05 AM