You're sitting on the sofa enjoying a delicious bowl of ice cream and you get a whiff of the putrid smell of raw sewage. Do you grab a can of air freshener and fill your home with a more pleasant smell to cover up the odor, or do you find out where that smell is coming from? This is one smell that you should never ignore!

Sewer gasses leaking into your home are filled with toxic gasses that could potentially be explosive. Put down the ice cream and find out what is going on before you get sick or your home is seriously damaged. Here, you will learn how to identify where the sewer gas is leaking into your home from.

Ventilate the House

The first thing to do is get some air moving through the house. Open doors and windows to let the gasses out and fresh air in. Place a few fans in the windows – some pulling fresh air in and some pulling the dirty air out.

Start with the Floor Drains

If you have floor drains in your basement you have found a good place to start your inspection. If the drain trap has dried up, the gasses from inside the lines will rise up into your home.

Get a five-gallon bucket of water mixed with a cup of pleasant-smelling disinfectant and pour one bucket full down each floor drain in your basement. The trap will capture and hold the water it needs to block the rising gasses. Also, these traps will stop the leak and the disinfectant will kill the bacteria that could be contributing to the bad smell.

After you have done this, wait a bit and see if the smell has gone away. If so, you have found the solution. If not, it's time to look for leaking pipes.

Identify Leaking Pipes

A small leak in a pipe can cause a lot of stink. If your pipes are hidden, this can take a lot of work and it may be best to call in a plumber to assist you with the task.

If the pipes are exposed or you are up to exposing them, you will need some biodegradable tracing dye. You can pick this up at a local home improvement store. Add the dye to your toilets, bathtubs and sinks and let it go down the drains.

Watch the pipes for dye seeping from them. In most cases, you will quickly be able to identify leaks in the pipes with this method so that you can find where the pipes need to be repaired.

If you have checked your pipes and filled your floor drains and still can't find a cause for the smell, contact your local plumber for assistance. It is possible the sewer lines are clogged or fractured somewhere that you cannot see. He or she will be able to identify and repair the problem.  For more about this topic, contact a plumber in your area.