peppermint test for sewer gas

Peppermint Test for Sewer Gas – All You Need To Know

Gases from the sewage can enter the house through a leaking vent pipe, and the methane in these gases has the potential to explode. While leaks in plumbing pipes are frequently simple to find since there is usually water present, finding a leak in drain, waste, and vent piping can be more challenging because these systems only emit gas. The “Peppermint test for sewer gas” is used in this situation.

Sewer Gas: What is It?

Sewer gas is a complicated mixture of harmful and benign gases that, depending on the source, accumulates in the sewage system in different amounts. Waste from both commercial and residential sources decomposes and produces sewer gas.

Ammonia and hydrogen sulfide are two extremely poisonous substances found in sewer gas. Sewer gas also includes nitrous oxides, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and methane. Additionally, both municipal and privately owned sewage treatment facilities commonly contain gasoline, industrial solvents, and chlorine bleaches. The smell, health consequences, and risk of fire or explosion from sewer gases make them a problem.

Peppermint Test: What is It?

The peppermint test recommended by a plumber is a safer testing technique. The entire drainage system must be checked for materials, tested for gastightness using the peppermint test, and validated as such once the plumbing fittings have been installed and their traps filled with water.

The “Peppermint test for sewer gas”: How does It Work?

An odor detection test is a wonderful place to start because there may be a number of ways for sewage gas smell to get inside your home. A quick and easy way to check that newly installed pipes are airtight and to find leaks in existing systems is to use pungent peppermint oil.

Things You’ll Require

  • Peppermint oil, 2 ounces.
  • Ten gallons of hot water.
  • Cover or cap for vent pipes.
  • Assistance with a keen sense of smell.


Observe pharmacies and natural food retailers for peppermint oil. Before you rely on the peppermint oil test, research your local building codes. Some call for you to check the airtightness of pipework using another technique. Consider a smoke test if you can smell peppermint but can’t find the leak.


Be very careful when performing any roof-related tasks. Never climb onto a roof if there are wet leaves or other debris on it or if it is raining outside. Put on a proper safety harness to prevent falls and injuries.

  • Set Up First Inside

Close any windows and doors that are open as you walk around your house, and reconnect any disconnected plumbing fixtures. To stop the smell from entering your home through your sink, fill the sink traps with water.

  • Gather the Ingredients in Step Two

Grab a friend, a ladder, and 10 gallons of water that has already been boiled. You will require about two ounces of peppermint oil, so keep that in mind.

  • Locate your Waste Pipe in Step Three

As you ascend to the roof, it’s time to put all those workouts to good use. Ask a buddy to assist you in staying safe by directing traffic, and ask him to pass you supplies as you require them. Find your waste pipe first; there will be a little pipe sticking out of the roof. Do that before continuing.

  • Pour the Peppermint Oil Into Step Four

Two ounces of peppermint oil should be poured down the waste pipe after removing the cap covering it. Check on your pal. Put the top back on after slowly pouring the 10 quarts of boiling water down the pipe. Bob will check for leaks while you cautiously down the ladder.

  • Find Leaks in Step Five

You’ll have to wait outside while your friend travels through the home searching for that strong scent since you’re now covered with peppermint. Tell him to pay attention to any areas that might be damaged, such as pipe joints, traps, and plumbing fittings, and to take note of any minty odors because they are the locations of the leaks. No minty odor indicates no leakage.

  •  Stop the Leaks

If your friend smells anything, you can mend your pipes with a pipe repair kit. Plumbing putty can be used to stop leaks, but be careful to pay extra attention to confined spaces. You will need to wait at least 30 minutes for the putty to dry if you need to run water for any reason.

For an extra-strength scent, use extra-strength peppermint oil.

Governing the peppermint test.

NYC 1968 Code (Vol I). 

16 Plumbing and Gas Piping.

Article 7 Inspection and Tests.

  • 27-922 Requirements.


Peppermint Test

Two ounces of peppermint oil should be poured into the roof vent terminal of each line or stack that will be put through the peppermint test. Ten quarts of hot water that is at least 176 degrees Fahrenheit should be added immediately after the peppermint oil, and all roof vent terminals should then be sealed.

Any trap or other point in the system where the smell of peppermint is detected will show where any leaks are. The test area must be off-limits to anyone who has come into contact with peppermint oil.

Gas Sensor For Sewers

Gas Sensor For Sewers

Sewer gas leak detectors are tools for sniffing out sewer gas and odor. They can aid in spotting the presence of a possible gas leak. In order to identify flammable gases, sewer gas leak detectors can be helpful. Many of these detectors are capable of identifying a number of gases that are frequently present in sewer gas leaks.


  • The presence of flammable gases, which are frequently found in sewer gas, can be monitored with sewer gas detectors.
  • If unattended over an extended period of time, sewer gas can be dangerous and even fatal.
  • Sewer gas detectors are reasonably priced and accessible.
  • The typical household may buy and utilize sewer gas detectors to locate sewer leaks.


  • Some expensive, high-end sewer gas detectors may need to be within reach for some households due to their high cost.
  • Homeowners may unintentionally buy a detector that does not monitor the gases of interest in sewer gas because the term “gas leak detector” is vague and may be deceptive regarding which gases can be monitored.
  • A specialist may be needed to fix gas leaks. Acoustic testing and smoke testing are other techniques.

What Must I Do If I Believe there is a Problem?

In the uncommon case that there is a leak in the sewage piping that is occurring behind a wall, a plumber may be required to locate and repair it. Regional public health agencies could do house inspections to assist in identifying the issue’s root cause.

If you have reason to believe that sewer gas has gathered in an enclosed place in significant concentrations, you should leave the area immediately and call the fire department for help. Avoid igniting anything by creating a spark from an electrical device, lighting a match, turning on a light, or using a cigarette lighter.

Is Breathing Sewage Gas Harmful


Q: Is Breathing Sewage Gas Harmful?

A: Although hydrogen sulfide is a poisonous gas, the levels found in a home with sewer gas odor issues do not pose a threat to human health. According to studies, hydrogen sulfide concentrations above 150 ppm have a depressive effect on the central nervous system.

Q: What Decomposes Sewage Gas?

A: After adding 1/4 cup of baking soda:

  1. Let the drain sit unattended for 10 minutes.
  2. Add one cup of vinegar.
  3. Turn on the water and run the garbage disposal to flush out any remaining food waste after a few minutes of fizzing and flowing.

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