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sewer gas during a kitchen remodel

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I’m in the middle of a full kitchen remodel and the contractor removed the sink Monday. The drain pipe is cut a few inches above the floor, and it’s open. I never noticed a smell until today, Saturday, when the whole family is home and using water in all the other rooms of the house. Now, the smell is unbearable and I can’t get a hold of the contractor until Monday. Is there anything I can do to stop the smell until the new sink is installed, still about 2 weeks from now? Is this sewer gas, and is it dangerous for my family?

asked in Plumbing by jillb (120 points)
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1 Answer

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Hi Jill,

Sewer gasses are toxic and contain methane which is an explosive substance. If you let it accumulate in an unventilated area... well, a spark could cause an explosion.

Take a plastic grocery bag, plastic foil used for food packaging, rubber glove, or anything similar. If it is very thin, fold it 2 or 3 times to make is thicker, place the center of this piece of plastic over the open drain pipe, stretch it slightly and fold edges along its sides. Use a duct tape, rubber band, or piece of cord to wrap it around the pipe and secure the plastic.

Another option is to use the same piece of plastic but stuff it with a couple of crushed paper towels to create sort of a round plug and push it into the pipe. Push it into the drain pipe about 2-3 inches and wrap the remaining part of plastic to the pipe exterior wall. 

How to temporarely seal kitchen drain pipe

answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)