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To help keep the smoke from entering the building, run or pour water into drains that aren’t used often, such as in guest bathrooms or in the garage. Run the water for approximately one minute.
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Yes. This method has been safely used in many communities for years. The smoke is specially manufactured for this process. It is not a true ’smoke,’ but rather, a highly visible mist. It will not hard you or your children, pets, or plants. It will not leave residues or stains. The smoke dissipates within minutes of being introduced into the system.
No. Using a machine, work crews will blow the smoke into the sewer system through the manholes on the street. The smoke will fill the main line as well as any connections, then follow the path of the leak to the surface, quickly revealing the source of the problem.
The smoke will not enter a home if the plumbing is in good condition and if drain traps contain some water. Outside, it is normal for smoke to be seen coming from roof vents, building foundations, manhole covers and yard cleanouts. Smoke coming from the vents on the roofs of homes indicates to the work crew that smoke has filled all sewers. Smoke will enter your home if the vents connected to your buildings’ sewer pipe are inadequate, defective or improperly installed, if the traps under sinks, tubs, basins, showers and other drains are dry, defective, improperly installed or missing, or if the pipes, connections and seals of the wastewater drain system in and under your building are damaged, defective, has plugs missing, or are improperly installed.
Yes. However, since any smoke may create minor irritations for some people with respiratory difficulties, those who have asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems are advised to avoid direct contact with the substance. The smoke will quickly reveal the source of any breaks or cracks in sewer lines.
If you see or smell the smoke inside your home, this could indicate that gases and odors from the sewer system also are entering. Notify the work crew IMMEDIATELY. Although we cannot correct any problems on private property, we can help identify the source so that you know what action to take.
No, nor will it create a fire hazard. The Fire Department will be notified in advance so they will know the difference between the testing and a true emergency.
No, but the smoke can help detect broken building sewers where there is a potential for rodents to enter.
As part of the testing procedure, you may notice paint markings on the street, curbs, manholes, or grass. These markings are a reference for the testing crew. The paint is temporary and will disappear over time.
The work crew will document the information, which they will use to determine repair priorities and programs.