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What is Smoke Testing?

Have you ever been inside a building, restaurant or even home which had a rancid odor? If you have then you might know it’s pretty difficult to locate where that smell is coming from…since we can’t see smells. So what’s the solution to this? Smoke Testing.


Smoke testing is just another tool used to find leaks or sources of odor in pipes and sewage systems. Of course, it’s not actually smoke… it’s the same stuff that comes out of fog machines (maybe we should call it fog testing…)

Why Smoke Testing Is Done?

Smoke testing, is carried out as a diagnostic process in order to locate any leaks, or illegal sump pump locations in sewer lines or to locate any abandoned sewer lines which may not have been surveyed. The most common reason for us to perform these tests is to locate odor sources or other leaks in your plumbing. Whether your a commercial entity or a homeowner, knowing about smoke testing makes you just that much cooler.

Will Smoke Enter My Home?

Well, to be clear we just call it smoke. It’s more like fog, which dissipates in a matter of seconds or minutes. So yeah, there’s a chance it can get in to your home but that’s kind of what we’re looking for… it’s nothing to be worried about. In fact if we do see smoke (fog) we know we’re close to locating the source of the leak.

These smoke machines work by by heating a special fogging liquid which, when heated, turns to a white vapor. The liquid used is actually extremely safe, environmentally friendly, water based, no offensive odor, and made from food grade ingredients such as vegetable glycerine and propelyne glycol.

We fill the smoke machine with that magic liquid, attach a hose to it, then attach that hose to your plumbing, and turn the bad boy on. The machine will pump this vapor through your plumbing lines and if we see vapor coming from anywhere, we know we’ve found the leak… Pretty ingenious actually.

This occurs ultimately because there is some sort of opening in your plumbing line. Incorrect installation of vents may cause smoke to enter your home. Any traps under the sinks, shower, drains, tubs, or bases may be missing or inaccurately installed. Lastly, there may be pipes or connection under the drain water system which may have become damaged or defective. Open the windows and doors and any other ventilation outlets in order to help the smoke (… you know what we mean) disperse from your premises.

If you have an odor or think there is a leak of some sort in your plumbing, smoke testing is an absolutely wonderful way to locate it. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to give us a call at 602.832.8418, or check out our page dedicated to smoke testing, from there you can fill out one of our webforms and we’ll reach out to you!

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