Home & Real Estate

5 Reasons Why Smoke Testing is Essential for Plumbing System Maintenance

Smoke testing forces non-toxic smoke through sewer pipes under pressure to find leaks. It’s an effective and economical way to detect sewer gas leaks that may cause odors in the plumbing system.

This process is essential for locating sewer breaks and defects that can lead to groundwater ingress into the wastewater collection system. It’s a cost-effective approach that helps ensure that wastewater treatment plants operate safely.



Smoke testing is a critical tool for plumbing system maintenance. It identifies problems with your sanitary sewer system that could allow stormwater to enter your building.

Smoke testing plumbing systems can identify broken maintenance holes, cracked lines and illegal connections in a sanitary sewer system. This work lowers the risk to people and the environment from overflows in a storm.

The City uses non-toxic smoke to locate faulty connections. These connections allow rainwater to enter the sanitary sewer and could cause overflows during a major storm.

You should not be concerned with the smoke entering your home as it is not toxic, but please open windows and doors to help dissipate the smoke. If the smoke does enter your home, please get in touch with a licensed plumber to make any necessary repairs.

Reduced downtime

Smoke testing is a great way to find plumbing leaks and other pipe issues. It consists of pushing artificial smoke through your lines to reveal where the problem is.

The resulting smoke can be used to identify cracks in your sewage system or tell your Brewer Commercial Services plumber where to focus his attention.

This non-invasive method can save you money and time in the long run by identifying weaknesses in your plumbing system before they cause costly damage to your property.

Smoke tests are usually performed in the summer when dry weather conditions lower groundwater levels and make it easier to access pipes underground. This allows the testers to see what they’re looking for in your sewer system, greatly benefiting you and your residents!

Reduced risk of fire

Smoke testing is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to locate leaks in sanitary sewer lines. It has become a worldwide standard in finding leaks and defects, including broken maintenance holes, illegal roof drain connections and even cracked mains and laterals.

During smoke testing, staff blows non-toxic white smoke into the sewer pipes to inspect for leaks or defects. If defects are found, the City takes corrective action on private property.

Residents do not need to be home during smoke testing; however, pouring water into seldom-used sinks, tubs and drains – especially floor drains – before the test is recommended. This will prevent sewer gases and smoke from entering your home.

Reduced risk of damage to property

Smoke testing for plumbing system maintenance can reduce the risk of water damage to your home. Even the smallest plumbing leaks can cause significant damage to floors, walls and fixtures.

During smoke testing, the testers push slightly pressurized smoke through sewer lines to detect leaks and other plumbing issues. The odorless, colorless smoke quickly dissipates once the test is complete.

It is not harmful to the occupants of a home and does not have the potential to stain or leave residue on walls, furniture or plants. The smoke used in this test is manufactured specifically for this purpose and does not contain toxic chemicals.

Reduced risk of injury

Smoke testing is a sewer inspection method that uses non-toxic smoke (similar to products used at concerts and theater venues during live performances) to identify sanitary sewer leaks and broken maintenance holes, cracks in sewer pipes and uncapped lines. It also helps locate unauthorized connections to the sanitary sewer, such as cleanouts, roof drains, sump pumps and other plumbing fixtures that professionals may have yet to realize were connected to the sewer.

Residents in an area where smoke testing is being conducted are asked to pour water down all drains that are seldom used or haven’t been used for a month to fill P-traps, which will help prevent smoke from entering the home if smoke does enter the house, open windows and doors to ventilate the building.