1. Home
  2. Plumbing
  3. How to Get Rid of Sewer Smell in House

How to Get Rid of Sewer Smell in House

If you’ve been experiencing a rotten smell in your house lately and are wondering “how to get rid of sewer smell in house,” you’ve come to the right place. While you should always check with a professional when experiencing plumbing problems like these, spending time in a home that smells like sewage is unbearable, and you can’t wait. So read on for some tips on getting rid of the unpleasant smell.

How to Get Rid of Sewer Smell in House: The Causes

Rooting out the cause of that rotten smell in your house is a lot like detective work: it has endless possibilities, it’s confusing, and it’s best left to the professionals. That being said, identifying a few likely causes can help you sort out the issue yourself. Some common causes of sewage smells in households are:

  • A pipe leak: A leaky pipe or drain can cause a buildup of moisture or debris that eventually causes a rotten smell to emanate from the area. In this scenario, the good news is that it’s not the actual sewer that’s smelling, but the bad news is that the leak is something that needs to be fixed as soon as possible, and it’s something that likely requires a professional. Goodbee Plumbing offers same-day visits to help you fix those pipes and get the smell out of your household.
  • A clogged drain: Whether partially or entirely clogged, drain stoppage can cause moisture to collect and begin to cause rotten smells. Much like a leaky pipe, there is no sewage causing the smell in your home. Further good news is that most clogged drains can be fixed at home! Check out our blog post about home remedies for clogged drains.
  • Issues with your toilet’s installation or piping: Many issues can be caused when your toilet is improperly installed or damaged. The most common of these problems is an improperly installed vent pipe or seals that have come undone. A toilet vent pipe allows the fixture access to air which aids in moving water each time the toilet is flushed. Improper installation can lead to the air leaking into the rest of the house or the toilet not flushing correctly.
  • Sewer Line Blockage: A blockage or obstruction in the main sewer line can lead to sewer odors permeating your home. This blockage may occur due to tree rotos infiltrating the pipe, sediment buildup, or even structural damage to the sewer line.
  • Dry P-Trap: P-traps and U-shaped pipe sections beneath sinks, showers, and floor drains that hold water to create barrier against sewer gases. If a P-trap dries out or becomes damaged, it can allow sewer smells to enter your home. This is a common issue in infrequently used bathrooms or floor drains.
  • Sewer Vent Stack Problems: The vent stack on your roof allows sewer gases to escape safely into the atmosphere. If the vent stack is clogged, obstructured, or damaged, it can lead to sewer odors being trapped and vented back into your house.
  • Toilet Wax Ring Seal: The wax ring seal beneath your toilet serves as a barrier to prevent sewer gas from escaping into your bathroom. If the wax ring deteriorates or becomes compromised, it can result in unpleasant odors.
  • Sewer Backup: In more severe cases, a sewer backup can occur due to a blockage or system malfunction in the municipal sewer lines. When this happens, sewage can flow backward into your home, causing a strong and foul odor.

How to Get Rid of Sewer Smell in House: The Solutions

First and foremost, your nose is a powerful tool. Identifying where the smell is the strongest can help you find the root cause of the scent itself. From there, you can: 

  • Clean or fix any corroded or damaged pipes. As mentioned above, piping issues are common but elusive causes that will leave you wondering how to get rid of the sewer smell in home. You should consult a professional before attempting to service your plumbing. If the issue is urgent, check out our blog post on cleaning corrosion from your pipes.
  • Unclog any drain that may be causing the issue. If you’re having trouble locating the exact cause of the smell in your household, then a partially clogged drain could be the issue. Partially obstructed drains still work, but you may notice they drain more slowly than they should. To fix this, you can choose one of many methods of unclogging the drain. The easiest and most effective way is often a combination of dish soap and hot water, but more stubborn clogs may require you to pull out something like a shop vac or drain snake.
  • Fix or replace your toilet. As with your other plumbing issues, it’s recommended that you consult or hire a professional before attempting to fix or replace a toilet yourself. Toilets are essential to every household and can be tricky if you don’t completely understand what you’re doing. However, if it’s a simple clog causing the smell, look at our blog post on fixing a toilet clog for some more advice.
  • Check and Clean Vent Stacks: Inspect the vent stack on your roof for any obstructions or damage. Clear away debris, leaves, or bird nests that might be blocking the vent. Ensure the vent stack is working correctly to allow sewer gases to escape. 
  • Inspect and Replace Wax Ring: If you suspect that the sewer smell is coming form around your toilet, you may need to inspect and repalce the wax ring seal. This involves removing the toilet, replacing the wax ring, and reinstalling the toilet properly. It is recommended to hire a professional for this task, so contact Goodbee Plumbing today! 
  • Sewer Line Inspection: If you suspect a sewer line blockage or damage, consider scheduling a sewer line inspecting using a camera. A plumber can identify the exact location and nature of the issue, making it easier to address and correct the problem. 
  • P-Trap Maintenance: For infrequently used drains, such as those in a guest bathroom or basement, periodically run water to fill and maintain the P-trap. This prevents the trap from drying out and allowing sewer odors to enter the house. 
  • Professional Plumbing Inspection: If you’ve tried the above solutions and the sewer smell remains, it’s best to call a professional to get to the root of thei issue without causing further damage. Goodbee’s team of experts conduct a comprehensive inspection to identify and resolve any underlying issues.

Why Fixing the Smell Quickly Is Important

If you aren’t quick to act or the smell is muted, you might become used to the scent in your household and be tempted to leave it alone. This can be dangerous- the rotten smell in your home may indicate more significant problems with your plumbing, or it can cause health issues for residents of your household.

As Healthline mentions, fumes from sewage can cause adverse effects on your health. It can cause headaches, fatigue, nausea, and other ailments that make life in your home a misery. While much of this is due to the unpleasant smell, fumes from sewage can also carry harmful bacteria and chemicals that can pose more serious risks to your health.

Damaged or incorrectly installed plumbing fixtures can also cause potential damage to your home. If you’re looking for “how to get rid of sewer smell in house” and find that it’s been caused by a leak within your walls, in the ground, or anywhere else, act fast. That leak will likely cause permanent damage to your home if left unattended. 

In addition to the health risks, the urgency is evident in the smell itself. Even if you’ve become numb to the foul smell leaking from your home’s plumbing, likely, your guests haven’t. So, at least for their sake, you must address any plumbing issues causing the smell as soon as possible. 

Get Your Pipes Checked With Goodbee Plumbing

Are you experiencing a plumbing issue that just can’t wait? Goodbee Plumbing offers same-day visits to help you get your home’s aroma in a better place. Goodbee Plumbing is a family-owned business that is dedicated to providing you the care you need to keep your home’s plumbing up and running. Contact us today to see what we can do for you, or visit our website to learn more about our services.

To learn more about DIY tips and tricks for plumbing systems around your house, check out our blog! But remember, if you aren’t sure about how to do something, it’s always best to call a professional like the team at Goodbee to ensure the work is done properly, up to code, and doesn’t cause further (and more expensive) damage down the line.

Related Posts

How Much Does Plumbing Installation Cost?

Have you ever wondered how you receive clean water in your home? Plumbing installation establishes a network of pipes, fixtures, and other components to facilitate the seamless water flow within…
View Article

What Causes Pinholes in Copper Pipes

Copper pipes have been a popular choice for homeowners for years because of their durability, longevity, and resistance to corrosion (although they sometimes do encounter green corrosion). However, there is…
View Article