What to Do When Your Home Smells Like a Sewer?

We don’t need to describe what a sewer smells like. If your home smells like one, you will know, and if it does, something needs to be done about it. Your house smelling like a sewer isn’t just an embarrassment for having guests over, but it can actually cause you health problems. When your home smells like a sewer, it is because sewer gas is coming in from somewhere in your home, and if you breath it in, it can cause headaches, fatigue, and respiratory problems.

When sewer gas is seeping into your home, it is usually a pretty simple fix for a plumber. In some cases, you may be able to even fix it yourself. However, the tricky part is actually finding out where the sewer gas is coming in. There are actually quite a few culprits that can be responsible, and it might be worthwhile to call a plumber just to find the issue even if it could be one you could fix yourself.

So, where are those terrible smells coming from?

Clogged Drains

In some cases, the sewer smell could be coming back up from your drain. What you are smelling might not actually be sewer gas, but rather the funk that comes from decaying organic matter common in drain clogs. If your home smells like a sewer, typically you may want to start smelling drains to see if the smell is strongest in one area rather than others. If this is the case, you will want to have the drain inspected to make sure it is indeed a clog, and then have the clog removed.

Vent Leakage

A sewer breathes gas through vents that actually run up your home and out through your roof. You never end up smelling anything when these vents work as intended. Unfortunately, if a vent manifests a leak through even a small crack, it can be both stinky and frustrating. If a whole room or your whole house is reeking of sewer gas and you can’t find a drain that is the culprit, it is almost always a vent leak.

If this is your situation, you want to call a plumber to come out and find the vent leak. What they will do is run a smoke puff through the vent where they will be able to visibly spot any areas of leak. Once the leak is found, it is a quick patch.

Dried P-Trap

If you have found yourself a stinky drain, it could be a clog causing the smell, or it could be a dried up P-trap. The P-trap is that curvature in the plumbing of a sink, toilet, or shower. What this curve does is that it holds water that acts as a barrier to keep sewer gas from coming into your home. However, if that drain hasn’t been used for awhile, the P-Trap water barrier can dry up. This is pretty common with vacation homes that sit unused for months out of the year. A dry P-Trap is an easy DIY fix, though. You simply need to run water down the drain to fill it back up. However, if the smell continues, then something else is wrong and a professional plumber is needed.

Wax Toilet Ring

Your toilet doesn’t sit all the way on the floor, but rather sits on top of a sewer pipe. It is the wax ring that creates the seal so that sewer gas doesn’t come out underneath. However, if that wax ring deteriorates, it can cause a sewer gas leak. If your toilet slants or it has began to wobble, it can mean your wax ring needs replacing. This is something you can replace yourself, but many often choose professional help to get it done quickly and correctly.

If you are experiencing a sewer gas leak or any other problems with your plumbing, contact us today. Let SOS Drain & Sewer come to your aid.