Before you call a plumber, lets see if your issue may be coming from the most common sources.
People often call us asking why they smell a sewer odor in their home and how it can be fixed and eliminated. After being in business for many years, we are passionate about informing and educating everyone on all of their plumbing needs, and have come up with the Top 5 reasons you may be smelling a sewer odor in your home.
- Your P-trap may have dried out
If a p-trap (the “U” shaped plastic pipe that holds water eat each fixture) has dried out it can allow sewer gases to come through into your home. You can check to see if it has dried out by shining a flashlight into the drain to see if water is residing in the curve of the p-trap. If you don’t see water, that’s a problem. Be sure to run some water to fill the p-trap back up.
- Drain or Sewer vent broken or cracked
The drain and sewer venting system in your home may be damaged, causing the sewer gases to come into your home. Drain and sewer vents will be located in the walls and ceilings of your home. These are much more difficult to inspect because they are generally going to be behind drywall. The best way to inspect the drain and sewer vents is to call a plumber with a sewer and drain camera to perform an inspection.
- A broken drain
A broken drain line can cause sewer gases to flow into your home or may even allow sewage to drain into the basement or crawl space underneath your home, creating a sewer smell.
This is a problem no one wants to have. But in many cases is the cause of many sewer odors. The best way to check would be to access your basement or crawlspace and do a visual inspection for any obvious signs of sewer leaks.
- The wax seal on the toilet
The wax seal on the toilet has failed, resulting in a sewer gas leak. You can determine if the wax seal has failed by checking the seal for a water leak when the toilet is flushed or if the toilet rocks or moves back and forth. A loose toilet definitely should be fixed, and is the most common cause for sewer odors.
- Garbage disposal
Regular cleanings of the garbage disposal is a must to rid the bad odors. When cleaning the garbage disposal it’s not enough to throw down some soap or orange peels. Cleaning underneath the black rubber stopper is essential to ridding the odors. Food and gunk build up underneath the stopper during normal usage causing many odors. Most black rubber stoppers are removable and can be cleaned easily with soap and water.
While a sewer odor is not pleasant to deal with, checking in to the tips outlined above will rule out the most common issues with sewer odors.