Sewer Gas Smells in Your House: Top 4 Causes and Solutions

Our Expert Tips

It’s one thing to smell sewage in a subway or the basement of an old building. It’s another thing to have a sewer smell in your house overtake your senses and keep your home from feeling clean. If you’ve tried everything from deodorizing sprays to opening windows and putting ceiling fans on full blast, it’s time to check your sewer system.

At Pride Services, your Rockville Center drain cleaning service, we know a rotten egg smell doesn’t just come from an extinguished pilot light on your gas stove. This dangerous smell will plague your home if your plumbing system redirects hydrogen sulfide toward your plumbing appliance entrances, including your toilets, sinks, and showers. 

It’ll also lead to anything from headaches and asphyxiation to house explosions from sewer gas leaks. Below are four reasons for a sewer smell in your house and how we can remedy it:

Broken P–Traps

A P-trap sits at the bottom of all your plumbing fixtures. This U-shaped pipe creates a pocket where stagnant water settles even when the appliance is not in use. The P-trap proves air-tight so that foul smells cannot travel back up the pipe and into your home. 

However, a smell coming from your toilet or another drain can mean one of three things; a buildup of biofilm that needs scrubbing away, a dry P-trap in drains that see little use, or a leaky P-trap that doesn’t hold water and doesn’t create that foul air barrier for sewer gases. 

The best way to alleviate this concern is by dropping one quart of water into the drains you rarely use to ensure the P-trap always has water. If the smell lingers, call an experienced plumber to repair or replace a potentially broken P-trap.

A Deteriorating Toilet Ring 

A yellow wax ring at the base of your toilet creates an air and water-tight connection between your toilet and its drain for 30 years on average. However, little or improper maintenance causes the rubber ring to dry out and prematurely crumble. The toilet may wobble, and a foul odor may escape, allowing a sewer smell in your house. 

When this occurs, call a professional to examine the ring and the toilet anchor bolts to ensure your toilet is sealed and securely fastened to the floor. 

Clogs In the Sewer

A sewer smell in your house may also mean waste or nature is lodged within your sewage system, releasing the odor back into your home. For instance, sanitary napkins, dirty diapers, baby wipes, and other waste products lead to blockages. Overgrown tree roots stretching into your pipes and other non-flushable materials can also cause sewer smells.

If your natural gas pipe crosses into your sewer pipe, it’s also possible for abrasive clogs or rust and corrosion to crack your gas pipe, allowing a rotten egg smell to travel up your sewer line. Call the experts at Pride Services to use a sewer camera to inspect your pipes. If it’s just a blockage, they’ll hydro jet or snake the affected area, but if there’s already damage, they’ll have to replace any broken pipes. 

Vent Blockages

Drain traps keep obnoxious sewer gases flowing up the sanitary pipes from entering the P-traps and into your home through your plumbing fixtures. Similarly, vent stacks in your plumbing extend to the sewer line and up to the roof, equalizing pressure in the system and eliminating odors by giving them a way out. 

Unfortunately, if you have a clog in your vents, you could be trapping toxic fumes in your home and limiting the amount of fresh air you receive. Some common causes of clogs include:

  • Leaves, twigs, or animal nests within the vent opening on the roof
  • Ice, snow, or grime that settles inside the vents from storms
  • Corrosion from within the vents that causes debris to block optimal airflow

Robust Plumbing for Powerful Results 

Vents also become a source of a sewer smell if located in an area that doesn’t receive quality airflow. Contact us to learn more about plumbing vents or call for regular inspections of this vital plumbing mechanism.

At Pride Services, we work on residential and commercial estates to bring everyone in Rockville Center and surrounding areas the best in plumbing. Our qualified plumbers with years of experience have certifications and top-notch tools of the trade to assist them with every project. To keep the sewer smell in your house away and stay comfortable and safe, call 516-744-5230 for a consultation today!

Published: Aug 19, 2022

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