How to Get Rid of Sewer Smell in the House

Sometimes your house doesn’t smell springtime fresh, and that is just how living in a place goes. However, if your house smells like sewage, chances are it has little to do with whether you vacuumed or left the trash sitting a day too long.

When you smell sewage in the house, it’s time to put on your investigation cap and find the source. This kind of odour can indicate some pretty serious problems — or it could be completely harmless. Whatever the case, you don’t want to put up with these kinds of smells for very long.

To help you get rid of sewer smells in your house, we’ve listed some of the most common causes of this issue, as well as a few home fixes that you can use to get your home smelling like normal again.

Common Causes of Sewer Smells in a Home

As we mentioned, sometimes a sewer smell can indicate a major issue, while other times it is totally harmless. But before you know which is the case, you must know where to check.

Here are some of the common causes behind sewer smells in a house:

  • Dry P-trap: In each drain, there is a piece of plumbing called a P-trap. These are U-shaped pieces of pipe that fill with water to prevent sewer gases from floating up into your home. If a piece of plumbing is not used for a long period of time, such as a guest bathroom that is rarely flushed, the P-trap can dry out and let those odours into your house.
  • Broken seal around the toilet: A leak in the wax ring around your toilet can allow sewer gases to enter your home. Make sure that your toilet is tightly sealed to your floor at all times. This also helps to prevent broken toilets because the seal holds them in place. Signs that there might be a leak include the smell of sewer gas, a wobbling toilet, or pools of standing water near the base of the toilet.

Home Fixes for Sewer Smell in Your House

Depending on what is causing the sewer smell in your home, you may be able to fix it on your own. Here’s how to handle these causes of sewer smells:

  • Dry P-trap: The most common culprit of sewer smells in your home is also one of the easiest to fix. To get your P-trap working, if you suspect it has dried out, simply run the water from the faucet above it for a minute or two. This will refill the P-trap with water. After a while, the sewer smell should dissipate.
  • Broken seal around the toilet: We recommend that you call a professional to fix a wax ring issue. It’s very easy to break a toilet if you’re not a professional plumber, and you don’t want to do that or mess up the integrity of its wax ring further. Once you call a plumber, they’ll remove the toilet, inspect the wax ring, and then reseal the toilet back onto the floor.

Can Sewer Smells Make You Sick?

Yes. Sewer gases are a mixture of several elements that can make people sick after prolonged exposure. While a mild sewer smell is unlikely to cause any issues beyond temporary nausea due to the smell, it can be dangerous in high concentrations.

Notably, sewer gases can increase stress, adversely affect organ function, and irritate your eyes, nose, and throat.

Finally, sewer gas, particularly methane, is extremely flammable. If you notice a pervasive sewage smell in your home, do not use a gas stove, light a match, or use any device that creates an open flame until the smell is gone.

Signs You Need a Professional to Fix Sewage Smells

If your sewer smell comes accompanied by actual sewage backup, then you have a serious issue and should call a professional ASAP. Also, any issues with your toilet flange or toilet seal should be handled by a professional. Fixing a toilet is difficult work and often becomes more difficult when you try to do it on your own. Don’t risk the porcelain throne in your home: bring in a professional to help.

Call Us to Get Rid of Sewer Smells in Your House

It’s no fun to deal with foul odours anywhere, much less in your own home. And when you’re not a professional plumber, finding the source of the smell can be a disgusting and fruitless exercise. If you’ve tried to find the root cause but haven’t been able to stamp it out, then you’ve come to the right place.

At Mr. Rooter Plumbing, our service professionals have years of experience helping people like you fix issues just like this. Find our closest location in your area or call us to schedule a service today.