Stop Sewer Smells: How to Eliminate Basement Drain Smells in Your Toronto Home for Good

As you walk into your kitchen to make breakfast, you're greeted by a scent that makes you lose your appetite. The scent gets even worse as you turn on the faucet. You take out your smelly trash and frantically flip the switch on the garburator in case something got stuck, but the smell still lingers.

Unfortunately, getting rid of this type of smell isn't as easy as throwing out spoiled food in your fridge. A sewage stench that just doesn't go away likely comes from your drains, especially your basement drain. They can stink up your entire basement, along with your whole house.

Tired of feeling embarrassed about your home's smell when guests come over? Here's our guide to eliminating this scent for good:

What You Need to Know About Sewer Gas

The unappealing smell coming from your drain is actually a combination of gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen, hydrogen, and ammonia. While some of these gases don't have a strong smell, the sewer smell in your basement is a result of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide. Inhaling sewer gas over a long period of time can pose a threat to your health.

Causes of Basement Drain Smell and How to Fix Them

Having a whole house or a basement that smells like sewage can be traced back to a number of causes. These are some of the most common reasons you should consider if you're experiencing a sewage stench in your home:

1. Lack of a Cleanout Plug

Look inside your drain to see if a cleanout plug is installed. Simply take off the cover of the drain to check for the plug. If you find that there isn't a plug, then that means sewer gas has been seeping through your drain without having to go through a water trap.

To solve this issue, go to your local home improvement store and buy a new plug. Your cleanout plug may have not been reinstalled after the sewer lines were cleaned.

2. Unused Pipes

It's very common to find houses that are affected by a sewer smell in the basement if there are tubs or sinks that aren't frequently used. Each drain has a P-shaped trap that traps water and makes a barrier that prevents sewer gas from escaping.

When there's a drain that isn't used very often the water inside of the trap will evaporate. As a result, there's no longer a barrier between your home and the stench which causes basement drain smells.

You can usually prevent a dry trap by turning on the water in any bathroom or kitchen sinks that aren't usually used. Try pouring a pitcher of water and cooking oil down the drain. The oil will create a barrier on top of the water, preventing the water from drying up too quickly.

3. Broken Sewer Line

This is a severe issue that'll likely require help from a local Toronto plumber. Whenever there's a crack on a drain line or a drain line that's loose, the sewer odor can seep right into your home.

To find the broken drain line, you'll have to sniff it out. If you're confident that this is the source of your smell, call up a plumber to help you find the damaged sewer line. But don't worry--broken drain lines aren't very common.

4. Dirty Drains

Are you guilty of forgetting to wash your drains? Not cleaning your drains can create a feast for bacteria--they love the soap scum that develops on the opening of your drain.

That's why it's so important to clean your drain with drain cleaner frequently. If the odor is already severe, pour drain cleaner down the drain multiple times a day for about a week.

If you find that your basement smells like sewage, don't skimp on cleaning your drain. Many people think that they can just pour drain cleaner down their drain once, but this usually doesn't work. When there's a lot of soap scum in the drain, you'll need to use cleaner to get rid of the sewage smell in your basement and home.

5. Toilet Maintenance

You might find an unpleasant smell in your bathroom. In this case, the cause could be related to a couple of things: the toilet wax ring could've deteriorated, or there might not be any caulk around your toilet.

The wax ring on your toilet serves as a seal for the drain, preventing any possible sewage leaks. However, if your toilet bowl happens to be wobbly, it can damage your toilet wax ring. Just purchase a new toilet ring to fix this issue.

You also might not have caulk around your toilet's base--not having caulk promotes bacterial growth and also causes water and urine to be absorbed under your toilet. To resolve this, place some caulk around the base of your toilet. Since water can't get trapped in caulked areas, you won't have to suffer from smelly bacteria.

6. Clogged Drain

Blockages in your drain can cause sewer smells in your basement and your home. Grab a snake or a plumber's rod and find the pipe's access hatch. With the access hatch, you can easily unclog the pipe by avoiding the curve that occurs right after the drain.

If you're using the plumber's rod, pour some water down the drain to rinse out any debris. When using a snake, twist the handle and try to pull out anything that might be clogging the drain.

In order to keep clogs from happening over and over, you should frequently pour hot water and vinegar down the drain. You should also be sure not to dump any grease or fat down the drain.

Get Rid of Foul Odors

It's frustrating to have a stubborn basement drain odor that doesn't seem to go away no matter what you try. If this is the case, it's time to call an expert. Our professional drain cleaning service can save you from enduring the repulsive smell of sewage any longer.

Contact us today to set up an appointment for your next drain cleaning.