Have you ever come in your front door and smelled a nasty sewer like odor? Have you walked around the house trying to pinpoint where the rotten egg smell is coming from? Chances are the sewer smell in bathroom is from sewer gases that are coming up through your drains.
Not only is the sewage smell in the bathroom gross, but it can also be hazardous to your health. The sewer odor in bathroom could be responsible for various health problems, including headaches, as the waste breaking down in the sewer line emits hydrogen sulfide. Even worse than the bacteria these sewer gases contain is the methane gas buildup in your home.
A build-up of combustible methane gas increases the risk of an explosion. If you notice a sewer smell in the bathroom, don’t just ignore it. The sooner you take care of the sewage smell in the bathroom the happier you will be.
What causes a sewer odor in the bathroom?
Sewer odor in bathrooms has several different causes. The most common reasons are a backed up sewer, cracked or rotted pipes that leak, clogged drains, pipe connections are too loose, the vent pipe is backed up or too short, there is an old wax ring or a dry trap. Identifying the cause of the odor helps you determine its source.
Before you can tackle the sewage smell in the bathroom, you have to determine its source. Is the smell coming from the toilet, sink, or shower drain? Once you figure out where the sewage smell originates, you can correct the problem.
How to Get Rid of Sewer Smell in the Bathroom
1. Eliminating Sewer Odor from Shower or Bathtub Drains
If you discover that the sewage smell is coming from your shower or bathtub, try using this natural drain cleaner. The vinegar and baking soda also make a great tub cleaner.
Baking soda and vinegar are the kings of cleaning and may work well enough alone if your shower drain smells like sewer. You can try to mix just these two ingredients and pour them down the drain. If that doesn’t get rid of the odor, use this full-strength recipe. Shower drain odors should be gone for good.
For an all purpose bathroom cleaner that works in your drain, too, pour baking soda into the drain, followed by the vinegar. Close the bathroom door and allow the mixture to sit for two hours. Rinse the drain with a gallon of hot water, wait 15 minutes then rinse with cold water for ten minutes.
Next pour bleach down the drain, close the bathroom door, and allow to sit for two hours. Rinse away the bleach with a gallon of hot water dumped slowly down the drain. Run cold water for ten minutes to finish rinsing the drain.
Finish by pouring mineral oil down the drain. The oil slows the evaporation of the water in the P-trap as it floats on top of the water. Keeping the pipes clean will also help get rid of drain gnats.
2. Refill Your P-Trap
Sometimes the musty smell coming from your bathroom is related to a dry P-Trap. The U-shaped pipe is designed to hold water to prevent rodents from entering the house, as well as keeping sewer gases from coming up out of the drains.
If your tub, shower, or sink is not used frequently, the water inside the pipe often evaporates and allows the gases to pass through into your bathroom, causing the unpleasant smell. Fixing this issue is simple; pour water down the tub or sink drain to refill the pipe. This is the best way to clean sink drains. It doesn’t matter if you use hot or cold water.
3. Overflow Hole Cleaning
Overflow holes can also be the cause of the sewer smell. Overflow holes are the small holes or slits on the top back section of your bathroom sink. A buildup of slime causes very unpleasant odors.
Eliminate the stench by pouring bleach through the holes and scrub with an old toothbrush to remove any buildup around the edges.
4. Solving Sewer Smell Coming from Toilet
If the sewer gas odor comes from your toilet, you can try a few different things. Check the wax ring as that seals the drain and prevents water from seeping out from the base of the toilet. Wax rings generally do not degrade, but a loose toilet can damage the seal.
If your fixture is loose, you need to replace the wax seal and reset it so it is secure. Toilets should have a bead of caulk around the base to prevent urine or water from seeping underneath. If it is not sealed, use homemade toilet cleaning products to clean around the base before applying a new bead of caulking.
It may also be that your toilet is backed up, causing unpleasant odors. To unclog a toilet, using a plunger is the best first step. Usually, this will eliminate the blockage. If it persists, you may need to try other methods to remove the source of the clog.
5. Septic Tank Causing Sewer Odors
Sometimes the plumbing problem causing the sewer gas smell is caused by your septic tank. Sewer odors originating from your septic tank may be due to a clogged drain that caused the pipes to dry out, a faulty pump that no longer replaces old wastewater with new, a blocked vent system, or frost or ice buildup on the outdoor plumbing vent. Issues stemming from your septic tank are best left to a plumbing professional.
6. Smelly Shower Doors
Sometimes the nasty odor is not related to your plumbing system but is due to standing water in your shower doors. As the seals age, they lose their effectiveness, which allows a small amount of water to seep into the track.
The water trapped inside the track starts to grow bacteria, which releases unpleasant odors. To solve this problem reseal your shower doors.
7. Clean Out Clogged Drains
A clogged drain pipe is often the cause of bathroom odors. A plunger can usually quickly clear the drain line, but sometimes you may need a drain snake to remove it. If neither of those solutions works, you can always try a home remedy for a clogged toilet, as those solutions work in more than just toilet bowls.
8. Sewer Odors Due to Vent Stack
If you have checked everywhere inside the home, including the kitchen sink, your vent stack could be the issue. Problems arise with vent stacks when they are cracked, cut too short, or not installed correctly. If you think it’s your vent stack, call a plumbing service as they can determine the exact cause of any problems within your drain system.
Blocked vent pipes rather than drain pipes can be another issue, as they won’t allow the gases to vent and they prevent fresh air from reaching the plumbing system. Aside from the smell, determine if it’s a blocked vent rather than a clogged pipe. All your plumbing fixtures will be slow to empty and your floor drains will make gurgling noises or will create bubbles as the water tries to drain.
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