Sometimes, the unmistakeable smell of sewer odor will invade a customer’s home. They will call me, and it’s pretty much a state of emergency from where they sit, and no one blames them. Sewer odors can contain methane gas, which can cause headaches and other problems.
So, what causes sewer odors? There are a couple of different reasons, and some of them are easily fixable by the homeowner. Today, we’re going to look at some of the reasons, and maybe some solutions, for sewer odors in the home.
A dry trap
Sinks, tubs, and even your shower has a p-trap. The p-trap is the loop you see under the drain in your sink. That loop fills with water, which keeps the gasses out. Sometimes, when a homeowner has a spare bathroom or shower they rarely use, the water in that p-trap will dry out. The gasses from the sewer begin to sneak back into the home. Simply running water in the sink or another drain will cause the p-trap to fill up again, and the odor stops.
A clogged drain
If the drain becomes clogged, this will also cause an odor. If it’s a simple clog, you might be able to take care of it yourself, as we explained here. If it isn’t, you can call us and we will be right out to fix the problem. https://www.jimmyjoesplumbing.com/blog/2017/2/8/diy-unclog-your-sink
A broken drain pipe
A broken drain pipe may also cause a sewer smell, as well as root intrusion if the crack is small. The roots will later clog the line. Regardless of the reason, a broken drain pipe should always be fixed right away, so it doesn’t have a chance to get worse.
A stopped up vent pipe
A vent pipe is where the buildup of gasses from behind the p-trap can escape, usually through the roof of your home, but if the vent pipe itself becomes clogged, the gasses may divert back into the home. Typical cases of a vent pipe clog are leaves, bird nests, rodents, balls, and things of that nature.
Another thing that may happen with a clogged vent pipe is that the water won’t want to drain, and will make an odd gurgling sound if it doesn’t stop completely.
Sometimes, a vent pipe will be too short, which may also cause odors, but that hardly ever happens. Homes are built much better than they ever were before.
Old or Broken Wax ring
The wax ring on a toilet can sometimes get old and shrink, which will allow gasses to escape in the bathroom. Once in awhile, one will break, or the flange will break, which may also cause a problem beyond a leak.
If you have sewer odors in your home and can’t figure out the reason, give me a call, and I’ll come out and take care of it. Sewer odors are never fun.