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Know how you can Get Rid of that Awful Sewer Gas Odor

Posted by Tingey Plumbing, Heating & Air
on 21 December 2016
Sewer Cover

Blog Highlights:

  • The P-trap needs to have water so that it can prevent the odors from the sewer to go out of the drain
  • The shower door can actually harbor bacteria and produce foul odors when its metal hinges become lose
  • Soap scum can allow bacteria to thrive inside the drain, getting rid of the scum and the bacteria will require the use of several uses of an effective cleaning agent
  • To make sure that the garbage disposal is not the source of the odor, you will have to clean it with orange peel and hot water, and you should also make sure that splash guard is cleaned as well

Did you know that common plumbing problems can actually create unpleasant sewer odors in your home?

Does your home have an awful sewer gas smell?

A lot of homeowners opt to use air fresheners, scented candles, and even nose plugs just to keep the odors at bay. Unfortunately, these are all temporary fixes, if you truly want to get rid of it, you will have to track the smell and deal with it at its source.

Common plumbing problems can actually create sewer smells in the house. Finding its source however, can be quite tricky. This is why experts recommend that you slowly eliminate the culprits until you find where the odor comes from.

Here are some of the most common causes for sewer gas smells:

1. Rarely used sinks or bathtubs

P-traps under tubs or sinks need water in order to prevent the sewer gas from escaping. But in rarely used ones, the water in the P-trap will evaporate. This will then allow the sewer gas to enter into your home.

To remedy this problem, you will have to run water down the drain at least once every two weeks to make sure that the P-trap is still working properly.

2. The toilet’s wax ring

A wax ring is used to seal the drain beneath the toilet once a toilet is installed. This is what can help prevent water seepage. Though the wax ring rarely degrades over time, a loose toilet can actually damage the wax seal. You need to check your toilet bowl just to make sure that it is still secure. If the toilet is wobbly, then you might need to reset or replace the toilet wax ring and have the toilet installed properly.

3. The toilet base

Bacteria can grow in places where it is damp. Places in the bathroom that has not been carefully placed with caulk, like the toilet base, can harbor foul-smelling bacteria. This is why you should make sure that there is a caulk seal around the toilet’s base so urine and water will not be able to get inside it. Use tile caulk around the base to make sure that the odors will stay inside the toilet.

4. Water in shower doors

Shower doors can actually harbor odors that are as worse as the sewer. Some shower doors have metal tracks used for support, these shower doors can lose their seals with continued use, allowing water to get into the inner areas of the door. The water that has been trapped inside will not be able to evaporate, making it the ideal place for bacteria to thrive. To help you avoid this problem, use caulk to seal the shower doors and make sure that there are no mildew on the area. Clean the area before sealing.

5. Bacterial growth in the drain

Bacteria can thrive in areas that are dark, damp, and whenever there are organic matter. The opening of the drain can easily turn into one of these places especially when there is a buildup of soap scum. The best way to deal with this problem is to use drain chemicals multiple times, you can also use an enzyme drain cleaner to get rid of the scum as well as the bacteria.

In most cases, homeowners would only pour a commercial or chemical cleaner once, not knowing the fact that it will take more than one application to get rid of soap scum completely. So you can effectively get rid of the odor, you should pour several cleaning agents per day over the course of seven days.

6. Clean the overflow

The overflow is used for the following:

  • It is basically a safety feature that will allow the water to escape just in case the drain is blocked and the water is kept running.
  • It will help the air to enter so that the water can easily drain out.

The overflow however, hides a secret. The overflow can conceal scum from the drain, this is why when pouring cleaning against into the drain, make sure that you clean the overflow as well.

7. The splash guard in the garbage disposal

The splash guard is the rubber piece that can be found in the sink drain, it is one of the areas of the sink that can cause foul odors. This is why experts recommend that when cleaning the garbage disposal, you should not just run it with orange peels, but also clean the underside of the splash guard. As soon as it has been cleaned, you need to turn on the disposal and pour hot water into it. You should then add soap and allow it to run for thirty seconds more. This will help dislodge leftover debris.

8. Checking the cleanout caps from the sewer

Attached through a screw are the cover plates that are used to hide the sewer cleanout caps. This screw may decompose over time, allowing sewer gas to escape and go into the home as a result. You need to check the cover plates in the home if you start to smell sewer gas, they are typically found under the sink or behind the toilets. You need to replace the screws and use Teflon tape on the threads if you see that they have deteriorated.

Are the sewer smells still present?

If you have checked these areas and still the smell persists, you might want to call a professional plumber for help. The plumber can investigate and check your home’s plumbing system so that the odor can be tracked down, and so that the problem can be resolved.