What Causes Sewer Odors Inside the House?

By July 15, 2016Health & Safety

sewer odors inside the houseHave you noticed a noxious sewer smell inside your home? Sewer gases contain methane and bacteria that may be dangerous to the health and safety of your family. Plus, no one wants to live with nasty sewer odors inside the house. Keep reading to learn about where those awful scents are coming from—and what to do if they creep into your home.

Common Sources of Sewer Odors Inside the House

All plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, showers, drains, etc.) are part of a larger home plumbing system that connects all of your fixtures through a network of pipes—with vents and traps at each drain site. This system is designed to safely carry wastewater out to the public sewer and provide a barrier that prevents sewer gases from getting in. If you are detecting foul sewer odors inside the house, this means that there is a weak link somewhere in your plumbing system. Possible sources include bathroom sink drains, toilets, kitchen drains, basement drains, old cast iron piping, or even the vent stack that goes out through your roof.

So What Exactly Is Causing that Funky Smell to Get In?

Essentially, any drain or vent pipe could be the weak link. In most cases, you can simply follow your nose to the source of the problem. Here are five of the most common plumbing problems that allow sewer odors inside the house.

  • Lack of proper drain traps or vent pipes. Every fixture should have a “P-trap” that holds water in a “U” shape that creates a seal, as well as a vent system that equalizes air pressure and allows sewer gases to escape outside. DIY plumbers sometimes skip this step.
  • Dry trap. This is a very common culprit of sewer odors inside the house. It typically occurs in rarely used drains, such as the basement drain or guest bathroom shower.
  • Broken seals around the toilet. Check for air leaks in the wax ring around your toilet by wobbling the toilet bowl to make sure it’s tightly sealed to the floor.
  • Clogged vents. Have a professional plumber inspect all of the vent pipes inside your house to make sure the vent stack isn’t clogged.
  • Broken sewer lateral pipe or vent stack. Old cast iron pipes are especially prone to cracking. Call a professional plumber or sewer specialist to come out and inspect the lines.

Are you experiencing smelly sewer odors inside the house? Contact us. At Tony LaMartina Plumbing Company, our experienced plumbers are experts in solving residential plumbing problems of all kinds. We will quickly diagnose the issue and provide sound solutions at a fair price.

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post on How to Get Rid of Sewer Gas Smells, or contact us today! Call our office at (314) 965-9377 or email info@tonylamartinaplumbing.com.