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Sewer Smell in Bathroom: What Causes It & How to Get Rid of It

Sewer Smelll

We know that bathrooms are the source of some unfortunate odors, but a sewer smell in bathroom is clearly out of place. It’s that faint sewage smell that makes you wrinkle your nose. Understanding the reasons behind sewer odors is a step towards learning how to eliminate them. 

There can be many sources of the awful sewer smell – from improper plumbing venting to damaged pipes and blocked sewer lines. Using fragrance cleaners will temporarily mask the smell and still be there the next time you walk in the bathroom. 

Fortunately, there is a solution to this irritating problem. You can use many simple and inexpensive DIY methods to correct the sewage smell. If this is not for you, you can always hire a professional to eliminate sewage odors. Read to learn how to get back that clean-smelling bathroom.

What Causes Sewer Smell in Bathroom?

The sewer smell in your bathroom can stem from various sources. Identifying what causes sewer smell in bathroom is crucial to eliminate the odor effectively. Here are some of the most frequent causes of that horrid odor: 

  • Poor plumbing venting: When plumbing vents are not installed correctly, or there is a blockage, the sewer smell in bathroom sink can be persistent.
  • Dry P-trap: The U-shaped pipe beneath your sink or shower drain holds water to prevent sewer gasses from entering your home. If the P-trap dries out due to infrequent use or a leak, it can allow the odor to permeate your bathroom. 
  • Damaged or cracked pipes: Cracks or damage in the pipes can cause sewer gasses to escape into your bathroom. Aging pipes, shifts in the foundation, or external factors can contribute to pipe damage. 
  • Blocked sewer line: A clogged or blocked sewer line can cause sewage backup, resulting in a foul smell in your bathroom. Tree roots, debris, or grease buildup are considered common causes of blockages in sewer lines. 
  • Sewer gas leaks: If you ever experienced a sewer smell in bathroom at night and got woken up from the foul smell in your home, you probably have a sewer gas leak. Leaks in the sewer lines or plumbing fixtures can release sewer gasses, creating an unpleasant smell. Such leaks happen due to deteriorated seals, loose connections, or damaged plumbing components. 

How to Get Rid of Sewer Smell in Bathroom?

We already identified the most common causes that allow sewer gasses to escape into your bathroom, creating an unpleasant smell. Dealing with that odor yourself can be unpleasant, but here are some tips on how to get rid of sewer smell in bathroom. Try the following steps to get back that fresh and odor-free bathroom. 

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is the key to odorless bathrooms. Open the bathroom windows and use exhaust fans to promote airflow and eliminate odors. Always check that the bathroom vent fan is in good working order. If the odor keeps persisting, move on to the next steps.

Clean Your Sink and Toilet Thoroughly 

If you already had this problem in the past and got your pipes repaired or changed, and your bathroom still has that sewer smell, you might want to clean your previously affected areas. There are plenty of bacteria in the bathroom, and the smell may persist because of improper cleaning. 

Refill the Water Trap in Your Sink

Locate the u-shaped P-trap under your sink or shower drain. These “U” shaped pipes trap water under your sink to prevent sewer gasses and unpleasant odors from entering your home. Check for any debris or buildup in the pipes and remove it. 

Rinse it thoroughly and check for any damages or rust. If the P-trap is damaged in any way, you need to change it, or the odor will come back no matter how much you clean it. Securely reattach the trap if it isn’t damaged and ensure there are no leaks. 

Inspect and Repair Damaged Pipes

Examine your plumbing system for visible damage or leaks. If you find any cracked or damaged pipes, consider replacing them. Sometimes the problem occurs inside the pipes where you can’t see or reach. 

If you checked every visible pipe and didn’t find a problem, there is a great possibility that some of the other pipes are damaged. If that’s the case, seeking assistance from a professional plumber  is recommended.

Clear Blockages in the Sewer Line

If you notice water getting stuck in your sink or dark water coming back from the sewer, you may be facing a blockage in the sewer line. Examine the system for suspected blockages in the sewer line. 

You can use certain chemicals to break down the gunk buildup in your sewer line. If those don’t work, use a plunger or plumbing snake to dislodge them. Be careful when using a plumbing snake to avoid damaging the pipes.

Use Natural Remedies and DIY Solutions

Create a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, and pour it down the drains. Let it sit and start to work before flushing it with hot water, which should do the trick. Another trick you can use is to place coffee grounds or activated charcoal in a bowl in the bathroom to absorb the odors. Lemon or citrus-based cleaners can also temporarily mask the smell. 

Professional Solutions for Removing Sewer Smell in Bathroom 

If you tried everything yourself and nothing worked, you need to call a professional to estimate how to fix a sewer gas smell in bathroom. Here’s why hiring a professional is recommended:

  • They have extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with all sewer-related issues. 
  • They will check every pipe in your home until they find the problem in your sewer system, even those you can’t see or reach.
  • They are equipped with advanced and modern tools and equipment to pinpoint the exact source of the odor, whether hidden or in plain sight. 
  • They conduct comprehensive plumbing inspections to assess the condition of your drains, pipes, and sewer lines. This helps identify hidden issues contributing to the sewer smell. 
  • They use specialized sewer gas smell in bathroom removal techniques to eliminate sewer smells effectively. 
  • They use professional-grade cleaning agents and equipment that are specifically designed to neutralize odors. 

Long-Term Solutions and Prevention 

By hiring professionals, you can expect a temporary fix and long-term solutions. For persistent sewer smell in your bathroom, consider reaching out to Cummings Plumbing. Our reliable and experienced team can eliminate sewer smells and ensure a healthy and odor-free plumbing system. 

Visit our website to learn more and schedule an appointment for a free estimate. Take action today and enjoy a fresh, clean, and inviting bathroom space. Trust the experts to help you reclaim the comfort and hygiene you deserve.


Final Remarks on Dealing with Sewer Smell

When dealing with a sewer smell in bathroom you need to look for the main problem in your sewer system and think of the most effective elimination methods. Understanding the common causes of this problem is crucial in resolving it. If you tried to remove the smell and eliminate the probable causes of your problem, but it didn’t work, it might be time to get the assistance of professional plumbers.

Professional plumbers have the expertise, advanced techniques, and specialized equipment to provide targeted solutions. By addressing the root cause of the sewer smell, professionals offer temporary relief and lasting solutions. They can restore a fresh and pleasant bathroom environment, providing peace of mind and comfort for you and your family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the sewer smell go away on its own? 

In some cases, a minor sewer smell may dissipate on its own if the underlying cause is temporary, such as a dry P-trap. However, persistent sewer smells are unlikely to go away without addressing the root cause.


Can sewer gas come up through the toilet? 

Yes, sewer gas can come up through the toilet if there is a problem with the plumbing system. Issues such as a damaged wax ring seal or a faulty vent pipe can allow sewer gasses to enter your bathroom through the toilet.


Is there a tool to detect sewer gas?

Yes, plumbers use various tools to detect sewer gas. One common tool is a smoke test, where non-toxic smoke is introduced into the plumbing system to identify any leaks or pathways through which sewer gas may escape.


Can a plumber get rid of sewer smell? 

Yes, a plumber can help get rid of sewer smell by identifying and resolving the underlying causes. They have the expertise, tools, and techniques to effectively eliminate sewer smells and restore a fresh environment in your bathroom. For any concerns regarding sewer smell in your bathroom, it’s recommended to consult a professional plumber. They can provide personalized advice and solutions based on your specific situation.


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