March 8, 2021

The bathroom is one of the most sensitive parts of the house. Every homeowner will go to great lengths to ensure that their bathroom is clean and smelling fresh. However, even with the best care, a shower room may experience problems that are out of the homeowner’s reach, like a sewerage smell coming out of the bathroom drains.

Other than the discomfort caused by the smell, sewerage gases pose a severe health risk to your family and should be addressed immediately. Fortunately, some of the fixes to the problems are simple, and you can do them yourself. Here are the most common causes of bathroom sewage smell and quick fixes to eliminate the problem.

1. Dry P-trap

A dry P-trap is one of the most common causes of sewer smell in your bathroom. The P-trap is a U-shaped pipe located under the sink or drains. It is used to trap water beneath the drain, preventing sewer smells from reaching the bathroom. If you do not use your bathroom sinks regularly, there is a possibility that the water in the P-trap will dry out, allowing sewer gases to flow freely into your bathroom.

Fixing this problem is simple. Just run some water into the sink for a minute or so, and the problem is fixed. You can also add a little baking soda into the drains to eliminate any possibility of clogging.

2. Shower Drain Clogs

Pieces of soap, shower gel, dead skin, hair, and other kinds of debris may cause clogging in your shower drains. If you notice a sewerage smell in your bathroom coupled with minor flooding when taking showers, you could be dealing with a clogged shower drain.

The solution to this problem is relatively easy, and you can do it yourself. However, it can be messy. If you don’t like getting your hands dirty, you can call in a professional to fix it. If you choose to do it yourself, this is what you need to do. First, unscrew the shower drain cover. Pour a mixture of vinegar and hot water slowly into the drain in a continuous stream and then add 1 cup of baking soda and let it sit for two or more hours.

This treatment should be sufficient to loosen up the deposits. You can then use a drain brush to remove any solid matter that might be trapped in the drain and finally run clean water for a few minutes. Screw the drain cover into place, and you are done.

3. Damaged Toilet

Over time, your toilet could be damaged because of wear and tear, and that could be the reason why you have sewer gas leaking into your bathroom. A perfect example is when the wax sealing at the base of your toilet comes loose, creating tiny gaps that can cause smelly sewer gas to seep into your bathroom.

Additionally, small cracks in your toilet bowl can cause water leaks resulting in a drop in water levels in your toilet’s P-trap. Low water levels in the P-trap might allow sewage gases into your bathroom, causing an unpleasant smell. If you are experiencing such an issue, it would be best if you called in an expert to have the issue fixed.

4. Broken, Clogged or Poorly Installed Vent Pipes

The vent pipe is your sewerage system’s breather. When it gets clogged, the sewer gases can back up into the sinks and the toilet, resulting in your bathroom’s sewage smells. You may experience a bubbling sound coming from the toilet or the drain as sewer gas forces its way into the bathroom.

Possible causes of blocked vent pipe could be poor installation or blockages caused by solid objects that find their way into the vents. To resolve the problem, check the vent for any blockages and remove them where possible or call in a specialist.

5. Bacteria Build-up

The sewer system is the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can find their way into your bathroom and start multiplying under the toilet bowl, eventually becoming the source of foul smells in the bathroom. That is especially common during hot seasons when bacteria multiply rapidly.

Using bleach can be an effective way of eliminating bacterial growth. However, you will need more than merely swishing bleach around the toilet bowl. By adding bleach to the flush tank and flushing the toilet a couple of times, it is possible to eradicate the menace.

6. Full Septic Tank

If your drainage system is connected to a septic tank in your compound and you notice a sewerage smell in your bathroom, there is a possibility that your septic tank is full. When you have a full septic tank, the sewage smell is not all that you will notice. You may start hearing bubbling sounds from the toilet and drains, and your toilet may become sluggish.

The solution to a full septic tank is straightforward: Drain it. It would be a good idea to regularly check your septic tank levels to avoid being caught unawares by a full tank.

7. Sewer Backups

If you experience a sewer smell after heavy rainfall, it could be a result of sewer backup. During heavy rains, the excess runoff water piles pressure on the city’s sewer system, causing a sewer’s backflow into individual lines. The backflow may cause the sewage to back up into homes. However, when the pressure is not as high, the sewerage may not flow back into the home but may push the sewage gases trapped in your lines back into the house, explaining the sewer smell in your house.

In such a case, the situation is mostly out of your hands. Waiting it out could be your only option. However, installing a backflow valve in your sewer lines can help prevent sewer water from backing up into your home in the future.

Final Thoughts

The bathroom is one of the most sacred parts of the home. However, a sewage smell can spoil the tranquility. A sewage smell in your bathroom not only poses a health risk; it can also be a source of embarrassment. Therefore, you need to handle the issue immediately.

If you have tried all the above do-it-yourself fixes and the problem doesn’t seem to go away, it may be time to call in an expert. At Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, we have a team of highly qualified and licensed plumbers who will help you identify and fix the sewage smell problems in your bathroom. Our experts have the necessary tools, technical know-how, and industry experience to handle the situation, saving you the stress associated with sewerage odors in your home.

We also offer heating services, cooling services, indoor air quality solutions, water heaters and water purification systems.

If you live in Sacramento, CA, and are experiencing sewerage smells in your bathroom, we will be happy to restore your home’s comfort. Need different plumbing service? Contact us today to get started.

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