Have you ever come home to a smell similar to that of rotten eggs? Or maybe noticed a faint whiff smell of sewage in your basement bathroom?
Although this could be as a result of sewer clogs and sewer backups, sometimes there is a simple explanation for the rank smell. Learning the cause of the faint sewage smell in your home and how to get it fixed immediately could save you a lot of money on plumbing repairs.
A clogged drain could be the problem
Any drain that connects to your home's sewer line includes a p-shaped drain know as a p-trap. These drains are designed to trap water, forming a waterproof barrier between your home and the sewer. It is this barrier that prevents the sewer gas from circulating in your home.
The water in the p-trap is refreshed every time you flush water down the drain or use the sink. In rooms where such drains are hardly ever used, for example, the basement bathroom, water in the p-trap will finally evaporate. Once the water in the p-trap evaporates completely, the protective seal is broken, and a foul-smelling sewer gas will start leaking into your home.
Water could solve the problem
If you've noticed a noxious sewer-like smell inside your home, simply running water through your drains might solve the problem. Make sure you flush all the toilets, pour water through all floor drains and run water in all the sinks.
It is especially important to run water in all extra bathrooms such as the guest and basement bathroom, where people don't often go. Make sure you also run water through the basement floor drain as it's sometimes the common source of sewer gas.
Eliminate the smell
Sewer gas can be dangerous to your health. Make sure you air out your home after you fix the problem. Turn on all the ceiling fans and open your windows to allow fresh air circulation.
This should eliminate the sewer gas in a few hours. Make sure you do stay indoors until the fouls odour is resolved.
Prevent future occurrence
Once you have addressed the sewer gas problem, you'll need preventative measures to make sure the problem doesn't happen again. This means observing unused drains in your home and making sure the water is replaced on a regular basis.
Still experiencing the smell?
If the foul sewer spell persists even after running water through your drains, you might have a different plumbing problem. Leaks from cracked drain pipes, sewer backup or deteriorated pipe connections can all lead to the sewer gas smell.
Make sure you contact a capable plumber to have your sewer gas smell taking care of.