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Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Mon-Sat 7:00am-7:00pm

Sunday 10:00am-6:00pm

3720 Spruce St,

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Plumbing Smells? Techniques To Help Get Rid Of Them

How to Identify and Get Rid Of a Sewer Gas Smell in Your House

A sewer and drain smells in a laundry, washroom or kitchen area area can reveal a more severe issue than clogged plumbing. It could have come from the sewage system itself, needing fast action.


The problem probably is a dried-out P-trap, and the cure could be as easy as turning on the faucet. If the issue is a broken vent pipeline, you may need to get professional aid to resolve it.


Sewer line smells that are out of the norm needs to not be disregarded. Discovering the source of the odors, however, can be challenging– most of us assume it’s the toilet, however issues can hide in a number of your house’s water systems, including the shower and washing unit.

Sources of Drain Smell

A smell of sewage in your house? Your first reaction is most likely to check the toilet— it seems the most logical source of the issue.


However, smells might continue even after you‘ve completely cleaned your toilet and restroom, and air fresheners and fans aren’t usually enough to eliminate them. When nothing you attempt gets rid of the smell, you are probably dealing with a more severe issue.


Examine the following areas of your house and note whether the sewage smell ends up being stronger in some areas– your nose will be your first clue in finding the cause of the sewage smell.


This guide has been set up to help you in identifying the source of a sewage smell in your home.

When you‘ve determined the source of the smell, we’ll stroll you through some troubleshooting ways to attempt to solve the issue; however, a sewage issue can often just be fixed by an expert.

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Smells From Your Shower Drain

One of the most popular reasons for a sewage smell is not the toilet— if you smell a nasty sewage system smell in your washroom, inspect the drain in your shower. A foul-smelling shower drain is typically triggered by one of two things: biofilm buildup or an issue with your P-trap.

1. Biofilm Build-up

We utilize a range of items when we shower. Body oils, conditioner, shampoo, soap, and shaving cream, together with natural waste such as skin cells and hair, are washed down the drain.


All these materials often develop along the P-trap and vertical pipelines that run underneath your shower gradually. This buildup is called a biofilm.


Biofilm starts to develop a sewage-like smell as it grows due to bacteria and disintegrating waste. Germs produce a sticky material that allows them to cling to the side of your pipes, making them tough to get rid of without using unique tools.


Eventually, these sewage smells fill the whole bathroom, not simply the shower or tub.


How to Get rid of the Issue: Normally, getting rid of biofilm and the smells it causes in shower drain pipes is a simple task that does not require the services of a plumbing contractor.


Here’s how to get rid of the smells from your bathroom, clear the material that is feeding the bacteria in the drain. Baking soda, boiling water, and white distilled vinegar can be integrated to make an all-natural cleaner.

In order to get rid of biofilm from your pipes, follow the steps listed below:

  • Eliminate the shower drain using a screwdriver.
  • Next, bring 5 to 10 quarts of water to a boil.
  • Let the water to cool to 150 ° F before gradually dumping it down the shower drain.
  • One cup of white distilled vinegar should be added in after the water.
  • Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain immediately after adding in the vinegar.
  • Lastly, utilize a drain brush to clear up any leftover trash in the drain.

However, if the sewage system gas smell in the bathroom continues after cleaning up the shower drain, get in touch with an expert plumbing contractor to check your water supply.

2. Dry P-Trap

A dry P-trap is another frequent source of sewage system gas smells in the house. A P-trap is a U-shaped pipeline that traps and holds water. A P-trap needs to hold ample water to keep sewage gases and smells from slipping up your drain when it’s working correctly.


In case you don’t utilize your shower much, the water could have simply dried in the P-trap. But, if you often utilize your shower and still detect a sewage smell originating from your drain, this could indicate a more severe issue.


For instance, your P-trap could leakage and stop holding water.


How to Fix the Concern: Depending upon the cause of the dryness, fixing a dry P-trap might be challenging or easy.


Some homeowners may not utilize the shower as typically, for that reason, the water may typically dry in the plumbing system.


Turn on your shower and let the water run for a couple of minutes to fill up the P-trap, and you’ll be done in no time at all. The water needs to be enough to fill the P-trap and prevent sewage gases from dripping into your bathroom.

If the smell continues after running water through all drains, it is probably due to a leaky or old P-trap. Contact an expert local plumber to inspect and replace your P-trap for the best end results.

Smells From Your Toilet

A bad-smelling toilet may typically be fixed with a fast clean, a couple of flushes, and some air freshener. No matter how many times you clean your bathroom, some smells will remain.


There could be a few reasons that your bathroom smells like a sewer. The most frequent include an improperly placed or cut vent pipe, a broken or loose seal, and a leaky toilet.

Clogged Drain Sewage Smell
Bad Ordor Smells From Toilet

1. Poorly Set Up or Cut Vent Pipeline

If the walls near your toilet have a constant sewage smell, it could be due to an improperly put or cut vent pipe.


The vent pipeline assists in the control of air pressure in your house’s plumbing system. Vent pipes help drive smells outside your home, keeping them from entering your house or washroom.

How to solve the issue: A professional plumbing contractor can assist you in repairing any vent pipeline issues. A specialist plumbing technician can easily detect the issue and reinstall a brand-new pipeline in cases of malfunctioning setup.

In some cases a vent pipeline will form splits, enabling smells to enter your house. A plumbing technician will utilize a smoke machine to fill the pipeline in order to discover any splits.


The smoke machine is used to fill the pipeline in order to find any splits. When the smoke begins to appear, they will locate the source of the leakage and fix the pipeline.

2. Damaged or Loose Seal

A broken or loose seal may be the cause of sewage smells originating from your toilet. The toilet connects to the drain by means of 2 separate seals. And, if these seals are loose, cracked, or improperly put, sewage system gases may enter your bathroom.


An indication of a broken seal is if the toilet bowl does not fill normally. A strong smell may not be triggered by sewage gases if a seal loses water and sewage. Water can collect in gaps around your toilet, attracting bacteria. As bacteria grows, it will produce bad odors.


The wax ring that seals the toilet drain and avoids water from dripping can also be the cause of a leaky toilet. If the toilet bowl is loose, it might damage the wax ring, enabling sewage to seep out and produce foul odors.


Your toilet may also be cracked, broken, or otherwise damaged. For instance, it could have divided around the bolts that hold it to the floor. Any little gap can permit sewage gas to enter your bathroom.


How to fix the issue: If the problem is a loose or broken seal, a fresh finish of caulk is typically sufficient to solve the problem.


Caulk the seals on your toilet along with the bolt holes that hold it to the ground. Examine your toilet bowl to see if it is shaky or loose; if so, the wax ring may have been damaged.

To repair it, replace the toilet ring with a brand-new one. However, if the toilet seems broken, get in touch with an expert plumbing professional to get it fixed or have it changed with a brand-new one.

Smells From Your Sink

Your washroom sink may produce a sulfur-like smell at times that can be triggered by a range of factors, including a dry P-trap, quite similar to a shower drain. The buildup in the overflow, on the other hand, is a typical cause of smells.

1. Buildup in the Overflow

See if your sink has an overflow system, and if so, check for sewage smells originating from it. Many sinks have a hole near the top that works as a water outlet, preventing excess water from streaming into the bathroom.


Your sink, like everything near water, may easily build up dirt and mildew, particularly in the overflow area.


How to fix the issues: Thankfully, cleaning up the overflow is a simple task. Water, bleach, and a little bottle brush is all you need.


  • Scrub the interior of the overflow area with a little bottle brush to get rid of any debris.
  • Next, mix half water and half chlorine bleach in a solution.
  • Put on the solution to the overflow area with the bottle brush to get rid of any standing bacteria or smells.


Call an expert plumbing contractor to check your sink if the smells continue regardless of thorough cleaning.

Smells From Your Washing Appliance

When a house smells like sewage, bathrooms are most likely the first location people look. If you can’t find the source of the smell in your bathroom– check out your washing unit– the issue could be concealing in your laundry room.


The most typical reasons that a washing unit smells like sewage are poorly placed P-traps, drain blockages or vent pipeline blockage.

1. Poorly Set Up P-Trap

P-traps are not just required in the bathroom; they are also required in washing units. Modern washing units, on the other hand, featured an adjustable drain hose, unlike a lot of bathroom pipes.


The wastewater from a washing unit is sent out by this adjustable hose pipe into the drain box pipeline, which is connected to the P-trap. It is commonly not installed correctly due to the fact that the hose pipe is adjustable.


The hose pipe could have been put too far into the drainage box, stopping the P-trap from working. As a result, smells may enter your household.


To resolve this problem: Attempt taking the washing unit drain hose pipe out of the drain box. Stop when the hose pipe is about eight inches deep in the pipeline; this will permit the P-trap to operate correctly, keeping sewage gases from leaking into the room.

2. Drain Blockages

Blockages in the drain line are another typical cause of a bad-smelling washing unit. A block in the drain line will cause an accumulation of organic matter such as hair and soap.


Germs will grow creating a foul odor the same to that of sewage. A blockage will continue to develop in size and produce more noticeable smells if left disregarded.

How to solve the problem: Thankfully, a clogged drain is easy to solve. Clear any blockages in the drain line with a drain snake. Call a professional plumber to check your drain and washing unit if the blockage would not budge.

3. Vent Pipeline Clogs

Washing units, like your bathroom plumbing, need vent pipes. To prevent sewage gases from entering your property, all drain systems in your property should be correctly vented.


How to Deal with the Issue: Gain access to your roof to check for blockages in your vent pipes. Bring a flashlight with you and shine it into the vent pipes. Look for any blockages, such as bird nests or other garbage. Attempt to loosen or remove them with a snake or another long tool.


Work with a plumbing company to solve the issue for the best results– trained plumbing technicians have the experience and tools to safely and quickly get rid of blockages from vent pipelines.

Sewer Drain Ordors
Sink Faucet Water Ordors

Smells From Your Water

If you detect a sulfur-like smell when you turn on the water, the problem may be more severe than an obstructed drain. Before you think your water is the source of the issue, attempt a couple of repairing steps.


To get rid of any buildup in the pipelines, utilize a de-clogging solution. Spill a glass of water down the drain and ignore the sink once you‘ve allowed the cleaning solution time to work.


Smell the water; if it still has a smell, you may have bacteria in your water heater or hydrogen sulfide in your water.

1. Germs in Your Hot Water Heater

The issue is most likely with your water heating unit if the smell is just noted when using hot water.


Bacterial nests can form in a hot water heater if the temperature level is too low or if it is turned off for an extended quantity of time. Thankfully, the bacteria are not hazardous to people, so your health is not threatened.


Nevertheless, the bacteria produce a strong rotten egg smell in your home, making it challenging to consume the water.


How to fix the issue: If bacteria are growing in your water heater, attempt raising the temperature for as much as 24 hours. Run the hot water taps to clear any leftover bacteria from the pipes.


Keep in mind to proceed with care if you choose to raise the temperature of your hot water heater– it is easy to forget your water is hotter than typical, which might lead to burns.

2. Hydrogen Sulfide in Your Water

If your water smells nasty, no matter whether it’s cold or hot, the root of the issue could be your water supply. A strong sulfur smell is produced in your home by highly concentrated levels of hydrogen sulfide.


Hydrogen sulfide can be harmful in high quantities, it is typically easy to find before it reaches hazardous levels.


Humans can find hydrogen sulfide at quantities as low as.5 parts per million (PPM)– values less than 1 PPM produce a musty smell, and levels in between 1 and 2 PPM produce an odor comparable to rotten eggs.


How to solve the issue: If you presume your water supply holds hydrogen sulfide, get in touch with a regional water screening laboratory to get it tested for toxins.


How to fix the issue: If bacteria are growing in your hot water heater, attempt raising the temperature for as much as 24 hours. Run the hot water taps to clear any leftover bacteria from the pipes.


Keep in mind to proceed with care if you choose to raise the temperature of your hot water heater– it is easy to forget your water is hotter than typical, which might lead to burns.

When Do You Need a Plumber?

Countless types of sewage smells are easily fixed in the house. If you ever worry about fixing a plumbing system issue, do not think twice to get in touch with a plumbing service– professionals can quickly and effectively solve your plumbing system problems.

Some issues are beyond the average homeowner’s understanding. A drain backup, in particular, typically requires the skills of a plumbing company.


Overrunning drains are the most visible indication of a sewage backup. If your shower and toilet drains start bubbling with rancid water, you probably have a major sewage issue.


Massive events such as floods, tree roots, or pipeline damage often cause sewage backup.


Here are some of the most common reasons for a stopped up sewage system:


  • Clogs in a water main: Problems in a water main can occur as an effects of waste slowly building in the city water main. These blockages can eventually cause sewage to flow up by means of your basement or bathroom drains.
  • Tree roots: Trees and bushes can extend roots deep into the earth in need of water. Strong roots can often damage sewage system lines, enabling sewage to flow out. In severe cases, the roots can cause blockages in the main water lines, leading to sewage backup.
  • Damaged or collapsed sewer lines: If you reside in an older residential property or community, your sewage backup could be the effects of split, broken, or collapsed sewage system lines.
  • Flooding: A flood’s surge of water can force sewage up through drain pipes and into your residential property.

In cases like this, the first thing you should do is call an emergency plumber. They will have the ability to assess the circumstance and develop whether the issue is triggered by tree roots or the city sewer system.

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