Why Does my House Randomly Smell Like Sewer?

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If you’re wondering why your house occasionally starts to smell like sewer, read the following article for some solutions. Here we provide some of the common causes of sewer gas smells and the common repairs you can undertake.

Common Causes for a Stinky Sewer Smell

House smells like sewer can be the result of a number of common problems, such as a clogged drain or a faulty vent pipe.

Key Takeaways

Sewer smell issues can come from:

  • Improper installation of plumbing vent systems, which result in sewer odors traveling into the home.
  • A dry P-trap, which is a type of trap that is located underneath sinks or drains. It should by filled with water to prevent smells moving up the pipe.
  • Issues with broken or blocked pipes.
  • Septic tank failure.

The main source of sewer odor is the breakdown of human waste. These gases are hazardous to human health, and they are also a potential fire hazard. While the vapors from sewers are not harmful in small doses, chronic exposure to them can be toxic. Because sewer gas is so volatile and corrosive, it is important to have your drains cleaned and repaired by a licensed sewer professional.

Here is a summary of the common issues related to sewer smells leaking into a house:

Broken Pipes

If you notice that your pipes randomly smell like sewer, it could be time to call a plumber for a professional inspection.

While some of the causes of a sewer odor are small, a broken pipe can produce explosive gas. The gas is highly flammable and causes health problems if not dealt with immediately.

While it’s unlikely that a broken pipe is responsible for the odor, a leak in a vent pipe or sewer line can allow noxious gas into your house.

These leaks often originate inside the walls and ceilings and should be fixed by an experienced plumber.

As wear and tear takes its toll on the pipes and plumbing system, roots can enter them and cause a smelly gas.

Trapped Waste

One of the main causes of sewer odors is rotting waste in pipes.

As the waste rots, it releases gases that can be harmful to the environment. Sewer gas can cause respiratory problems, asphyxiation, and memory loss. Sewage gas leaks can also cause a house fire or an explosion. This can cause a lot of inconvenience for your home and health.

P-Traps Issues

There are a few reasons why your home may smell like a sewer, and one of them is the fact that your P-trap is not holding water correctly. You may have a leak or the water has evaporated from the trap. If you can’t find any of these causes, you can call a plumber for an assessment.

In many cases, a simple fix will solve the problem, but if it persists, you should consult a professional plumber to get the situation fixed.

You might be experiencing the smell of sewage because the water in your toilet is evaporating and leaving behind a foul odor. If this is the case, try running water through the drain to refill the P-trap.

Check the P-trap, otherwise known as a water trap, on all drains in your home. The trap is important for preventing sewer gas from entering your home.

If it’s broken, the odor is most likely coming from the toilet. If you can’t find the leak, replace the P-trap. In addition, check the plumbing vent stack for rust or other damage, which can cause the smell.

Vent Pipe Issues

A broken vent pipe will also lead to a sewer odor. If you suspect a drain problem, call a plumber and ask for their advice. Once you’ve ruled out these possibilities, you can address the root cause of your smell.

Septic System Failure

The cause of sewer odor in your house can be due to an over-filled septic tank.

If none of these issues are totally obvious, and there are no easy fixes it is time to call a plumber. A plumber will check your drains and toilets to find the source of the sewer smell.