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A sewer smell in house can be very annoying and even exasperating for the typical homeowner. It is unsightly, unhealthy, and foul smelling. In some cases a sewer smell can even be found just outside one’s home. Now, for someone who is not familiar with common plumbing problems, a sewer smell problem in a house can be difficult to solve leaving the individual helpless but we’ll be showing you how to handle it. Smell problem is relatively easy to diagnose and easy to cure. There are a number of cleaning remedies that can help you get the smell of raw sewage out the house quickly and safely.

An open sump or an improper drain creates many issues for concern. Not only can they produce foul sewer smells, but there can be health issues as well. The smell of raw sewage is not only unpleasant, it can cause health problems, such as difficulty breathing and worsening of asthma, emphysema and allergies.

There are three main causes of this annoying problem, and none of them requires major plumbing repairs.

Loose or Ill-Fitted Sewer Trap Plugs

The most common source of a sewer smell in house is from missing, ill-fitted, or loose sewer trap plugs. The easiest way to find the sewer trap is to locate the fresh air inlet pipe which is located near the front wall of your house. It is exposed or covered by a grating. When you notice the sewage smell, the first place to check is the sewer access pit and a lot of times, this is the last most people look.

A house trap is U shaped so water sits at the bottom of the trap. This water serves as a barrier between sewer gases from the city sewer, and your home or business. If the sewer trap is not properly sealed with trap plugs, a sewer smell will be present from sewer gases escaping from the public sewer.

Water Trap

If your washing machine, laundry tub, water heater, or other appliance has a water trap, take care to maintain the trap water levels. When you don’t use basins and sinks for extended periods of time, the water can evaporate; this, in turn, can let sewer gasses up and into the room. Solve water trap odors with ease by pouring a glass of water down the trap, which will restore water trap levels and push the sewer gasses back down.

Dried Out House Trap Sump

Another common source of a sewer smell is from a trap whose water barrier has dried out. As earlier stated, one of the main functions of a trap is to provide a water barrier to keep sewer gases out of your house.

If a fixture is not used regularly, such as in a guest bathroom, or a seasonal residence like your cabin on the mountains, the water in the trap can evaporate. If you encounter something like this, running some water can resolve the issue. The same applies for either a little used fixture, a guest house, or a vacation home. Simply running some water will fill the trap belly back up with water, and re-create the water barrier.

Sometimes pouring some vinegar down a drain can help to get rid of a foul odor. But a sewer smell in house should not be taken lightly either. A sewer smell is indicative of methane gas and bacteria being present in the air. Headaches can result, but if left untreated there can also be health consequences as well. If you smell sewer gas act promptly.

Bad Wax Ring

Another cause of sewer smell in bathroom could be a bad wax ring seal between the toilet flange and the base of the toilet. This wax ring can occasionally leak, sometimes because of a rocking toilet that has broken the seal. With a leak in this seal, sewer gas will find its way out from under the toilet. If that’s the case, you’ll have to remove the toilet and replace the wax ring. If the toilet rocks, use plastic shims between the stool and the floor and caulk the joint. This will ensure that a rocking toilet doesn’t ruin the new wax ring.

Another thing that could be the reason for the sewer smell in your house is a broken or cracked sewer line or even a loose connection joint in the ceiling or buried in a wall.

The Takeaway

Now, If you’ve addressed the possibilities listed above, use your nose to start investigating, starting with all visible joints. If you can’t detect the leak, contact a plumber who specializes in hunting down leaks or basically just employ the services of a plumbing company as this will bring a final end to the sewer smell and give you a house that smells like home.

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