If you have the misfortune to have a sewer smell in your house or yard and you are concerned at the terrible odor and potential health problems then read on for some simple solutions to remove the smell.
Locate the source of the sewage odor by looking for a broken pipe outside or under your house. If you find raw sewage in the soil then repair and treat residues with Lime to remove the odor. If you find a pipe or an outlet producing sewage smell pour 1 pint of disinfectant containing alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride as the base ingredient to remove the odor.
The Top Causes of Sewage Smell in Your Home and How to Remove the Odor
The smell of sewage is one of the worst home smells that you can experience. It often occurs when a sewer line is leaking, or even during a storm event where heavy rain forces contaminants through the sewer pipe and into your home. The good news is that there are ways to remove sewage smell from your house!
We will go over the common causes of sewage smell in a home and how to remove them.
Sewage gas smell can lead to methane accumulation, which threatens the health of your family so always be safe and call a professional to take care of the problem or use the methods below.
Please treat sewer gas odor with extreme caution as it can be highly flammable. It is not just the odor that is a problem.
What are the common causes of sewer smell in house?
Sewer smell in house may occur when you have an old or damaged pipe, which is leaking around the sealant joint or wax ring and allowing sewer gas smell into your home. The smell can only get stronger if it’s left untreated for too long so make sure to schedule a professional plumbing service.
Sewer gas smell has a similar odor to hydrogen sulfide and this is often noticeable in p traps so it can be easy to detect where the smell is coming from. Its like rotten egg and that is a bad smell in anybody’s language.
Does Your House Smell Like A Sewer?
If you have the sewer gas smell in your house then it may be coming from your bathroom or kitchen and can indicate a broader issue than just a backed-up plumbing problem.
If you can smell sewer gas it could come from a dried-out P-trap, or a broken vent pipe. If it’s untreated, sewage gases can leak high amounts of methane into your home.
These gases can make you sick, lead to headaches, nausea and vomiting. The problem may be as simple as running some water from the faucet or venting vent pipes. However, sometimes, only a professional can fix a sewage problem.
The most challenging part of taking care of a sewer smell is determining where it’s coming from. In this post, we’ll explore a few of the issues that often accompany sewer smells and what can be done about those problems. If you have a sewer gas smell in your home, you could be experiencing migraines, respiratory problems, sleepiness, and nausea.
What Causes the Smell of Sewer Gas?
There are a few different things that can lead to sewage smell in your home, including:
- Excess water from sinks, showers, or tubs going down half blocked drains and the debris gets trapped so your house smells like a sewer (this is an issue for those who have older homes)
- Food particles left in a waste disposal unit or debris caught in a P trap
- Debris such as wet wipes, cotton balls, and other paper products used in a bathroom and flushed unsuccessfully down the toilet which end up blocking waste in the pipe.
What Can You Do about Sewage Smell?
The good news is that sewage smell can be dealt with. A licensed plumber should be able to install a backwater valve which will prevent water from coming up through your drains.
Here are some tips if the house smells like smelly drains
- Air the area out first. Open windows for at least an hour to allow air circulation. The fresh air will help remove any lingering odors
- Place bowls of baking soda in various places around your home (under sinks or by toilets) for about 30 minutes to absorb odor
- – Deep clean the area
- Use a vacuum cleaner combined with an air freshener to thoroughly clean up any left over dirt and grime. The smell can be removed by using bleach or cleaning wipes as well.
- – Remove anything that’s wet from storage areas
- If you store clothes, bedding, linens in damp areas then ensure that these items are moved to a dry and well-ventilated place.
- – Check the sewage drain lines on your property for leaks or blockages If you have any of the signs, then it is time to call in professional help! Sewage leak detection kits can be found at most hardware stores as well as online. Be wary if
Odors From Your Shower Drain
If you notice a foul sewer smell in your bathroom, examine the drain in your shower.
Bathroom smells typically are caused by one of two issues: biofilm accumulation or a problem with your P-trap.
A smelly shower drain can also be the source of a smelly drain. Check out your bathroom for any leaks or drips. Use a plunger to help eliminate the sewer gas smell in your shower.
Biofilm accumulation in your shower occurs when organic material such as hair and soap scum builds up on the inside of pipes, especially near drains where it can become wet, slimy, and smelly due to warm water temperatures. Biofilms are another name for minor particles that form loose debris and are the possible causes of sewer gas odor.
A blocked or dry p trap under your kitchen or bathroom sink
A P trap is a U-shaped pipe designed to trap and hold water to stop the stench from the sewer pipe from entering the home via the sink waste flange. When it is working correctly, the water should be held back to prevent gases and odors from the sewer to creep up into your drain pipe. The sewer odors (hydrogen sulfide) come from the sewer line if the water pressure in the pipes isn’t there to seal off any air gaps that would allow sewage gas leaks into the room.
When this system becomes clogged or fails to function properly the bad smell will escape.
The issue in these two areas of your home are people forget how narrow the pipes can be and flush all sorts of debris down the drain and over time these build up and stop the pipes and p trap from working properly.
Try pouring a quart of boiling water into the drains in your home, including the sink and the toilet and let that run through the system. Sometimes the buildup is fat and this will break it down. If the odor remains after running water through all drains, you are probably dealing with an old or leaky P trap.
Contact a professional plumber to examine and replace your P trap. People often use drain unblockers too but these typically need gravity to work and the U part of the pipe can affect the performance. Bleach will also kill bacteria but not necessarily break down fats so a combination of bleach and hot water sometimes works. Check for leaks underneath the sink first.
If the P trap is dripping it may need tightening or a new seal
How to Get Rid of Sewer Gas Smell
Sewer gas odor may be escaping from a shower drain due to concentrations of methane gas coming from a waste trap. Try tipping bleach down the drain first and see if that removes the smell. If the sewer smell is removed we know that the odor is caused by the water down the drain being stagnant due to poor flow. Or potentially the floor drain has buildup in it producing hydrogen sulfide odor and hey presto, your house smells like rotten eggs before you can say p trap.
Pour bleach into the drain which should sort it out temporarily however if odors persist in your drains pipes you may have plumbing problems and that is what causes the smell in your house.
If the smell persists, call in a professional plumber to fix it if it continues to smell bad, especially when there is a problem that can be easily checked and simply solved
How to fix a broken sewage pipe.
Locate the source of the sewage odor by looking for a broken pipe outside or under your house. If you find raw sewage in the soil then repair and treat residues with Lime to remove the odor. If you have a septic tank then flooding of the septic tank will cause the same issue and cause loose debris to be exposed which could allow toxic gases to permeate living areas. Water will rise and force debris out. If you find a pipe leading to a sewer line or an outlet producing hydrogen sulfide sewage smell pour 1 pint of disinfectant containing alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride as the base ingredient.
Smells like sewage outside my house. How to fix?
Unfortunately from time to time a sewer pipe breaks under the soil, and then feces and other waste seeps into the yard. The waste seeps through soil and often is smelt inside the house through the flooring or concrete base.
Plumbers are required to fix the pipe breakage (often pipes are damaged by tree roots and need replacing) and once the pipe is repaired the residues in the soil need treating.
Find the source of the contamination first if possible or just call a plumber in to investigate.
Once the pipe is repaired clean up sewage spill under house or in your yard by covering the area with Lime. A generous dose is required and the affected area should be entirely covered.
Lime for sewage cleanup is very effective however care needs to be taken as Lime is very corrosive to the skin and should be handled with care. Wear eye protection and gloves at all times and do not let pets or children walk in the area for at least 48 hours.
Lime will consume the waste matter very quickly and then break down residues and become one with the soil.
Lime also removes the odor instantly which is handy if the odor is getting inside the house and if the house smells like sewage also.
WARNING KEEP ANIMALS OFF AND CHILDREN as lime is very corrosive and will damage those that come in contact with it.
You need to cordon the area of and put signs up with WARNING HYDRATED LIME PRESENT. DO NOT ENTER.
The lime will break down the feces very quickly and remove the odor.
Do not inhale Lime and pellets although more expensive can be easier to handle in confined spaces.
Why does it smell like poop outside my house?
Poop smells outside your house come from broken sewage pipes underground or from flooded sewage systems which will lead to waste material making its way to the surface of your yard. The easiest way to deal with this is to treat with Lime powder first and see if that removes the odor. If the odor pesists call a plumber and get them to investigate the issue. Flooding or overrun problems from a sewage system are easily fixed and generally happen infrequently.
Why does it smell like rotten eggs outside?
Sulphur odors (rotten egg smell) comes from bacteria that have no contact with Oxygen. Examples of this you may see in your yard is weeds and dead plants that are wet and located inside an enclosed container. When the container is opened the smell is very similar to rotten eggs and quite offensive. To remove the rotten egg smell the best cause of treatment is to pour a disinfectant containing alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride inside the drain area which will kill the bacteria and the smell will disappear instantly.
How to Remove Residual Sewer Smells using Ozone Gas
The easiest and simplest way to remove residual sewage smell in house is to blast the odor with an Ozone Machine which will instantly kill the sewer gas smell. Ozone is very effective for odor removal and can boost the whole process plus sterilize your whole home
We recommend this machine as an entry level quality unit. Click here for more information
Instructions for use on sewage smell.
Step One: Remove Pets and ensure everybody is out of the house
Step Two: Set up your machine in a central location with an extension cord.
Step Three: Plug the extension cord into a power outlet closest to the main entrance
Step Four: Turn machine on and run for 4 hours
Step Five: Come back to the house and turn ozone machine off
Step Six: Wait 30 minutes then return to the house and open all windows to remove gas
To see our Ozone Machine Reviews click here
What makes sewage smell so bad?
Sewage inside a pipe is known as Non-sporing strictly anaerobic bacteria and comes from human faecal matter anaerobic bacteria does not require oxygen to survive. Once the sewage is exposed to oxygen that bacteria produces a vile odor as the oxygen starts the oxidization process of breaking down the bacteria which can take a very long time if the contamination is sever.
What causes sewage smell in a bathroom?
The sewage smell in a bathroom can come from the drain pipe and could be connected to a more serious issue such as raw sewage under house. Its important to detect if the odor is sewage or a sulfur smell in which case it is not caused by a broken sewer pipe but rather a drain that needs cleaning and contains particles that are trapped in the pipe and not getting a oxygen supply to break them down which produces hydrogen sulfide odors and in turn a foul sulfur smell in your bathroom drain and around the floor area of your bathroom. (see our recommendation here of how to get rid of a sulphur smell in your bathroom pipes.)