Sewer Odor in the Home


One of the worst odors that a home can have is a sewer smell. Even if you keep your home fastidiously clean and maintained, every once in awhile something can happen to your toilet or its various parts. Pinpointing and fixing the problem is urgent. Fortunately, it generally takes only a moderate amount of time and effort.

Traps and Vents

  • In plumbing, traps and vents are intended to keep the sewer smells that commonly fill these pipes from invading your home. This system gives piping its normal serpentine shape. The section of your pipe that dips lowest to the ground is the trap, as it is intended to be filled with water at all times. The water acts as a buffer, stopping the sewer gas from entering your home and forcing it, instead, to leave through a vent at the back of the piping. If your trap is damaged, or your vent is blocked, you may experience issues with these noxious odors until they are remedied.

Toilet Leak

  • The odor may be emanating from the point where your toilet meets the ground. There's a wax seal there. It's intended to keep liquid and sewer gas from entering your space. If you smell sewer gas, inspect the base of your toilet, and look for signs of wear. If you find some, it is possible that the seal has broken.

Missing Plug

  • If the space from which your sewer odor is emanating has a floor drain, you could be missing a plug. Under the grate that covers your floor drain, there should be a plug that lets water through but keeps gases out. If this plug is missing, you have found your culprit. By replacing the plug you can solve your odor issue.

Cracked Sewer Line

  • Although you likely give it very little attention, every structure has a sewer line leading from the house to the sanitation system. If you inspect all other sources and find no issues, your sewer line may have cracked. Because the sewer line is often difficult to get to, you will need the help of a professional to remedy the problem.

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