7 Causes of a Sewer Smell in the Bathroom

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When you start noticing sewer odors in your home, the only way to resolve the problem is to clean sink, shower, or toilet drain lines. Bathrooms are prone to drainage issues and are where your plumbing system has its highest demand. A sewer smell in the bathroom can also mean potentially toxic sewer gases and bacteria are present. Here are 7 causes of odors from sewer lines that you may encounter in the bathroom.

1. The P-Trap Has Gone Dry

Each bathroom sink or drain has a P-trap, a U-shaped plumbing element that traps water to block sewer smells from reaching the interior of your home. A P-trap can dry out if you don’t use the sink much. If the pipe is operational, then resolving this problem may be easy. It can be fixed by running the sink faucet for a minute. Some water will remain in the P-trap and block the sewer gases, unless there’s a clog or other problem.

2. A Shower Drain Has Clogged Up

Every time you shower, small amounts of soap, hair, dead skin, and other stuff may build up in the shower drain. Over time, this can lead to complete blockages. But before then, you may start to notice sewer smells. A clogged drain can emit foul odors and flood your shower or even your bathroom. The material can be too deep to reach on your own; and attempting to can risk causing more damage.

3. The Toilet Is Damaged

Sewer gas can leak from the toilet if the wax seal at its base is loose. Gases can escape through tiny gaps. Low water levels in the toilet’s P-trap can be caused by cracks in the bowl and water leaks. As a result, sewer gases can get into your bathroom. Water pooling next to the toilet is not a good sign. Damaged seals must be replaced or repaired by adding caulking to keep sewer odors at bay.

4. A Vent Pipe Is Broken or Clogged

Vent pipes keep sewer gases flowing in the right direction. If the vent pipe is broken or clogged, sewer smells may result. An improperly installed pipe can cause trouble as well. If the odor is coming from the vent pipe, you may hear a bubbling sound from the toilet or drain. Poor installation or a solid object blocking the vent are best handled by a professional plumber.

5. Sewer Line Backup

A common cause of sewer smells in your bathroom, a sewer backup can happen for many reasons. It can occur after heavy rain. Low water pressure can cause sewer gases trapped in the lines to back up. You don’t have much control over what happens in sewer lines. However, it can help to install a backflow valve, which prevents sewer water from backing up. Oftentimes the cause of a backup is an issue in your city’s sewer system.

6. The Septic Tank Is Full

If you have a septic system, a sewer odor in your bathroom may mean the septic tank is full. After all, it is directly connected to your drainage system, providing a path for sewer odors to reach your home. In addition, your toilet and drains may become noisy and you might notice slow flushing. Draining the septic tank and routinely checking its levels can prevent issues.

7. A Buildup of Bacteria

An abundance of water and nutrients creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. These microorganisms multiply more rapidly when it is hot, so you might notice more bathroom sewer odors in the summer. While bleach can eliminate bacteria, it can be hard to reach sewer lines where foul odors are coming from, so you may need a professional to correct unhealthy conditions.

Contact Hays Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

If you have a sewer smell in the bathroom, contact us for drain cleaning, sewer repair, or other necessary plumbing services. We provide high-quality plumbing, air conditioning, and heating services across Phoenix. Continue browsing to learn more about our special offers and financing. To request help with sewer odors, schedule service online or call 602-497-2457 today.