Help! My House Smells Like Sewage

Help! My House Smells Like Sewage

A foul smell permeating throughout your home is never a good sign. But all-too-often, homeowners think they know where it’s coming from, only to discover they’re wrong. 

The unpleasant smell of sewage in your home can come from a myriad of things – not just your toilet. And the truth is, this could indicate a much broader problem than you think. 

If your house smells like sewage and you cannot get to the bottom of the smell, here are some of the most common places to look.

My House Smells Like Sewage: What Could Be the Cause?

Living with that rotten egg smell in your home is bad enough, but did you know that it could also affect your health? 

The primary element behind the foul smell is methane gas, which is also hazardous to your health as it’s flammable and toxic to inhale.

If left unchecked, this methane gas could completely permeate your home and lead to health issues such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and more.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t ignore unusual smells in your home – especially those that stink like sewage. Here’s what could be causing it: 

1. Sewer Line Breach Issues 

Your sewer line is vulnerable to several things. A buildup of debris or overgrown tree roots could lead to clogs. Additionally, poor soil conditions could cause the line to sink. These factors could cause your sewer line to crack and leak sewage into your drains. Aside from these underlying issues, the most common sign would be the presence of sewage in the drains outside your home, so check there first. 

Otherwise, check for clogged or backed-up toilets, gurgling drains, or pest problems. If you discover any of these issues, you’ll need professional help to fix a breached sewer line. 

2. An Overflowing Garbage Disposal

There’s nothing like the stench of rotting food coming from a backed-up garbage disposal. Think about the last time you emptied the disposal and whether you maintain it at all. Poor disposal maintenance could be the root cause of the sewage smell in your home.

Additionally, food waste can cling to the inside of disposal and cause an unpleasant stench over time. So make sure you’re rinsing it thoroughly. Do a good clean of the disposal unit too, but remember to unplug it first! Baking soda and vinegar do the trick. 

3. P-Trap Problems 

A p-trap is the u-shaped bend in the pipes which carry water and waste away from your sinks, toilets, showers, and other plumbing fixtures. The purpose of a p-trap is to hold enough water to prevent sewer gas and odor so that it does not travel up your drain.

Sometimes, the p-trap dries out. When this happens, it makes for the perfect environment for sewer gas to collect and toxify your home with a putrid smell. It is common in toilets, showers, or sinks that aren’t used very often. Make sure to cycle the water regularly to avoid p-trap issues and sewage stench. 

4. A Build-Up of Biofilm 

Biofilm is a buildup of bacteria that clings to the waste that goes down our drains. It may sound gross, but this is the nature of drain systems. It’s most often found in showers and sinks because products like soap, shampoo, and creams leave a film that coats your piping. Biofilm grows on top of this, and it can cause terrible sewage smells. 

You need to clean out this buildup of bacteria in your shower or sink piping with natural cleaner. First, pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain and let it sit for at least two hours. Then rinse thoroughly with hot water.

5. Toilet Vent Pipe Issues

If the sewage smell is coming from your toilet, it may be the exterior of the toilet, not necessarily the inside. Most commonly, you could have issues with an improperly installed or cut vent pipe.

The vent pipe of your toilet serves to regulate the air pressure in your plumbing system. It carries foul odors away from your home and not into it. If a vent pipe is installed incorrectly or damaged somehow, this could leak sewage odors into your home.

If you suspect this is the problem, it’s best to call in a professional who can diagnose and fix the issue for you. 

6. Bacteria Buildup in Your Water Heater 

If you notice the putrid smell of sewage whenever you turn on your hot water tap, this is a sign of bacteria buildup. Bacteria colonies have a way of setting up camp inside water heaters if the temperature is kept too low for too long, or the water heater is unused.

This bacteria is not harmful to humans, but it can cause a terrible rotten egg smell which could carry throughout your home. To fix this issue, increase the temperature of your water heater for 24 hours. Then run the hot taps out to flush out the remaining bacteria.

7. Your Water is Contaminated

foul smelling waterNow, if your water stinks whether it runs hot or cold out of the taps, this is a sign of possible hydrogen sulfide contamination. This mineral produces a strong sulfur smell, which typically smells like a rotten egg. 

Hydrogen sulfide is only toxic in massive amounts, and generally, this issue is easy to detect before it becomes a real problem. If hydrogen sulfide levels accumulate over 1-2 parts per million, you’ll be able to smell it right away. 

To accurately diagnose this issue, you’ll need to hire the help of a local water testing expert first!

When Your House Smells Like Sewage, Pro Plumbers are Just a Click or Call Away 

If your house smells like sewage and you can’t figure out why, do not delay! Call in the services of Millwood Plumbing, and our experts will gladly inspect your home to uncover the root of the problem. 

Do you suspect serious plumbing issues that require attention? Don’t hesitate to get in touch sooner rather than later! 

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