Kaitlyn Schott

By: Kaitlyn Schott on December 3rd, 2021

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The Top 6 Reasons Why You Smell Sewage in Your Home

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You’re enjoying your day around the house when a horrible stench hits your nostrils—that lingering sewage smell. No matter how much you clean, you always catch a whiff of it. You’ve tried everything you can think of, and nothing worked. You’re grossed out, overwhelmed, and fed up. Where is it coming from?

At Monkey Wrench Plumbing, we’ve helped many people in the LA area solve gross smells in their homes, so we know we can help you fix yours.  

By the end of this article, I promise you will know why you should solve sewer smell issues promptly, the top 6 reasons why you’re smelling sewage in your home, and how to solve them.


So, What Causes That Sewer Smell?

What is that gross rotten egg smell? Well, its scientific name is hydrogen sulfide gas. This smelly gas comes from:

  • Decaying food
  • Urine
  • Feces

That’s right! Sewage isn’t just your #2 business. When your plumbing is working correctly, any

gross smells will go through your home’s vent system that comes out of your roof. When your plumbing is not working correctly, you’ll smell it. If you smell it, you have a serious health hazard on your hands.

Sewage leaks can expose you to harmful microorganisms that can cause:

  • Fever
  • Infection
  • Diarrhea 
  • Allergic reactions

And that’s just to start with, so if you smell sewage, act quickly.


6 Top Causes Of Sewer Smell Around Your House

How do you act quickly? By knowing what can cause sewer smells.  There are six main reasons why you’re smelling sewage in your home. They are: 

  1. Loose or missing sewer trap plug
  2. Dried out P trap
  3. Clogged P trap
  4. Broken toilet seals
  5. Clogged vents
  6. Sewer line breaks

Let me explain these in more detail and give you some solutions.


1. Loose or Missing Sewer Trap Plug

One easy reason you may be smelling sewer gas is a loose or missing sewer trap plug. Every home has a sewer access point. This point allows you to access where the public sewer meets your sewer line. If this access point isn’t securely sealed with a plug, sewer smells will leak out.

Thankfully this problem is an easy fix that your plumber can take care of for you. Call them today to get this fix and stop smelling that awful smell.


2. Dried Out P Trap

A P trap is a P-shaped pipe that holds a small amount of water. As weird as this sounds, it’s actually a good thing to have this water. The trap blocks sewer smells from coming up through your pipes. If this trap becomes dried out, you’ll get gross smells coming into your home.

Dried-out P traps usually occur in homes where the water is not run often, like guest homes, vacation houses, and so on. Sometimes this problem is solved by running your water. Running your water will refill the pipe with the appropriate amount of water. If this method doesn’t fix your issue, proceed to the next item in this list. 


3. Clogged P Traps

Another issue P traps can encounter that leads to sewage smells is clogging. Hair, soap, dirt, and even jewelry can get caught in your pipe. When these things sit in your drain, they’ll decay and cause foul odors.

To unclog your P trap, you can use a snake. A snake is a machine that clears drains with a specialized chord and tip. If a snake doesn’t unclog your P trap, you can remove it with a pair of channel locks and clean it by hand. If your sewer smell is still not fixed after this step, call a plumber to help you out.


4. Broken Toilet Seals

A wax ring seals the connection between your toilet and the ground. Yes, the kind you’re thinking of right now. This seal can get brittle or collapse due to wear and tear or age. For example, does your toilet rock when you sit on it? That can cause the seal to break.

Once a seal is damaged, you’ll get some flushed water pooling under your toilet. And what does that flushed water have in it? Gross stuff. To solve this problem, remove the toilet and replace the wax seal. You can do this yourself or with the help of a plumber.


5. Clogged Vents

Your house has vents on the roof that lets sewer gas escape. If an animal or debris gets into the vent pipe, the smells will have nowhere to go. Instead, they will flow back into the house.

To fix a clogged vent, you can get on your roof to remove the clog by hand. Call a plumber to assist you if you’re having difficulty or the clog is out of reach.


6. Sewer Line Breaks

A serious reason you could be having sewer smells is due to a broken sewer line. You can get sewer line breaks by:

  • Cleaning frequently - If you use chemical drain cleaners or hydro-jet your pipes too often (using pressurized water to fix blockages), your lines will become weak and break.
  • Earthquakes - Intense shifts in the earth can cause lines to unhook and leak.
  • Parking over lines - If you park on your lawn, your pipes will slowly collapse due to the weight.
  • Old age - Nothing lasts forever. In rare cases, piping can weaken due to old age.

If you have a sewer line issue, call a plumber to fix it ASAP.


Getting Rid of That Sewer Stink

If you get a stinky aroma in your house, you can’t afford to wait to fix it. Otherwise, you can endanger your health. Whatever’s causing your problem, you or a plumber can fix it.

Want to find out more about stinky issues? Read these articles to learn more about your plumbing.

Need help fixing your problem? Call us at (310) 853-8690  because we’re #1 at dealing with #2 problems.