Why do I smell sewer gas in my bathroom?

Bathrooms aren’t necessarily going to smell like roses all the time. However, if you start to notice that your bathroom is smelling awful for no apparent reason, it’s a problem. As plumbers, we get a lot of complaints about bathroom smells – mildew, mold, rotten eggs, sulfur, wet socks, and even (bleh) sewer gas. If you smell sewer gas in your bathroom, you’re probably wondering “why do I smell sewer gas in my bathroom? And what can I do about it?” Here are a few tips straight from our staff to you.

Possible Causes of Sewer Gas

The first step in eliminating the smell of sewer gas in your bathroom is to identify the cause or source of the odor. Before anything else, this has to be done or you’ll just be removing the symptom instead of the problem, and the sewer gas smell will continue to pop up. Here are some of the likely causes of sewer gas smell in your bathroom (trust us, we’ve seen it all):

  • Backed up sewer line
  • Cracked or rotting pipes
  • Clogged vent pipe
  • Poorly fitting pipe connections
  • Drain clogs
  • Poorly sealed toilet
  • Dry p-traps

If you’re unsure how to check for the above problems, don’t worry. That’s what your neighborhood plumber is for. Instead of attempting blind DIY maintenance, call a professional to help you uncover the source of your sewer gas bathroom problem.

What To Do If You Smell Sewer Gas

So you’ve established that you smell sewer gas in your bathroom – what’s next? Here are a few things you can do to help pinpoint the source of the odor. These steps will also help you to better describe your issue to your plumber if you’re unable to eliminate the odor yourself.

  1. Check where the smell is strongest.

Follow your nose and figure out which area of the house smells most strongly of sewer gas. Is it the shower drain? The toilet? The bathroom sink? It’s important to figure out which area is letting of the worst odor.

  1. Check your floor drains.

When diagnosing sewer gas smells, we often find that floor drains are the culprit. Often times, the rubber water seals have dried out, cracked, or otherwise deteriorated and are no longer keeping the sewage smell at bay. Simply replacing this seal can fix the issue.

  1. Try baking soda and white vinegar.

If you need a quick fix, try pouring baking soda and vinegar down your drain and letting it sit for an hour. This can neutralize odors while you or your plumber works on finding a long-term solution to your sewer gas problem.

Call a Pro for Your Sewer Gas Problem

Last but not least, we recommend that you call a professional plumber whenever you are experiencing prolonged sewer gas smells in your bathroom. Sewer gas won’t kill you, but it’s definitely not good to be breathing it in for a long period of time. A local plumber can help you with a video inspection, sewer drain clearing, or if necessary, sewer replacement.