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How To Remedy Sewer Smell In Your Home

Plumber unclogging toilet with professional force pump cleaner.

Is there a toxic sewer-like smell in your house? This could be the sewer gas escaping from the drainage system. Besides being repulsive, the odor contains methane and bacteria that can be dangerous to your general health. Hence, it could lead to headaches and other serious illnesses. To make matters even worse, high concentrations of methane gas are flammable and can cause explosions. Therefore, if you suspect a sewer smell in your house, it’s best to have it solved as soon as possible.

Professional plumber installing or fixing a sink at home

What Causes Sewer Smell?

Sewer smell can be a result of different types of problems in your drainage system, including:

  • A clogged drain,
  •  A dry tap,
  • Sewer back-up,
  • Loose-fitting pipe connection,
  • Leaks from rotted or cracked drain pipes,
  • Old toilet’s wax ring, and
  • Too short vent pipe.

Fortunately, in some cases, you don’t have to call the plumber as you can apply some do-it-yourself (DIY) remedies. Hence, read more to understand how you can eliminate sewer smell from different parts of your drainage system.

Use A Plunger

A simple plunger could be all you need to eliminate the sewer odor in your home. A plunger helps unclog drains as it eliminates sewer odors and toilet bad smell. However, you’ll need the right plunger for the job since they are designed differently for different kinds of sinks and toilets. Luckily, these plungers are easily located and available at your local store.

Snake Your Drain

You can also use a plumbing snake to unclog the drain. You can get one from major hardware, and it’s easy to use. However, if you find it hard to use, search tutorials online or seek a plumber’s help.

Apply Hot Water

If the sewer smell results from a clogged drain, try pouring hot water into the location where the odor is coming from. Plain water is safe, non-toxic, and dissolves grease. When the grease clogging the drain is dissolved, the sewer gas is unlikely to seep into your home.

Pour Baking Soda And Vinegar

If there’s still some stench, pouring half a cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of vinegar, and hot water ten minutes later can also help unclog the drainage. After clearing the drainage, the sewer odor will start to disappear.

Remedies For Sewer Smell From Different Parts Of Your Drainage System

It’s also wise to try to pinpoint where the sewer smell is coming from and act accordingly. Some of the common parts where the smell might come from and its remedy includes:

  • Check Dry Drain Traps: If you check under your kitchen sink, there’s a U-shaped pipe. The pipe is designed in a shape to hold some water, hence preventing sewer gas from seeping into your house. The U-shaped tube is also located under bathtubs and shower drains. If the water doesn’t run through these pipes often, they are bound to get dry, allowing the sewer gas to enter your home. Luckily, you can solve this problem by running water or pouring a gallon into the drain to ensure that the trap doesn’t dry out.
  • Replace Old Toilet’s Wax Ring: The toilet’s wax ring is located between the flange and the toilet. It provides a tight seal to help in two ways. First, it prevents water leakage during flashing, and second, it prevents sewer gas from seeping into your home. A toilet wax ring can last up to 30 years. Nevertheless, they require replacement to continue working efficiently. You can do it yourself or contact a professional sewer contractor to do the job.
  • Fix Broken Drain Pipe: Broken or cracked drain pipes can also cause a sewer odor to enter your home. If this is the case, contact a professional plumber since this isn’t a DIY project. The plumber can either repair or replace the pipe to solve the issue.
  • Unclog The Vent Pipes: Leaves, debris, and snow after a storm could clog the vent pipe allowing the build-up of sewer smell in your home. To solve a sewer smell resulting from this problem, ensure your vent pipes aren’t clogged to enjoy fresh air in your home.


Sewer smells can be a result of different drain problems. Therefore, the key to solving it is in understanding its cause. For instance, you can’t solve a sewer smell resulting from a broken drain pipe as you would with a clogged sink. That being said, it’s essential to know different ways to solve sewer smells coming from different locations.

Written by Simpson

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