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Why Does My Bathroom Smell Like Sewage?

Having a clean, tidy, and pleasantly smell bathroom is something everyone likes. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. You might notice the stench after using the toilet. The foul smell can also occur if you’ve got a pile of unwashed laundry in your bathroom. However, if you notice the sewer smell in the bathroom, there might be a problem with the drains. Sometimes, sewer odors in the bathroom can be so irritating that even the ventilation or the air fresheners can’t help.

Below are some of the reasons why your bathroom could be having sewage smells and several quick fixes you can use to eliminate the odors.

1. Dry Floor-Waste Drain

Generally, bathrooms have floor waste in the middle of the room. The floor waste will always be round, with a chrome grate that flushes with the tiled floor in the middle. You can find the shower waste in the main grated waste in modern bathrooms, and it looks like a wet room design.

To avoid sewage gas odors in your shower room, make sure the shower waste has a water seal at the bottom. A water seal will help prevent the sewer gases from accessing your bathroom through the grate. It is highly unlikely for the floor waste to become dry if you normally use the bathroom more often. However, if that’s not the case, it is best to check the level of water by shining a torch down the grate. If the floor waste is completely dry, then that might be the reason why your bathroom has sewage odors.

Try fixing the issue by pouring a bucket of water down the drains to restore the water seal back. Once the seal gets restored, you will notice that the bathroom will smell less. If you restore it and the problem persists, get a plumbing contractor to investigate the problem’s main cause.

Shampoos, soaps, hair, and bodily fluids are some of the main causes of floor waste blockage and unpleasant smells. Drain-cleaning helps in removing the sludge from the bottom of the trap. But to protect the environment, insert fittings such as grate seats to prevent the sewage smell from finding its way into your bathroom.

2. Dry P-trap

The P-trap is a U-shaped pipe found underneath the sink. If the P-trap dries up, your bathroom might begin to smell. Generally, there is always a small amount of water trapped in the P-trap. The trapped water prevents sewer gases from seeping into the bathroom.

If your taps become dry because you do not use them regularly, the P-traps will also dry out with time. That means that the barrier that prevents sewer gasses from accessing your shower room is no longer there. As a result, you will have sewer smells in the bathroom. The good news is that solving the problem is pretty easy and fast.

Open your tap and let the water flow for around ten minutes to refill your P-trap. Using baking soda can also help eliminate the unpleasant odor. However, if the bathroom smell persists, engage a plumber because the problem might be coming from another place.

3. Wax Ring Problem

The wax ring at the base of your toilet is important because it creates a seal between the toilet bowl and the drain pipe. The wax ring might get damaged, especially if your plumber didn’t install the toilet bowl correctly. As a result, the toilet might begin leaking, and you may end up with water on the floor. The leakage also brings awful sewer smells in the bathroom. Before replacing the wax ring, make sure you empty the toilet to avoid the wastewater spread in the house.

If repairing the wax ring is not an option, scraping the floor off will be the only solution. Put on rubber gloves for protection and use cleaning products to get rid of all wastewater traces. After cleaning the floor, install a new wax ring and put back the toilet bowl.

4. Sink Overflow Odors

Sinks can be another reason for sewage gas odors in your shower room. That’s because clogs can occur at the pipe, drying out your P-trap. Again, if the sink’s overflow mechanism accumulates grime with time and the buildup might cause awful sewer smells in your house. Try scrubbing your sink’s overflow hole with a brush and hot water to remove the grime.

5. Vent Pipe Issues

A P-trap usually connects to a certain pipe that stretches out to your wall and later through the roof. Generally, the vent outlet serves as the outlet for annoying sewer smells. It also allows fresh air in the bathroom. If the pipe is vented to the wrong position, you might notice some sewerage gas odors in the shower room and house. If the odor appears like it’s originating from your walls, your vent pipe might be the issue.

The pipes might also get clogged from an array of outside elements like leaves or birds’ nests. They may also have some cracks that let in the foul smell in your house. If there is a problem with your vent pipes, you may not identify the main problem yourself. Contact a professional plumber to inspect, identify and solve the issue.

6. Cracked Sewer Line

Cracks in your sewer line can also cause awful smells in your house and bathroom. A broken line or loose connection joints are also other culprits that might lead to sewerage gas odors. If you detect some leakages in your home’s sewer line, contact your plumbing professional to inspect your drainage system and make all the necessary repairs.

7. Bad Bacteria

Your sewerage system harbors lots of bad bacteria. These micro-organisms can cling to your toilet bowls and even start multiplying if they find their way to the toilets. That is especially evident during hot seasons that support bacteria growth. However, you can eliminate the bacteria by utilizing bleach. Instead of using the bleach around the toilet’s bowl only, you can also put some into your flush valve or overflow pipe to eliminate all these micro-organisms.


There are many reasons why you might be experiencing sewage gas smells in your home, but these are the common culprits. You can easily solve the issue by implementing the above-mentioned quick fixes. However, if you try these solutions and the sewer smells persist, you can call a professional from We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air for assistance. It would be best if you never ignored sewage odors in your house or bathroom. Apart from being extremely uncomfortable, they can also affect your general health and that of your family members.

Our team of plumbing experts will not only pinpoint the real cause of the smell; these professionals also have the professional tools, many years of experience, and know-how to eradicate the menace for good. Hiring us will not only solve your issue more effectively, but we will also inspect your plumbing system to check its reliability and integrity to help you avoid bigger problems in the future.

Our plumbing company also offers furnace repairs, AC maintenance & repairs, air quality assessments, ductless mini-splits, air conditioner replacements, zone control, re-piping, and many other services. If you are looking for professional plumbing service in Southern California, our team of NATE-certified experts will professionally handle any issue you have. Contact us today to troubleshoot the annoying sewage smell in your house, and we will help you restore your home’s comfort.

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