Sewer smells can be a major problem for homeowners. If you have a sewer smell, the first thing to do is to call an expert plumber. A plumber can help you eliminate it by treating the sewage system and providing solutions to prevent future issues.
- What Causes that Foul Smell
- 4 Plumber-Approved Sewer Smell Remedies
- Don’t Let Things Get Worse; Call a Plumber
What Causes that Foul Smell?
A combination of things usually causes the odor you are smelling. The most common cause for the smell is sewage backup in your drains or pipes. When this happens, it can lead to mold and mildew growth in walls and floors and cause health issues for those who live in the house. Other causes of sewer smells may also be present, such as:
Leaking pipes – Any leak in your pipes can cause a foul smell, especially if it comes from the bathroom or kitchen. Smells caused by leaking pipes are often easy to remedy, especially if you can locate the water leak and have it replaced or repaired.
Toilet issues – A buildup of solid waste, excess water, or inadequate flushing power can cause toilet problems that can make your home smell. If you smell sewage in your bathroom, check to see if the toilet has been clogged with toilet paper or other solid waste. If so, remove the blockage with a plunger or other plumbing tool.
Dead animal – Small animals, such as rodents, can sometimes find their way (and meet their death) in your sewer pipes. When this happens, it can cause a strong odor to permeate your home. The best way to remove this problem is by calling in a professional from a local plumber service.
3 Plumber-approved Sewer Smell Remedies
Sewer smells are a common problem, but they’re not easy to eliminate. You can’t just pour bleach down the drain and hope for the best. Sewer odors are caused by bacteria, which thrive in warm water. So even if you clean your entire house from top to bottom, you may still be left with an unpleasant smell.
The best person to help you get rid of the sewer smell is a plumber. But while waiting, you can also try these plumber-approved home remedies:
1. Unclog the drains
The first step to removing sewer smells is to unclog your drains. When you don’t have enough water flowing through your pipes, it can cause a backup into your home and create a stinky problem. Here are some simple ways you can unclog the drains at home:
- Run hot water down your drain once a week for about 15 minutes to keep it clear
- If your drains have a lot of hair and other gunk in them, use a plunger to force it out
- To clean the pipes, use a drain cleaner containing sodium hypochlorite, citric acid, and borax.
- If you live in an older home with no P-traps installed underneath the sink, install one yourself using a P-trap adapter kit (available at most hardware stores).
2. Pour hydrogen peroxide down the drain.
Hydrogen peroxide is also a great way to eliminate odors in your pipes. You can pour 1/8 cup of hydrogen peroxide down each drain and let it sit for 30 minutes before flushing it with hot water. This solution will kill any bacteria causing the odor and help freshen up your pipes, so they smell better. If you’re dealing with a stubborn drain that won’t budge, try using baking soda and vinegar.
3. Use salt, baking soda, and heated vinegar.
When vinegar and baking soda meet, they react in an explosive—though harmless—fashion. Remember that volcano experiment you did when you were a kid? When mixed together, you’ll get a “foamy” chemical reaction due to the production of carbon dioxide gas.
Based on a test conducted by the Good Housekeeping Institute, it was systemically proven that the combination of baking soda and vinegar could effectively eliminate odors and cut through grease. The recipe? Just mix 1/4 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and a cup of heated vinegar. Let the mixture stand for at least 15 minutes before flushing out with hot water. (Klahre, 2019)
The science behind this method is actually quite simple. Cleaning agents, like vinegar, will cut through and dissolve the grease if mixed with a base such as baking soda. Baking soda neutralizes and absorbs acid in order to create an alkaline environment. At the same time, salt, along with vinegar, serves as an abrasive to break down grime.
4. Use a deodorizer
A common home remedy for getting rid of sewer smell is to use a deodorizer. Deodorizers are designed to mask the smell temporarily. You can find them in the form of sprays, liquids, or granulated crystals that can be placed in your toilet bowl. They work by releasing a fresh scent into the air around you. However, this method is only effective if you use it after cleaning and flushing out your drain pipe with vinegar and baking soda solution.
Moreover, deodorizers only mask the smell and do not actually solve the root cause of the problem. If you want a long-term solution, it’s best to call a professional plumber to look at your plumbing system and identify the source of the odor. Plumbers can also show you how to prevent future drain smell problems. When plumbing problems arise, it’s important that you act quickly in order to avoid further damage and keep your home safe.
Don’t Let Things Get Worse; Call A Plumber
While it’s important to keep your drains clean and clear, this isn’t always enough. Sometimes, there’s too much gunk buildup in your pipes that you need some professional help.
For all your plumbing needs, Smelscer Plumbing is here for you. Our technicians are highly trained and experienced, so you can trust them to provide quality service. Whether you need a new pipe installed or your water lines repaired, we’re the company to call. We offer same-day service and free estimates, so you know exactly what kind of work will be done and how much it will cost before any work begins. We also offer trenchless sewer repair and slab leak repair services. So, if you have any questions about our services, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 254-749-7955 today.
 Klahre, Ayn-Monique. “What Really Happens When You Mix Baking Soda with Vinegar?,” Apartment Therapy, LLC., May 1, 2019. https://www.thekitchn.com/what-happens-when-you-mix-baking-soda-with-vinegar-253035.