Why My Bathroom Smells Like Sewage – Expert Plumber Explains

A sewage smell in your bathroom is always a big deal because of discomfort and potential health hazards.

Why Does My Bathroom Smell Like Sewage? Your bathroom smells like sewage because the toilet seal has been broken, allowing waste substances to seep through cracks. This leakage leads to the growth of bacteria that release gases, causing the sewage stench.

Hoffman Brothers, a Missouri-based plumbing company mentions that a sewage smell in your bathroom can be caused by gas that is escaping through a faulty toilet seal.

How Do I Get Rid of Sewer Smell in My Bathroom?

To get rid of the sewer smell in your bathroom, you will need to track down the source and sort it out, mostly by unclogging the debris that is feeding the bacteria in the drain.

Sewer odors in your bathroom can occur for assorted reasons and determining the source of the odor can be difficult. Fortunately, once the source of the problem has been identified, it is often simple and inexpensive to remove the sewage smell.

Some of the common causes of Sewer Smell includes:

  • Clogged Drains
  • Leaks
  • Blocked Air Vents
  • Cracked Pipes
  • Loose Toilets
  • Dry Plumbing

The simplest and most probable cause of sewage odor is a clog in the drain, as the clog itself can become smelly. A plunger can often clear the clog, but if that fails, a more sophisticated tool, such as a drain snake or hydro-jetter, may be used to remove it.

Also, sewage smell in bathroom connections is most likely to occur in bathrooms with rarely used fixtures, such as the sink in a guest bathroom or the tub in a bathroom with a separate shower.

The problem in these cases is that the water has simply evaporated due to inactivity, causing the barrier between your bathroom and the gases in the sewer system to develop an unpleasant odor.

If this is the case, simply running some water will allow the P-trap to fill up again to counteract the gases in the line and prevent sewer smell.

The P-trap is a section of your drain line that clogs and prevents the transfer of sewer gases back into your home.

However, if there is still a sewage odor after running plenty of water, or if you notice a sewage odor in a frequently used bathroom, you should look for leaks in or around the P-trap. Sewage gases seep in through leaks, creating an observable problem that can be resolved.

If the above suggestions do not lead you to the source of the sewage smell, you may be dealing with a more complicated problem that necessitates the assistance of a Plumber.

I conducted an analysis of results that were left in forums to determine the most probable causes of the sewage smell in a bathroom. This will help you to do a quick verification of your problem by starting with the most expected cause to the least probable cause.

What was the cause of your sewage smell in your bathroom?Percentage of total responses
Caulking around the toilet was missing.14%
There had been a drill hole in the vent pipe.29%
If the sink has not been used for a long time, the trap dries out allowing fumes to enter the bathroom.57%
data derived from various online DIY forums

Why Does My Bathroom Smell Like Sewage When It Has Rained?

Your bathroom smells like sewage when it has rained because rain causes changes in atmospheric pressure, which can cause the air to become heavy, resulting in the release of unpleasant odors or other factors, resulting in chronic sewage odors after a rainfall.

To buttress more, there are some causative reasons why sewage smells after rainfall:

  • Bacteria and Biodegradable Waste

The bacteria and decomposing waste in the sewer system are the first and most common causes of a sewer odor in your bathroom after rainfall. Most sewers are made up of a mixture of moisture, human waste, and drainage, which can produce a foul odor.

  • Septic Tank

Another plausible reason for sewage odors being detected after rain is the septic tank. When rainwater soaks into the ground, it seeks out the lowest point, which is usually your septic tank’s bottom. If your septic tank is leaking, rainwater will push sewage through the pipes, sometimes even into your backyard and bathroom connections, causing an odor.

  • Cracked Pipes and Clogged Drains

Cracked pipes and clogged drains are the most common causes of a sewage smell in your bathroom after rain. Cracked or broken pipes frequently occur after rainfall. Similarly, clogged drains are usually full of biological material, and the pressure from the rain can force the smell of everything through the drain to your bathroom and house.

Is A Sewer Smell in a Bathroom Dangerous?

A sewer small in a bathroom can be dangerous because, aside from the obvious unpleasant odor, sewer gas contains a complex mix of various gases and compounds, many of which are noxious to the human body.

The main components of Sewer Gas’ smell are as follows:

  • Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

This is the main gas in sewer gas and the source of the rotten egg odor you may notice in your home from time to time. According to Csaba Szabo M.D., University of Texas, Department Anesthesiology, Hydrogen sulfide is toxic to the body’s oxygen systems. It can cause adverse symptoms, organ damage, and even death in high intake.

  • Ammonia (NH3)

While ammonia may be safe to clean with, prolonged exposure can be irritating, toxic, or even fatal. Ammonia exposure can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. At higher concentrations, ammonia can damage human organs.

  • Methane (CH4)

Methane is a greenhouse gas in nature, but it can pose a serious fire hazard in your home due to its high flammability when produced in copious quantities.

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)

Extremely elevated levels of carbon dioxide can be a fundamental problem, as it lowers the oxygen level in the blood, which can probe severe health consequences.

Thus, the components of the sewer gas make it dangerous to tolerate in your bathroom and surroundings.

Sewage in high concentrations can cause a variety of health problems and symptoms.

You may experience a variety of exposure symptoms, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Tiredness
  • Itching of the eyes
  • Irritation of the throat and nose
  • Coughing
  • Nausea
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Headaches
  • Irritability

It is unusual to have elevated levels of sewer gases in your home, but you should seek immediate medical attention if you do.

How To Replace the Toilet Wax Ring?

To replace your toilet wax ring, you should scrape out all the excess wax in the toilet, then take your wax ring and press it firmly against the hole at the bottom of the toilet.

Toilet ring replacement is an important procedure to remember when dealing with water leakage onto the floor from the bottom edges of your toilet or sewer gas leakage. I recommend the Extra Thick Toilet Wax Ring that is available on Amazon. Click to get yours delivered.

Every toilet has a wax ring that forms a watertight seal between the toilet and the sewer pipe. Because it is connected to the drainpipe, it appears invisible unless you disconnect your toilet.

When installed correctly, a well-sealed toilet will save you money by preventing water damage to your floor, as well as sewer spills and gas odors from entering your bathroom.

To replace the toilet wax ring is simple, but we will break it down into five fairly effortless steps:

  • STEP 1: Drain and Disconnect the Toilet

Turn off the water source from the toilet to the wall. You should be able to turn the valve by hand, but if it hasn’t moved in a while, it may be stuck. Flush the toilet to get as much water out of the bowl and tank as possible. If you have a vacuum, use it to suction up any remaining water to ensure that it is thoroughly dry.

  • STEP 2: Loosen all Toilet Connections

To loosen the connections, remove the protective caps covering the bolts at the base of the toilet, then unscrew the bolts and washers. After that, gently twist the toilet to loosen it from the deteriorated wax. When you’re ready to remove the toilet, take a firm grip near the center of the bowl and tank to evenly distribute the weight. By lifting with your knees and pulling straight up, you can completely loosen the toilet from its base to one side.

  • STEP 3: Scrap Away the Leftover Wax

Put on a pair of disposable gloves to detach the old wax ring. Scrape the old wax seal from the toilet’s base and flange with a putty knife. Remove the caulk from the toilet bowl and the finished flooring. Clean and dry the flange completely before installing the new wax ring. Be cautious during this process, as an unplugged drain can allow toxic sewer gas into your home.

  • STEP 4: Install the New Toilet Wax Ring

Place the new wax ring on top of the toilet flange and ensure that it is centered. Some wax rings are self-adhesive, and there may be minor design differences between brands, so read the instruction manual carefully before putting it on and make sure it’s secure.

  • STEP 5: Affix the Toilet and Run Test Flushes

Lower the toilet onto the flange with the wax ring centered, making sure the bolt holes in the toilet’s baseline are in phase with the flange holes. Make sure this connection is secure to prevent further leaks. Replace the mounting bolts and bolt caps, reconnect the water supply line to the tank to permit water flow. Flush the toilet a few times to see if there are any signs of leaks.

If there are no leaks after the test flushes, you are confident in your work and are good to go. Otherwise, you should seek further assistance from your plumber.

Why Is My Toilet Rocking?

Your toilet is rocking because it is higher than the floor. If the flanges beneath the toilet base are slightly higher than the surrounding flooring, the toilet will be slightly raised in the center, causing it to rock to one side or the other.

Toilet rocking is never good news to the owner. A toilet that slightly rocks has the potential to leak sewage and damage the floor. The most obvious issue is that movement can cause the wax seal to deform, allowing water to leak when you flush.

Another cause of rocking is that the flange, particularly the bolt slots, is not designed to support the weight of the toilet and user. Without bolt slots to tighten the toilet base bolts into, the base will rock even more, potentially resulting in more expensive damage.

As a result, you should never ignore a rocking toilet. If you notice the toilet rocking, take the following steps to deal with it:

  • Check that the flange bolts and nuts are securely fastened and tight.
  • Examine the toilet’s base for leaks and gaps.
  • Insert the Shims into any gap holes and make sure your toilet is flush with the floor.
  • Caulk around the toilet’s base to fill gaps and conceal shim holes.

After doing so, you can be certain that your toilet is as good as new and that the rocking has stopped. You can test its stability by sitting on it.

If you require additional assistance, you should contact your plumber.

How To Unclog A Clogged Plumbing Vent?

To unclog a clogged plumbing vent, insert a plumbing snake down the vent until it reaches the clog. Crank the snake at this point to grab the clog and then pull out the clog by rewinding the snake.

When a drain is difficult to clear, your first thought is that something is clogging the drainpipe. Vent pipes allow air into the plumbing line, balancing pressure as water flows down the drain. The vent pipe can also become clogged, and if this happens, your plumbing system will not function properly.

When you notice vent blockage symptoms, it’s usually due to a blockage in the branch vent pipes than drainpipes fixtures. I recommend using the DrainX Plumbing Snake to clear vent pipe clogs. Click here to get yours delivered to your door.

Before commencing, carefully observe these safety precautions:

  • First, you’ll need a flashlight, a plumber snake, a garden hose, and a ladder since vents are usually found on the roof.
  • After putting the ladder on solid level ground, check to see if the roof is dry before you begin.
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes to increase your grip on the roof.
  • Finally, when cleaning the pipe up the roof, wear a safety harness to keep yourself safe from any accidents.

After observing these safety precautions, you should be able to clean and clear out your vent pipes.

The procedures are straightforward and include the following:

  • Clear any debris or other obstructions from around the pipe that is reachable with your hand.
  • If you can see any blockages around the pipe but can’t reach them, use a plumber snake to snake down the pipe.
  • If you can’t completely clear the clog with a plumber snake, employ a garden hose to flush the remaining debris out till the vent is completely clean.

Because these are technical procedures, you may need the assistance of a professional plumber.

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Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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