There are few things worse for homeowners than to smell sewer gas odor in their homes. Along with being unpleasant, pungent sewage smells could also be hazardous to your health. We’ve compiled this guide to help you trace the source of a sewage smell in your home and walk you through some troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue. However, sometimes, only an expert can fix a sewage problem.

What is Sewer Gas?

Sewer gas is a mixture of gasses created by decomposing organic matter in wastewater systems. It primarily consists of hydrogen sulfide, methane, ammonia, carbon dioxide, and other gasses. When improperly contained or released into a home, it produces a pungent and foul odor, often resembling rotten eggs. Identifying and addressing the source of home sewer gas is essential to maintain indoor air quality and safety.

How to Fix a Leaking Toilet from the Base

Table of Contents

The Top Reasons Why You Smell Sewage in Your Home

There are several potential reasons why you might encounter a sewer gas odor in your home:

» Drain Trap Issues

One of the most common causes of sewage odor indoors is a dry drain trap. Drain traps, often found in sinks, toilets, and other fixtures, are designed to hold a small amount of water, creating a seal that prevents sewer gas from backing into your home. If these traps dry out due to infrequent use or a faulty seal, sewer gas can leak into your living space.

» Blocked or Damaged Vent Pipes

If the culprit isn’t a dry water trap, there’s a chance that damaged vent pipes are to blame. Your home’s plumbing system has vent pipes that allow sewer gasses to escape safely through the roof. If these pipes get damaged or blocked by debris, preventing sewer odors from escaping, they may run back into your home.

» Leaky or Broken Sewer Lines

Cracks, leaks, or damage in your home’s sewer lines can release sewer gas into your living space. This problem may require professional assistance to locate and repair.

» Faulty or Aging Plumbing Fixtures

If plumbing fixtures, such as toilets, sinks, and floor drains, aren’t installed correctly, they can allow sewer gases to leak into areas they shouldn’t. Over time, these plumbing fixtures may deteriorate, allowing sewer gas to escape. Regular maintenance and timely repairs are crucial in preventing this issue.

» Sewer System Backups

Blockages, root intrusion, and other issues in your main sewer line may cause a sewer system backup. When your sewer line backs up, it can push sewage and sewer gas into your home, resulting in a pungent odor.

Also Read: How To Detect A Gas Leak?

How to Get Rid of Sewer Smell in House: The Solutions

If you encounter a sewer gas odor in your home, don’t panic. There are several steps you can take to eliminate the smell:

» Check and Fill Drain Traps

Fortunately, the most common cause of sewer gas smell in the house is also the easiest to fix. If a drain pipe’s P-trap has gone dry, leading to sewer odors, solving the problem is as easy as running a little water. Pour water into your home’s dry traps, and if they continue to dry out, consider a drain trap primer.

» Inspect Vent Pipes

Check for cracks in the vent pipes, where gas and smells could escape. Also, use a flashlight to check the vent pipe for leaves, pine needles, or other debris, which must be cleared out for the sewer gas to vent correctly outside the home.

» Faulty or Aging Plumbing Fixtures

Inspect all plumbing fixtures for visible leaks, damage, or signs of wear and tear. Replace faulty components, such as seals or gaskets, to maintain an airtight seal.

» Professional Inspection

If you cannot identify the source of the sewer gas odor, or if the issue persists, it’s time to call a professional plumber.

» Sewer Line Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your sewer lines can prevent leaks and damage. Consider scheduling our sewer maintenance services to catch potential issues early and keep your plumbing system in shape.

When to Call a Plumber

While you can use DIY sewage smell remedies to resolve sewer gas issues yourself, there are instances where professional help is essential:

» Persistent Odor

If the sewer gas odor persists despite your best efforts to eliminate it, you need professional assistance to identify and address the problem.

» Backed-Up Sewer Lines

In the worst cases, backed-up sewer lines may result in foul-smelling sewage backing out of your drains, causing significant damage to your property. If you experience sewage backups in your home, it could be caused by blockages, root intrusion, or other sewer line problems.

» Visible Damage

If you notice visible damage to your plumbing system, such as compromised seals, corroded pipes, or cracked sewer lines, don’t attempt to fix it yourself. These issues should be handled by a professional to prevent further damage.

» Safety Concerns

If you suspect the sewer gas odor makes you experience nausea, dizziness, or headaches, evacuate your home immediately and contact a plumber for professional sewer repair services.

Prevent Sewer Gas Odor With Proper Maintenance From Conejo Valley Home Services Plumbing & Rooter

If you suspect you have a sewer gas leak, call the professional technicians at Conejo Valley Home Services Plumbing & Rooter. We serve the Conejo Valley and the surrounding areas with efficient, trustworthy work.

Our professional plumbing technicians have the tools and expertise to conduct a thorough inspection of your plumbing system and identify and address the problem. They might also sniff out other plumbing issues before they escalate. For immediate service, call us directly at (805) 499-0448 or submit a contact form online!

Frequently Ask Questions

To locate the source of foul odor in the house, first check the vent pipes, drain traps, and plumbing fixtures. If you need help identifying the source, contact a professional plumber.
Yes, sewer gas can be dangerous, as it contains toxic gasses like hydrogen sulfide and methane, which can be harmful when inhaled in high concentrations. Sewage smell health risks include eye, nose, and throat irritation. At higher levels, these gasses can cause organ damage or death.
Once you’ve eliminated the source of the sewage odor, you can freshen up your home by opening windows for ventilation and using air purifiers—additionally, clean affected areas with water and vinegar or baking soda to remove lingering odors.
Jason DJason D
19:01 13 Jun 24
A home inspection was done for the sale of our home and the inspector flagged our furnace as not having a furnace door switch and being a potential fire hazard. Parker arrived to open the furnace door to find that the switch had a piece of black tape over it to protect it, he removed said tape, job done. Unreal. Thanks Parker.
Cindy GoodenCindy Gooden
22:09 04 Jun 24
Gave us an estimate and we decided to wait a few months before booking. I called when we were ready to book, but the person they directed us to never called us back!We ended up choosing another local plumber who charged half what CVHAPR quoted us. I'm so glad we got a second opinion.
Amber HauptmanAmber Hauptman
18:56 10 May 24
Parker was awesome! He was very informative and answered our million questions! Looking forward to working with him again soon! Thank you Parker!!!
Marlowe SchneidkrautMarlowe Schneidkraut
15:43 29 Jun 23
Easy to set up an appointment. Came on time and called ahead when they were enroute. Work was done promptly and professionally. Technician kept working area clean and cleaned up after service.
Pat PerrinePat Perrine
02:40 15 Jun 23
Professional and on time. Diagnosed the problem and gave several alternatives for repair.
Bob AbrahamBob Abraham
15:19 11 May 23
By far the best and most reliable company I've ever used. I've had nothing but good experiences with their plumbing services as well as their Air Conditioning Service. Professional in every sense of the way. Would absolutely recommend them to anyone who wants honest reasonably priced services. Thank you so much.
Thomas StevensThomas Stevens
01:12 05 Apr 23
Very professional and incredibly responsive. We were without hot water and they took care of our situation incredibly quickly. It was not a simple process and they put in overtime to get us done. Very happy and will certainly use them again.
Rebecca ZemlynRebecca Zemlyn
01:41 24 Mar 23
Wonderful experience today with the 65 point plumbing inspection. Gave me peace of mind & I know they will be back to take care of any issues. Loyal customer for heating & air services. Now, with the introduction of plumbing, I know where to go for honest, quality service. True professionals!
Lisa CallLisa Call
04:08 19 Feb 23
These guys are great! They were prompt, courteous and knowledgeable. And they are careful to not leave a mess (and they even use shoe covers to walk around in your house)! What more could you ask for? A great experience and I will use them again!
Linn GriffinLinn Griffin
04:30 08 Feb 23
Conejo Valley replaced our A/C and furnace in 2014, and just replaced our 20 year old tank water heater today. We switched from tank to tankless and were very impressed with the work. The technicians were very knowledgeable and organized; for us, the installation took only 3 hours as the space was pretty easy to access. I highly recommend Conejo Valley! The office called as soon as they left to check on how the installation went. Great customer service. To the technicians, thanks for your hard work!
Terry HunsakerTerry Hunsaker
03:16 07 Feb 23
Exceptional service from making an appointment with Nancy to Nick repairing leak under kitchen sink. Extremely professional, arrived on time, wear booties (not necessary for me), offered to wear a mask, respectful and neat. Reasonable fair pricing which turned out to be nothing major. I will use them again if needed. Thank you.
17:29 22 Jan 23
Our 20 year old furnace broke down for good over the Christmas break. And it got wet and cold…This team was able to come and quote a new heating system and have it installed, in under 6 days!They were on time, very respectful, and kept us posted continuously throughout the project.We would definitely use them again, and we strongly recommend them!
Michael MartinezMichael Martinez
00:42 07 Jan 23
Art did an excellent job. He stayed late on a rainy day to ensure my drain was working. He talked me thru the entire process and took the extra time to locate the issue and fix it as best he could. He got our drain working and gave us the long term solution and cost. I’d definitely use this company and specifically Art again.

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