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Things That Can Cause Your Bathroom To Smell Like A Sewer

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If you detect a sewer odor in your bathroom, you should try to find the cause since that's not a normal situation. This problem can occur if you have a septic system or if you're hooked up to your city's sewer line. You may need a plumbing contractor to help you find the problem and fix it. Here are some possible causes of sewer odors in your bathroom.

The Roof Vent Is Clogged

Sewer gases are supposed to escape out of the roof vent. If the vent is clogged by debris, the gases back up and can enter your bathroom through the drains. This can cause your bathroom to have sewer odors that come and go. A plumbing contractor can fix this problem by climbing up on the roof and clearing the vent pipe.

The P-Trap Is Dry

If the smelly bathroom is one you don't use very often, the problem might be a dry P-trap. The P-trap is located underneath the bathroom sink. Every time you run water down the sink, some water stays in the trap and keeps sewer gases from wafting out into the room. If the sink isn't used often enough, the water evaporates out of the P-trap and lets sewer gases leak out. This is an easy problem to fix because all you have to do is run water down your sink to create a water plug that blocks the escape of sewer gases.

The Septic Tank Is Too Full

If your septic tank gets too full, waste and gases can back up in the main sewer line. This is a dangerous problem since sewage can enter your bathroom along with odors. If your septic tank is full, it needs to be pumped out right away before the baffles clog and before your toilet spills over.

The Wax Seal Is Bad

There is a wax ring on the bottom of your toilet where the toilet meets the floor. The purpose of this thick wax ring is to block sewer odors from wafting out from under the toilet and to keep toilet contents from leaking out on the floor. If the wax seal is bad, you might notice water around the base of your toilet along with sewer odors. Your toilet might even wobble a little when the seal is bad. If your toilet isn't wobbly, the plumbing contractor might fix the problem temporarily with caulk. However, the best solution is to pull the toilet up and put a new wax ring down so odors and liquids are kept where they belong.