Skip to main content

Sewer Odour

Pretty woman feeling disgusted, holding nose to avoid smelling a foul and unpleasant stench

Sewer odour.  Two words you were never allowed to say at the dinner table.  Two words that can make your nose hairs tingle, your stomach turn, and fill your being with dread.


Dramatics aside, sewer odour stinks.  Like, really stinks.  And if you’re experiencing sewer odour in your home, you need some answers, and quickly.  Not only is sewer odour disgusting, but it can also be hazardous to your health and home.


Prolonged exposure to sewer gas can result in symptoms such as headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, drowsiness, heart palpitations, and more.  Sewer odour can also be the harbinger of sewer backup in your home, which can cause damage to your property and belongings.  


If the issue persists, though, it’s time to call the experts before the situation further deteriorates – or should we say, decomposes (ha).


Clearly, sewer odour is no joke.  So, here are a few troubleshooting tips.


Locating the Odour

Often, people assume that sewer odour is coming from the toilet.  But this is not always the case.  Though toilets get a bad rap for being stinky, they are not the only things in your home that are connected to the sewer system.  


Use your nose to help you pinpoint where the smell is coming from.  In addition to your toilet, consider your shower drain, sinks, washing machine, and any other household water sources.


Once you’ve located the source of the odour, it’s time to start troubleshooting.


3 Simple Causes of Sewer Odour

  • Dry P-Trap – You know that U-shaped pipe that’s under your sink?  That is called a P-Trap, and its purpose is to remain filled with water to prevent sewer gas from leaking into your home.  P-Traps exist wherever a pipe in your home connects to the sewer system.  But if the water evaporates from inside them, then they become ineffective and start allowing sewer gas to get through.  It’s uncommon for P-Traps to dry up, but it can happen in locations where water is scarce, like rarely-used guest bathrooms.  There’s an easy fix to this problem.  Just run some water to refill the dry P-Trap!  That’s all there is to it.

  • Biofilm Accumulation – When the products you use in your shower build up, they create gunk.  The technical name of this gunk is biofilm and it can start to really stink as it breaks down.  To solve biofilm accumulation, remove your shower drain with a screwdriver and pour hot water, vinegar, and baking soda down it.  This home remedy is less abrasive and damaging to your pipes than chemical drain cleaners you might purchase.  Rinse thoroughly after a couple of hours and the biofilm (and odour) should be gone.

  • Washing Machine Drain Clogs – If a build-up of organic matter, like hair and soap, clogs your washing machine’s drain pipe, things can get smelly real quickly.  Fortunately, a simple drain snake can quickly remove the clog and get your laundry room smelling sweet again in no time.


Clean Line Sewer & Drain

The truth is that there are a whole host of reasons why you might have sewer odour in your home.  And the bottom line is, for health and safety reasons, it’s important to deal with it quickly and effectively.  If the tips listed above don’t seem to explain your problem, it’s definitely time to call a certified plumber.  If you’re looking for outstanding plumbing contractors in Winnipeg, look no further than Clean Line Sewer & Drain.  Give us a call today!

Leave a Reply