Why Does My Bathroom Smell Like Sewage?


At some point or another, your Sacramento bathroom is going to stink. As long as your bathroom is equipped with a good ventilation fan and perhaps a scented candle, these smells should quickly dissipate. What happens, though, when the smell intensifies and lingers even when you’re not using the bathroom? Foul odors coming from your bathroom can be extremely unpleasant and dangerous if the odors are produced by sewer gas. To help you diagnose the source of the problem, check out this easy-to-understand guide from Huft Home Services on various problems related to sewage-like smells.

Mold and Mildew Growth

The warm and moist environment in a bathroom provides the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow. If you allow mold and mildew to get out of control, you will notice a foul odor in your bathroom that won’t go away until you do some serious deep cleaning. Fortunately, you can prevent most mold and mildew growth if you provide adequate ventilation for your bathroom. Running the ventilation fan while you’re showering will help remove excess moisture to help keep your bathroom drier. You’ll also want to clean the surfaces in your bathroom periodically before mold and mildew have a chance to gain a foothold.

Broken Seal

When you install a new toilet, the first component you put down is a wax ring. These rings create a tight seal between the toilet and the drainpipe to ensure that no sewer gas finds its way into your home. Over time, though, this wax ring can become brittle and develop cracks. This could allow small amounts of sewer gas into your bathroom, resulting in that awful smell that you’re dealing with.

Rather than pulling up your toilet to replace the wax ring, the pros at Huft Home Services recommend simply adding some caulk around the bottom edge of your toilet to trap the gases before they can enter your bathroom. If that doesn’t work, then you may want to install a new wax ring.

Broken Sewer Pipe

If you smell sewer gas in your bathroom, there is a real possibility that you could have a problem with your sewer line. A broken sewer pipe can allow sewer gas to leak into your home, creating a smelly and potentially dangerous situation. A cracked or collapsed sewer pipe can happen in several different ways. One of the most common causes of a broken sewer line is tree roots. Since tree roots are quite strong, they can push through solid materials, including sewer pipes. A sewer pipe can also break if it becomes weak due to temperature changes over several years of service. Typically, you’ll notice a break in your sewer line quickly when it gets to the point that you can smell sewer gases in your home.

Lack of Use

One other possible cause of foul odors in your bathroom is simply lack of use. Your bathroom sink relies on a plumbing fixture called a P-trap to keep sewer gases from coming through the drain. In order to work properly, the P-trap needs to be full of water at all times. However, if you don’t use your bathroom for a long period of time, the water in the P-trap can partially evaporate, leaving you at risk of sewer gas intrusion. Fortunately, to fix this problem, all you’ll need to do is run some water from your sink until the P-trap is full of water again. If you still smell gas coming from your sink after running water down the train, it’s best to call Huft Home Services for further assistance.

Use Caution

Not that you’ll need much motivation when you smell the awful smell of sewer gas, but make sure to act quickly if you smell a foul odor in your bathroom. Sewer gas contains hydrogen sulfide, a gas that can cause several serious symptoms, including headache, sinus infections, dizziness, loss of appetite, and more. Ammonia is also present in sewer gas and can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. If either of these gases is allowed to accumulate in your home, it could be fatal for you and your family. Therefore, it’s important to take sewer gases seriously so that you don’t end up with disastrous consequences.

Sewer Repair Solutions

If you discover that the source of the foul odor in your bathroom is a sewer line break, the good news is that you have many more options for repair than in the past. Previously, the only way to fix a broken sewer line was to dig out the entire pipe and replace it with a new pipe. Modern repair solutions, though, are largely trenchless, meaning that very little digging is required compared to traditional methods. In most cases, this will make for a faster, easier, less expensive, and less disruptive repair experience.

Pipe Bursting

For long sewer lines, pipe bursting by Huft Home Services provides an effective repair method. During pipe bursting, a bursting head pulls a strong and flexible pipe through the path of the old pipe. As the bursting head moves through, the old pipe is destroyed, leaving a clear path for the new pipe. To perform pipe bursting, two small pits are dug on either side of the affected portion of the pipe. This allows technicians from Huft Home Services to feed and receive the new pipe through the old pipe. Once the repair is complete, you’ll have a reliable new pipe that will last a long time.

Lining a Pipe

For smaller pipes with less-serious damage, various methods of pipelining are typically preferred. Spray lining or brush coating applies a thick coating to the inside wall of the existing pipe to repair any holes and re-surface the pipe. Cured-in-place pipe lining sends a tube made of epoxy resin and fiberglass through the broken pipe. Once inserted, the tube is inflated so that it can stick to the walls of the broken pipe. This effectively creates a new pipe once the material in the tube has a chance to cure.

Slip Lining

If you need to repair a larger pipe, Huft Home Services often recommends slip lining. This is one of the oldest trenchless techniques and typically one of the most invasive. The basic premise is to insert a new pipe into the older pipe. Unlike the other methods, the pipes used for slip lining are typically rigid. Once the new pipe is in place, any gap between the larger and smaller pipes is filled to prevent the new pipe from moving around. While this method is more time-consuming than other trenchless methods, it’s far more efficient than digging up the old pipe.

Trust Us for Your Sewer Repair Needs

When dealing with something as important as a sewer pipe repair, you need to know that you can trust the company performing the repair. That’s why the pros at Huft Home Services work hard to treat every customer with integrity and professionalism. Whether we’re performing sewer repair, HVAC repair, installation, or maintenance, installing a hot water heater, or performing one of our other services, we strive to do everything we do with excellence. To learn more about preventing foul odors in your bathroom, contact us at Huft Home Services today.