We all like having a clean and pleasantly smelling bathroom. However, this is not always the case. At times, a sewer smell in your shower room can be so unpleasant that ventilation or air fresheners cannot help. Finding the causes of the sewer smell in your bathroom is a good idea to help you get rid of the bad odor. Below are some of the probable causes of sewer odors in your bathroom and effective ways to eliminate the foul smell.
1. Dry P-Trap
One of the common causes of sewer odors in your shower room is a dried P-trap. A P-trap refers to a U-shaped pipe that’s designed to hold and trap water. It holds sufficient water to prevent unpleasant sewer odors and gas from creeping up your drains when working properly.
If you don’t use your bathroom often, the water may evaporate from your P-trap with time. However, if you regularly use your shower and are still noticing a sewer odor from the drain, it might indicate more serious problems. For instance, your P-trap could be leaking, preventing it from trapping and holding water.
A dry P-trap may be difficult or pretty easy to fix based on the reasons it is dry. If the water evaporated because you don’t use the shower frequently, turn on the shower and allow water to run for several minutes to refill your P-trap. When the P-trap is full, the sewer gases will stop leaking into your shower room. If the unpleasant odor persists, pour a gallon of water into each drain in your house, including the toilets and sinks.
If the bad smell remains after running some water through all your drains, you might be dealing with a leaking or old P-trap. To get better results, call your plumbing contractor to inspect and replace the P-trap.
2. Missing Cleanout Plug
The other reason for sewer odors in your shower room might be a missing cleanout plug. When it is missing, sewer gas will bypass your water trap and eventually enter your bathroom. You can find this plug inside your floor drain. Remove the opening grate to verify if the plug is inside your drain bowl. If it’s missing, purchase a replacement cleanout plug at your local hardware store to fix this problem.
3. Bad Bacteria
There are lots of bad bacteria that go into your sewerage system. However, if these smelly microorganisms find their way up to the toilets, they might cling to the toilet bowls and begin to multiply. That is especially common during hot and humid climates where bacteria thrive.
The good news is that you can eliminate these microorganisms by utilizing bleach. However, rather than switching the bleach around your toilet bowl, put some of it into the flush valve or the overflow pipe. Using bleach will eliminate all these unwanted guests hidden in your system.
4. Biofilm Accumulation
We use a wide range of products when we are taking a shower. Shampoos, soaps, shaving cream, and body oils wash down your drains along with other debris like hair and skin cells. With time, all these substances usually build up along the vertical pipes, and P-trap found underneath your bathroom. This substance buildup is known as a biofilm.
As biofilm accumulates, it starts releasing a sewer smell from the decomposing debris and bacteria. The bacteria produce a sticky matter that enables them to easily cling to your pipes’ sides, making them quite hard to remove without some specialized products. With time, the sewer smell will not only become noticeable in the bathtub or shower but in the whole bathroom.
Eliminating the biofilm and the unpleasant odors it creates in your shower drain is a pretty easy process that doesn’t need a plumbing professional. To eradicate the sewer smell from your shower room, unclog the debris that’s feeding the bad bacteria in your drains.
5. Leaking Wax Ring Seal
Leaking wax ring seals can also be the main source of sewer smells in your bathrooms. A wax ring might leak with time because of a broken seal. Leaks in the seals allow sewer gases to find their way into your shower room from beneath the toilet. To solve this problem, temporarily remove your toilet and immediately replace your wax ring. You can also utilize some plastic shims between your floor and the toilet stool to prevent your toilet from shaking and damaging the newly-installed wax ring.
6. Sink’s Overflow Buildup
The other reason why you might experience annoying sewer odors in your bathroom is a buildup in the sink’s overflow. Check your sink to see if it comes with an overflow mechanism. This hole offers some relief if your sink is overfilled. The sink’s overflow can accumulate grime with time like any other appliance near water, contributing to the foul smell.
Try cleaning the overflow hole utilizing a bottle brush to remove any buildup. A water and chlorine solution can also be an effective way to clear any grime in the overflow.
7. Cracked or Broken Sewer Line
If your sewer line is cracked or broken, it can also cause unpleasant smells in your bathroom. Loose connection joints can also create problems that lead to sewerage odors. If you detect leakage in your sewer line, it’s always a good idea to call your plumbing contractor to investigate the issue further and make necessary repairs.
8. Vent Problems
A P-trap connects to a pipe that extends to the wall and then through the roof. The vent outlet acts as an outlet for unpleasant sewer smells. It also lets in fresh air into your bathroom. If your plumber vents this pipe to the wrong place, you might notice sewerage odors in your shower room. Check to see if you can identify where the odor is originating from. If it appears like it’s coming from your wall, it is most likely a problem with your vent pipe.
The pipes may also become clogged from various outside elements like piles of leaves or birds nesting. They might also have cracks that allow the foul smell to spill out. Unfortunately, you might not be able to find the problem yourself. It would be best to hire a professional plumber to locate and solve the problem.
These are the common reasons why you are experiencing sewer smells in your bathroom drain. If none of the mentioned quick solutions eliminates the smell, it’s wise to contact a professional from Homex Plumbing & Rooter in Anaheim to thoroughly investigate the problem. Our plumbing experts will not only identify the exact causes of the unpleasant smell; they also have the professional tools, know-how, and experience to eradicate it for good.
We are committed to understanding the current issue and your demands to help us serve you better. Our firm offers various services, including drain installations, plumbing repairs, drain cleaning, plumbing installations, bathroom plumbing, leak detection, plumbing repairs, and water heater system repairs & installations. The other specialized services we offer are gas line plumbing, slab leaks, green plumbing, and water treatments.
Your bathroom does not have to stink. If you cannot identify what is causing the annoying smell, contact us today, and we will help you enjoy a fresh, clean smell while in your tub or shower.