Solutions to Sewer Odors in the Bathroom


As soon as you’ve recognized where the odor is coming from, the solution will likely be easy for you to handle yourself.  It’s a good idea to deal with the odor quickly rather than waiting until later. Sometimes breathing in sewer gasescan lead to a host of health issues. Oftentimes, air-borne pathogens can enter your home when the seal that keeps out those gases has been breached.

An easy, first step is to pour a liquid drain cleaner down the sink and shower drains to get rid of anything that might have built up in the pipes and triggered an odor. Very carefully follow with the directions on the packing, makingsure that you wait the suggested time before you flush the drains with water. You may have to repeat the process a second time. If the pipes run normally and the odor disappears after a day or two, then the problem is solved.

If the problem persists, the next step is to look for any leaks in your sink pipes. Look for standing water on the floor or cabinet base and beneath the U-shaped pipe (the P-trap) under the sink. Run your hand along the side of the pipe to feel for any wetness. Moisture in any of these places is a sure sign of a leak.

A small amount of water accumulates inside the P-trap, even when it’s not being used, thus capturing sewer gases that would enter the bathroom via the drainpipe opening. If the water in the P-trap drips out and leaves the interior of the pipeline dry, those gases will linger in the air. When that occurs, it’s most likely a simple leak that can becontained and sealed with caulk or plumber’s tape.

If the sewer odor is still present, check to see if the toilet has an adequate amount of water for a flush. If not, you may have a leaky seal that has unsettled your toilet and allowed sewer gas seep in. These pipes carry out sewer gas out of your home, and fixing them would entail specialtools, along with a trip to the roof. If the problem seems to be with these pipes, it is recommend that you leave the job of tracking down the source of the odor and repairing itto a specialist.

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