Sewer Odors in Bathroom

20 responses

  1. Eugenie McCurry
    October 24, 2012

    Sewer odors in one of our bathrooms. We have already replaced the p-trap under the sink and the wax ring and flange under the toilet. We put in a new septic system almost three years ago, so I doubt there is a problem there. We ran water down the sewer vent on top of the house and the smell went away, but soon as we stopped running the water the smell came back. Please give me some insight, before my husband destroys my house.

    • Tim Carter
      January 6, 2013

      Eugenie, your question requires lots of typing, plus I have some questions for you so I can give you the correct answer(s). I only do pithy answers here in the comment section. If you want to protect the investment you have in your house and not waste time or money *hoping* you make the right decision, you should talk to me on the phone for just 15 minutes. It'll be the best investment you've ever made in your home!

  2. Laurie
    November 3, 2013

    Ever since I used liquid plumber in my bathroom sink for a slow drain problem, I keep smelling an almost brassy type chemical smell from the sink. I smell it especially coming from the drainhole. I have tried baking soda and white vinegar down the drain. It helped a little bit, but the smell is staring to come back. It doesn't smell like sewer gas to me, but a different type. Any other suggestions?

  3. M.E.Munsch
    September 20, 2014

    Could you elaborate on the type of plumbing problems that may be found behind a wall? I ask because when we experience the bathroom odor, I also sometimes notice it in the closet that shares a wall with the bathtub.
    There is a door in the back of the closet to access the bathtub plumbing, but we see nothing amiss. Would greatly appreciate further info.

    • Tim Carter
      September 22, 2014

      I could type for years. This is why I invented my 15-Minute Phone Consult. You and I can talk on the phone about your issue.

  4. SHARON ELBERT
    October 9, 2014

    I HAVE A VERY BAD SEWER SMELL INMY BATHROOM THAT I USE ALL DAY EVERYDAY. I HAD THIS PROBLEM AWHILE AGO AND THE BATHROOMN IN THE BASEMENT WHEN REMODEL WAS FOUND NOT TO BE CONNECTED TO THE PIPE THAT GOES THROUGHT THE ATTICE OUT THE HOUSE. THEY HAS SINCE BEEN FIXED AND I HAD NO SMELL FOR OVER A YEAR. I HAD A RING OR SOMETHING REPLACE ON THE TOLIET DUE TO WATER LEAKING FROM UNDER THE TOLIET AND A WEEK AFTER THAT I NOW HAVE THAT SMELL BACK AGAIN. I CANNOT TAKE THE SMELL PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I NEED TO DO IN MY HOME TO CORRECT AND FIX THIS PROBLEM ONCE AND FOR ALL. SHARON

    • Tim Carter
      October 15, 2014

      Sharon,

      You read ALL of the columns that come back in my search results when you type in:

      sewer smell odor

      into the Search Engine at AsktheBuilder.com.

  5. micheal
    December 23, 2014

    I have a smell in the bathroom rather like a tom cat smell strong too.please can you help.

    • Tim Carter
      December 23, 2014

      Yes I can. Read all my past columns about Sewer Gas Odors.

  6. jim
    February 5, 2015

    Is it ok to dump water down the vent pipe to try to clear the sewer smell?

    • Tim Carter
      February 5, 2015

      Yes. It's safe to put water down a vent pipe. Be sure someone is indoors checking for possible leaks!

    • Tim Carter
      February 5, 2015

      Yes. It's safe to put water down a vent pipe. Be sure someone is indoors checking for possible leaks!

  7. Pat
    June 9, 2015

    We had city sewer ran in our area around 10 years ago. After a few years, my close neighbors and I began to notice a strong sewer odor coming with the south breeze (I believe there's a juncture over there). We complained and nothing happened. This is year round. I also have a occasional sewer smell from my 1st floor toilet bowl and now I have smelled it upstairs also. My family doesn't notice but I have a sensitive nose. This also happens year round so I'm not getting the odor from outside through a window. Both bathrooms have been recently remodeled so I don't feels its a seal problem. Seems as though the smell is more frequent after a rain. I'm curious if you have any input.

  8. Ger
    September 24, 2015

    Desperate please help. 2 years ago I bought an older home and started a remodel. I added a master bath,guest bath and an outdoor bath. I moved in 1 year ago and started having an awful smell in the guest bath.the smell would be extremely strong in the morning and then go away during the day. Everyone guessed it was the vent pipe and suggested making it longer which I did. The smell continued for another month and then it was gone. I figured it was a dead rodent left over from the remodel.
    WELL,the smell is back one year later to the month. I am besides myself not sure what to do. My 2 carpenters are stumped and have checked for leaks under the house and there is nothing. After all the money and time I have put into this I cannot imagine breaking into walls. PLEASE HELP I am a single woman and not sure what to do next.
    I read about a smoke machine that can detect a leak if there is one. Everyone tells me if it is a bad seal on the toilet I would see water,is this true?
    Yesterday I wrapped the sink in plastic and covered the shower drain to try and isolate the smell, smell was still there in the morning. Tonight I am covering the toilet.
    Help Help Help

    • Tim Carter
      September 25, 2015

      I suggest you read every one of my Sewer Smell columns and read all my replies to people's desperate pleas for help. Your answer is there! Do it now.

  9. ray richard
    March 21, 2016

    can a small leak at the base of the toilet, cause septic smell in bathroom. smells only when septic aerator pump kicks on ?

  10. Nigel
    May 1, 2016

    I've recently started getting a sewer type smell in my 1st floor master bath water closet, the shower tub and sinks seem to be fine. There is another1st floor bath toilet with no smell so I don't suspect a vent issue as this smell has just stared. There are no signs of leaking around the toilet and I'm on a slab, what could the issue be ? Possible bad warring seal perhaps ?

  11. Dawn
    May 13, 2016

    We have started to notice a smell of onions from only one toilet in our house, we have tried several cleaners and deodorizer but that only helps temporarily. What can this be? Please help!

  12. Jo
    May 18, 2016

    A year ago I bought a lower ground floor flat with a newly refurbished internal bathroom in a four floor Victorian house. The extractor fan is sited on the blocked in chimney breast, so extracts into the flue. When the fan operates, a sewer smell generally, but not always, comes from it. The smell definitely emanates from the fan. All the traps are clean and filled with water, and covering them with plastic makes no difference. There is never any smell when the fan is not in use. The builder I called in was baffled. I thought perhaps other flats' bathrooms were extracting into the same flue, but he said they would have separate flues. Any suggestions please? The smell is awful!

  13. Ruth
    June 21, 2016

    On hot humid days we have sewer smell from the bathrooms. Can you explain why and how to remedy it?

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