Five reasons your bathroom smells like a sewer and how to fix them


Ever walked into a bathroom and thought phewee what is that smell? Bathrooms are meant to be hygienic and clean, but occasionally they can produce a strong pong. Here are five reasons your bathroom smells like a sewer and how to fix them.

Dry Floor Waste
If you rarely use a bathroom or you have purchased a home where the bathroom hasn’t been used in a while, you will need to check that there is a water seal in the floor waste. The best way to do this is to shine a torch down the grate and if you see water, the floor waste is sealed, but if you see down the pipe, your floor waste is dry and is allowing the main sewer gases to escape through the drain. To create a seal, run the shower, basin or bath that is connected to the drain so that the floor waste will fill with water. If the floor waste is in a bathroom that is used for storage, fill a bucket with water and pour it down the grate. The shower waste also needs to have a water seal so check this when checking the floor waste

Gunked up basin trap
Basin traps can get gunked up over time from toothpaste and hair and the bacteria in the trap can cause an odour in the bathroom. Two ways to fix this is the clean the basin trap, including the plug and waste or replace them with new.

Perished rubber seal on toilet waste
An unconcealed toilet trap has a rubber seal on the toilet waste. Plumbers know this as the pan collar.  Occasionally the rubber seal perishes over time allowing sewer gases to escape into the air. It’s best to call a plumber to fix this one as they should replace the rubber seal which means the toilet pan will need to be taken out. If the toilet pan is difficult to remove, the plumber can mould an epoxy sealant (like ferope) over the rubber to recreate the seal.

Lack of ventilation
A steamy bathroom creates the perfect environment for mould and mildew to form.  The best way to avoid mould in the plasterboard  walls or on the ceiling of a bathroom is to have a window open while showering or turning on the exhaust fan to suck up the steam. Mould can also be formed from a water leak within the bathroom walls. It’s best to get a plumber to locate the source of the leak and fix it to prevent more mould.

Partially Blocked Toilet
Well this one is pretty obvious, because a blocked toilet with its contents still contained in the toilet bowl will cause a nasty smell if left to fester. Plunging the toilet yourself can unblock the toilet, but if it doesn’t, a plumber will need to be called with a drain cleaning machine or jett rodder to blast the effluent away.

Has your bathroom suffered from any of these issues? How do you keep your bathroom smelling clean?

I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for I Blog on Tuesdays.