Five Reasons Your Bathroom Smells Like a Sewer

5 reasons your bathroom smells

If your bathroom smells like a sewer, it’s time to sniff around for the reason and fix it for good. 

Ever walked into a bathroom and thought phewee what is that smell?

5 reasons your bathroom smells like a sewer

Bathrooms are meant to be hygienic and clean, but occasionally they can produce a strong waft. Here are five reasons your bathroom smells like a sewer what can be done to remove the pong.

Five reasons your bathroom smells like a sewer

1. Dry Floor Waste

A dry floor waste is usually the most common reason your bathroom smells like a sewer because it’s literally letting the sewer gases escape through the opening in the floor.

The floor waste is the grated drain in the middle of your bathroom. The grate can be removed and a torch can be used to check the water seal at the bottom of the waste. If you can’t see water at the bottom of the drain, the floor waste is dry and it’s allowing sewer smells to come straight up into your bathroom.

It’s an easy fix and requires running water down the shower, bath or basin to recreate the water seal. If the water doesn’t sit at the bottom of the trap, you will need a plumber to investigate why.

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.

2. Blocked up fixture traps

There is a trap under your basin, bath and shower. This can accumulate with congealed waste over time made from toothpaste, soap and hair. The bacteria in the trap can cause an odour in the bathroom.

There are a few ways to fix this.

One way is to use a natural cleaner to remove the smell. Another is it to use a drain clean machine for a deep clean. For a basin waste, you can replace the basin trap, including the plug and waste.

3. Perished rubber seal on toilet pan connector

An unconcealed toilet trap has a rubber seal on the toilet pan connector. 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.

However, if the toilet pan is difficult to remove, the plumber can mould an epoxy sealant (like ferope) over the rubber to recreate the seal. In some situations the whole pan connector can be replaced.

This is less obvious with concealed toilet pans. Have a sniff around the toilet to identify if the smell is coming from the toilet area.

4. 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  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 gradual 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 growth as this can turn into a health hazard.

5. Partially blocked toilet

A blocked toilet will always smell. 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 to remove the blockage.

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