Is basement in your house often ignored on account of no use?
Being the most dampened place of your house, the lack of maintenance and cleaning often cause your basement stink. Especially if you are living in the flood prone area, installing the best rated sump pump is essential.
But one of the most common issue that most of the basement encounter is Sewer Smell. If not fixed in time, soon this smell will conquer your house too.
In this blog post we will discuss on how to fix a sewer smell in basement. But before that, let’s quickly unveil the causes that leads to such a foul smell.
3 Prominent Causes Of Sewer Smell
Here are the 7 prominent causes of sewer smell in your basement, leading its way to your house:
1. Dried Drains
Dried drains en-route the sewer gases due to the lack of water as they are unable to seal the pipe. The gradual process of condensation brings down the drain water levels drastically. It leads to the release of sewer gas in the basement and make the whole place stinking like sewer. If not checked in time, this smell may broke into your home.
2. Damaged Sewer Lines
Any crack in sewer lines is responsible for leaving the sewer waster in ground water. Once this sewer diluted water makes it way to your sump pump, it starts emitting the sewage smell bursting into your basement. You may tempt to fix the smelly sump pump, but the real culprits are the damaged sewer lines.
3. Damaged seal for Ejector pit
Ejector pit is a pre-requisite for overhead sewer lines. It should be covered properly with a seal to avoid seeping of sewer smell. As they contain the waste water, it requires a proper ventilation. A clogged vent, missing lid or a bad seal can overwhelm your basement with sewer gas.
6 Fixes to Deal with Sewer Smell in Basement
As we have discussed the possible ways that lead to sewage smell, let’s quickly run through the solutions:
1. Maintaining normal water levels
If the drain pipes are dried out due to the condensation process over the time, you should consider adding water to these water traps that are unused from long time. As they are not able to seal the pipe line to refrain the sewage gases entering into basement.
Adding around 1 gallon of water in the dry drains along with 1/2 cup of vinegar, or some mild dish detergent that can overpower the sewage smell. If you have sewer smell in shower drains, it is an effective solution.
2. Repairing the Sewer Line
Any damage in sewer line due to leaking pipes or damaged ejector pit cause noxious odor. As the wastewater leaks down to the ground water and entering into sump pump, accumulating the sewer water.
If you are suspecting any such damage, call a professional plumber to locate the damaged pipe. While the hair line cracks are repairable, hole in a pipe needs a replacement. Also check if the ejector pit’s seal is intact or not.
3. Clogged Appliances drain
If you are having a laundry set up at basement or just above the basement and the drain is unhooked or clogged, it may lead to the flowing back of sewer smell into your house. The role of appliance traps is to regulate the sewer gas flow. But improper ventilation or clogging of drains leads sewage gas outburst in the basement.
An improper HVAC system connection to sewage vent pipe is another prominent reason for sewage odor. Any clogging in the drains can be dealt with a vinegar and baking soda solution.
- One cup of white vinegar
- 1/4 cup of baking soda
- A bucket of hot water
It is an effective and economical pipe cleaner that removes the clogging. Pour the baking soda down the drain and then pour down the vinegar. Now plug up the drain by sealing it with a cover or towel. As the two ingredients react, they will dilute the dirt and grime gradually.
Leave it for 30 minutes and then add hot water to flush down all the sewage that was struck in the pipes. You can also use this mix for bathroom drains to escape the sewage smell arising due to clogged drains out of soap and hair.
4. Replacing Cleanout Plug
The role of cleanout plug is to flow down into sewage pipe and avoid the collection of sewage water in the drain. A damaged plug is unable to prevent the sewage gas coming to your home. By removing the drain grate, check the condition of cleanout piece. If you find it cracked or damaged, consider replacing it asap.
5. Avoid Basement Dampening
If you are living in a flood prone area, it is essential to install a sump pump. An effective sump pump stops the excessive inflow of ground water into your basement and prevent basement dampening.
6. Fix the leaking Sump Pump
Dripping noise of sump pump is another alarming signal that the basements are likely to be dampened and develop sewer smell over the time. It also leads to growth of mould and mildew, to worsen the situation. Fix any such sump pump leaks to ensure basement remain dry.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Neutralizes the smell of sewage?
Baking soda and vinegar as suggested above it effective in neutralizing the sewage odor. Pour the baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar. Leave it for 20 minutes to react with the clogging substances. Now add hot water to flush out the mix along with the dirt.
Will Sewer Smell Go away on Its Own?
No! Sewer smell will never go away on its own. If not treated, it may amplify over the time reaching your home interior and surrounding exterior. To unveil the cause of sewer smell, you should consult a qualified plumber ASAP.
Can Sewer Smell Harm You?
Hydrogen sulfide leads to the sewer smell and it is highly toxic too. With the concentration levels above 150 ppm. it has depressant effect on the central nervous system.
Why Does Sewer smell come and go?
Partially Clogged drains often stop the outflow of water partially in the drainage system. As a result, the odors flow back along with the sewage water. Hence, the little outflow of water passed along the drains gradually but the heavy outflow stuck over the time to cross the drain. For this duration, the sewer swell pushed back the basement area.
If not treated in time, the drains will clog completely leading to leading to excessive sewer smell.
Sewer smell is the common result of clogged drains, leaking pipes and dry out traps. It is caused by the accumulation of waste materials in the pipes and drainage system. Whenever you encounter any sewer odor, it is an indicator of something wrong with your drain pipes or ejector pit. This problem needs immediate attention from a professional plumbing service provider. They have the required tools and expertise to fix the issue quickly.