Bathroom Smells Like Sewer After Shower | Proper Solutions
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If you get to smell like sewer gas in your bathroom after using the shower, that means something is wrong with the drain or the drain vent. You need to be sure exactly where the smell comes from. Your proper diagnosis is essential to find out the root cause of this issue and deal with it effectively.
Finding out the actual source of the sewer smells is essential because it will help you fix the problem efficiently and quickly. It is not a tough job at all. If you have basic plumbing knowledge, then you must diagnose several issues that may be causing the sewer smells, and you can also try to fix them.
Well, for your convenience, here we will discuss some common plumbing issues that can cause a sewer smell in the bathroom after using the shower and some tricky ways to fix them at home.
Why does my bathroom smell like sewer after shower
Sewer smell in the bathroom is quite a familiar problem. A defective drainage system may cause it. Before you try to fix the issue, you need to find out the actual reason and source. Here are some possible sources and reasons for the sewer smell in the bathroom.
1. Clogged drains
Once your bathroom smells like sewer after the shower, check if there is any clogged drainage. A clogged drain is the typical source of sewer smell. If it becomes clogged, water cannot drain smoothly.
In this situation, water stuck into the pipe. A lot of water remains in the drain and creates a favorable environment for growing mildew and mold. As a result, the sewer smell starts backing up into the bathroom as the drain is clogged. You need to ensure that the drain always remains fully functional to deal with this problem and prevent it from re-occurring.
How can you come to know that your drain becomes clogged? It is easy; just flush your toilet and run a large amount of water through the tub and sink to test whether the drain is working correctly. If water cannot run smoothly down through any of these plumbing fixtures, there is probably a clogged drain.
2. Shower trap
A functional drain trap is essential for shower drainage. Even not only the shower but other household drains such as the sink also should have a functional drain trap.
The trap is a pipe that comes in an elbow shape. It installs the drainage of a plumbing fixture and the main or branch sewer line on the section. The function of this trap is to hold some water after each flush.
This trapped water prevents the sewer gases from flowing back into the house. If anyhow this trap becomes dry, then the sewer gas can quickly enter the room. You must ensure that your shower drain has a trap and is also installed correctly.
3. Drain vent
Each household drain needs to be connected to a working drain vent. A drain vent is a stack pipe that goes through the attic and vents outside through the roof. The top section of the pipe allows air to flow inside the household drain system. This air prevents the draining water from creating a vacuum in the pipes and backing up drains.
This drain vent can become clogged with ice or debris. But the good thing is that you can check it and easily unclog it using an ordinary garden hose from the roof.
4. Cracked drain pipes
A cracked drainpipe often discharges gases and backs up through the bathroom drain whenever anyone uses the shower. If there is a crack in the top of the drainpipe, sewer gas can pass before any water does. As there can be no visible sign of the leaks, It can be tough to find out the leaks.
If you find out the sewer smell in the bathroom after using the shower, check the drainpipe’s top to find out leaks and cracks.
How to Get Rid of a sewer smell after shower
We have already discussed some possible causes that’s why your bathroom can smell like sewer after using the shower. Knowing detail about the causes or the reasons for the smell is essential to fixing the problem. Here are some easy and tricky ways to fix up the issue.
1. Clean the shower drain and strainer
The drain strainer contains various dirt and debris, which can gradually clog the drain and create a sewer smell. If your feet go underwater after showering, that means you need to clean the drain. Fortunately, cleaning the drain is relatively easy, and you can do it yourself without calling a plumber.
Clean the drain
- At first, you have to remove the shower drain cover using a screwdriver.
- Make a mixture using one liter of boiled water and two cups of white vinegar.
- Pour the water solution down the drain slowly. Now pour one or two cups of baking soda and allow it to sit for at least two hours.
- Again pour some boiling water into the drain.
- The combination of vinegar and baking soda will destroy the deposits inside the drain.
- Finally, use a drain brush to clean leftover deposits and run the water a few times.
Clean drain strainer
- After removing the strainer, you will find a layer of scum and hair underneath. Wear a pair of rubber gloves and remove scum and hair.
- Take some warm and soapy water and a sponge to clean the strainer.
- If you find much scum, then use an old toothbrush and scrub the strainer to clean correctly.
- Rinse with clean water.
- Put the strainer on the drain opening and cover it back.
Disinfect and deodorize the drain
- Make a household solution using an equal amount of water and household bleach.
- Pour the solution into the drain. Bleach solution is not enough as it will flow down the drainpipe side and cannot kill all the sewer smell-causing organisms.
- Go for another alternative. Pour about one cup of baking soda into the drain. Again pour one cup of white vinegar and cover the drain.
- The mixture will fizz inside. After a few minutes, flush the drain with hot water.
- Repeat the entire process to get rid of the sewer smell completely.
P-trap dry out over time. So if you do not use your bathroom, it will dry and create a sewer smell and flow back to the bathroom. Fortunately, it is so quite an easy job to solve the problem. Just run a vast amount of water for ten minutes. For a better result, you can also pour some baking soda into the drain. If still, the sewer smell exists, you should call for a professional plumber.
3. Check the sink
Sometimes a sink can also be a source of sewer smell in the bathroom. The possible reasons are-
- There may be a clog/blockage in the pipe of the sink that leads to dry the P-trap.
- Maybe there is a hole at the top of the sink that allows fast drainage when it is full of water.
- Or, you do not use this sink regularly; as a result, there may be instances of grime and mildew growth.
Sink cleaning process
- Take a brush and scrub inside of the sink.
- Pour some commercial cleaning agent or hydrochloric acid through the hole.
- Let it work for a few minutes.
- Rinse it with clean water.
- Repeat the entire process if necessary.
4. Vent relates to sewer odor
Vent cleaning process
- If your plumbing vent is blocked, then a sewer smell can also be produced.
- To solve this problem, remove debris, dry leaves, and other things from the roof vent.
- If it is winter, then maybe your roof vent is blocked by ice. In that case, go to the roof and place a hairdryer, pointing to the exact location you need to melt the ice.
- Finally, remove the blockage and clean the vent.
Read next: Why does your bathroom smell like urine
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why does my bathroom water smell like sewer?
The most common reason for bathroom water smelling like a sewer is growing bacteria in the drain. Bacteria can grow over time, food waste, and organic matter. These bacteria produce sulfur gas, which smells like sewer.
Is the sewage smell in the bathroom dangerous?
Hydrogen sulfide is the primary element of sewer gas. Hydrogen sulfide is toxic to the oxygen systems of the body. In the case of inhaling a high amount of this gas, it can cause various health issues.
What are the symptoms of sewer gas exposure?
Low-level exposure to hydrogen sulfide causes respiratory tract and eye irritation. Other symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, nervousness, and drowsiness.
Why does my bathroom smell weird?
Your bathroom can smell weird if your pipes escape hydrogen sulfide gas upward.
As a sewer smell can create some health issues for you, you should take a quick step as soon as you identified it. At first, try to find out the cause that is creating a smell in your bathroom. After that, it will be easy to fight against it.
You can remove accumulated debris, quickly clean the clogged drain, and do any other repairing and cleaning work to remove this smell. If still, your bathroom is smelly, then you should call for an expert plumber.
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