6 Reasons Why Toilet Smells Like Sewer

No one wants to walk into a bathroom and immediately crinkle their nose disgusted. The bad smell that assaults your nostrils is disgusting and smells like a sewer.

You might be wondering why this happens, especially if you’ve just cleaned your toilets. Sure, once in a while, the toilet doesn’t necessarily smell the best. But when your toilet smells like a sewer, you know something is off.

Sometimes, the smell is still present despite the air fresheners and perfumes you have been desperately spritzing around your bathroom. If so, it’s time to investigate a little further with the help of a plumber. You may also do some inspection on your own, of course.

The first thing you need to do is find the source of the problem. Once you have located the source, you can identify what needs to be fixed. Let’s pinpoint some of the reasons why the toilet smells like a sewer:

Reason #1: There’s dry floor waste on your bathroom.

When was the last time you checked your floor waste? If it’s been a while, give it a quick check to see if this is why your bathroom has been stinking up a storm recently. Do you know that grated drain in the middle of your bathroom? That is your dry floor waste.

Dry floor waste opens the door for bad smells from the sewer to filter into your bathroom. Those foul-smelling sewer gasses are creeping in through the opening on your floor. It will sound gross, but you will need to unscrew the grate and shine a torch down there to see what’s going on with the water seal at the bottom.

If there is no water at the bottom, that’s probably why your bathroom has smelled so bad lately. Luckily, this one is easy enough to fix. You’ll have to leave the water running for a bit. Allow the water time to create that water seal. After a while, check it again to see if the water is sitting at the bottom. You will need to get the plumber to come in if it doesn’t.

Reason #2: The pan collar has lost its rubber seal.

Plumbers call it the pan collar, but the rest know it as the rubber seal on the toilet trap. There will be a rubber seal in an unconcealed toilet trap on the toilet. Over time, the seal will disintegrate, and when it does, sewer gasses will seep through and stink up your bathroom.

If this is the case, the plumber would be the best person to fix this problem. The rubber seal must be replaced, and the plumber is the only one with the right tools to take the toilet pan out.

Reason #3: There isn’t enough ventilation coming through.

Toilets should be ventilated well, especially after a hot and steamy shower. If the bathroom doesn’t get the ventilation it needs, it creates the perfect environment for mould and mildew to grow.

When enough mould or mildew has accumulated, it can cause a stink in the bathroom. Luckily, this one is easy enough to avoid by always keeping a window open when you shower and turn on the exhaust van. This should help to suck up the steam from the shower.

If you already spot mould in the bathroom, it’s time to call someone in because this is a hazard to your health.

Reason #4: The blocked toilet causes the toilet smell.

Even a partial block in your toilet can cause a bad smell that will linger. Luckily, this is another quick fix. All you need is a plunger to try and unclog whatever might be causing the block. Do this a few times, flush the toilet, and see if that helps get rid of the smell.

If that doesn’t help, you’ll probably need to get the plumber to come in and remove the blockage. This should hopefully get rid of the smell once and for all.

Reason #5: Other plumbing issues cause the toilet smell.

Sometimes, your toilet or bathroom is merely in need of some maintenance. Only when it starts to smell like a sewer do we realize that we haven’t maintained the bathroom plumbing in a while. If any DIY issues you’ve tried haven’t yielded any results and the bad smell still lingers, it’s time to call the plumber again.

Reason #6: Dry p-traps cause the toilet smell.

The floor waste is not the only thing that can dry out in your bathroom. The P-traps, which is the U-shaped pipe under your bathroom sink, can easily become clogged or dry too. It becomes easier for those foul sewer gasses to get into your bathroom when this happens.

The P-trap will dry out if it’s not getting regular use. When the barrier in the P-trap is gone, the smells start to take over. To fix this, you’ll need to let the water run for at least 10-minutes and pour a little baking soda down the drain (the baking soda is optional, though). Hopefully, the smell goes away, but the plumber might need to investigate further if it doesn’t.