Does your home stink? Are you looking for answers on how to eliminate sewer odor? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

We don’t need to tell you that sewer odor is extremely unpleasant. You already know that and it’s why you’re here. So, let’s jump right in.

We’re going to go over the most common causes of sewer odor and then offer some possible solutions on how to get rid of it.

Bacteria-laden drain clogs – how to eliminate sewer odor

This includes stuff like food, hair, grease, or anything else with the ability to clog up your pipes. After it sits in there a while, it can start to stink pretty bad. When you run water does it pool in the sink? If it’s slow to drain or pools, you probably have a clogged drainpipe.



A simple plunger is often all it takes to unclog a drain. However, make sure you use one that’s right for the job because there are different types of plungers. Some are designed to be used in sinks while others are made for unclogging toilets. Your local hardware store will help you select the right one.

Snake your drain

Use a plumbing snake to unclog the drain. They sell them at all major hardware stores and they aren’t hard to use. You’ll find plenty of tutorials online. If you’re not up to it, contact a plumbing professional to come out and snake it for you.

Other things you can try – which may or may not work – to unclog your drain and/or reduce any foul odors:

Pour hot water down the drain

Plain hot water is safe, non-toxic and can help to dissolve grease.

Pour baking soda and vinegar down the drain followed by hot water

Pour half cup baking soda down the drain and then follow it up with one cup of vinegar. Let it sit in the drain for about 10 minutes. Now pour boiling hot water down the drain.

Dry drain traps

If you open up the cupboard beneath your kitchen sink chances are you’ll see a U-shaped pipe. Ever wonder why it’s shaped like a U? It’s shaped like that so water will sit in it and prevent sewer gas from coming up through the pipe and into your home. This same U-shaped pipe is also located under your bathtub or shower drain. Sometimes, if you don’t run the water very often, the trap can dry out and allow sewer gas to enter. This happens more often with basement drains.

Solution: Make sure there’s water in the drain trap

The easiest way to do this is to simply run or pour water (a gallon or so) into the drain in order to fill up the trap. If the sewer odor goes away, this was your problem. You can do this several times a year to make sure your basement drain trap always has water in it.

Wax toilet rings that need to be replaced

This wax ring sits between the flange and the toilet. It creates a tight seal that performs two jobs: It keeps water from leaking out of the toilet on its way to the drain pipe and prevents sewer gas from entering your home.

Solution: Replace the wax ring

Wax rings can last anywhere from 20-30 years. However, they’ll eventually need to be replaced. If you know what you’re doing, you can replace them yourself. If not, contact a professional sewer repair contractor.

Cracked or broken drain pipes

Cracked or broken drain pipes can also cause nasty sewer odors to enter your home.

Solution: Trenchless pipe lining or pipe replacement

Contact a professional because this isn’t a DIY project. If the sewer pipe is cracked or broken, it will need to be either repaired or replaced by an experienced sewer repair contractor using one of the following methods:

  • Trenchless pipe lining (also known as structural pipe lining) is a minimally-invasive, trenchless method for repairing damaged sewer lines. It involves using an epoxy-soaked liner to create a brand new pipe-within-a-pipe. It can usually be done in just a few hours with minimal digging. For more information on how it works see our Trenchless Pipe Lining page.
  • Sometimes a damaged sewer pipe doesn’t have the structural integrity necessary for pipe lining. In these cases, the pipe can often be replaced used a trenchless technique called pipe bursting. Check out our Pipe Bursting page for more information.
  • Clogged vent pipes

    Vent pipes are usually located on the roof and help to regulate the air pressure in your home’s drainage system. The air is important because without it the wastewater wouldn’t be able to freely flow out.

    Leaves and other debris, snow after a heavy snowstorm, or even clogs at the point where your sewer line connects to the vent pipe can all block the vent and allow sewer odor to build up inside your home.

    Solution: Clear the vent pipe of obstructions

    If you know what you’re doing you can check to make sure that debris or snow isn’t blocking the vent. However, only the most experienced DIYers should attempt this. If you’re not sure, contact a qualified sewer repair contractor to clear away debris, snow, and then make sure the vent is covered and angled correctly. If the problem is a clog where the sewer line meets the vent pipe, you’ll definitely need to contact a professional.

    Sure, sewer odor is mighty unpleasant. However, just because your home stinks doesn’t necessarily mean you have a serious plumbing problem. It could be something minor that you can fix yourself. Even if you need to call a professional, it still might be something that’s easy to repair.

    We’re Sewer Pros, a licensed and insured trenchless sewer repair and replacement contractor serving both Los Angeles and Orange County. We do pipe lining, pipe bursting, spray lining, and more. Contact us 24/7/365 at (800) 481-3707 to find out how we can save you both time and money!