Given everything that goes on in a bathroom, the occasional odor should be expected. But if you’re dealing with a lingering sewage smell even after thorough cleaning and disinfecting, you’ll want to figure out where it’s coming from and fast. Prolonged exposure to sewer gases can cause nausea and dizziness, or worse.

Here’s how to sniff out the source of the offensive odor so you can breathe easy again.

Check for Clogs

A sink, shower, or bathtub clog can lead to an unpleasant odor over time. Check that all bathroom drains are draining properly but remember, even if water drains with ease, a thin layer of gunk may be coating the insides of plumbing pipes and stink up the bathroom. Grab a bottle of enzymatic drain cleaner and carefully pour it down the drain, following the manufacturer’s directions. Enzymatic drain cleaners work by slowly breaking down organic waste like food, hair, and soap scum without the harmful effects of caustic, chemical cleaners. Multiple uses may be necessary to clear partially-clogged drains. If the odor disappears a day or so after treatment, you’re good to go.

Look for Plumbing Leaks

Check for signs of water in cabinets and closets where plumbing is located. Run your hand along any exposed pipe to detect any moisture and pay special attention to any signs of mold or mildew. For example, the P-trap under the sink can collect a small amount of water, capturing sewer gases. If the pipe or fittings are cracked or corroded, some of that water and odor can dribble out. Clearing the P-Trap or repairing/replacing the damaged pipe should take care of any odor.

Check the Toilet

A broken wax ring (located where the toilet meets the floor, providing a tight seal between both) can not only make the commode feel unsettled but can also allow sewer gas to seep into the room. This situation is unpleasant, unsanitary, and unsafe. If your toilet feels a bit wobbly, the wax rings likely needs to be replaced to prevent water damage and sewer odor.

Call in a Pro

If the drains are clear, the toilet stable, yet the odor persists, it’s time to call the plumbing professionals at Anthony’s Plumbing, Heating & Air. We have the experience and resources to help you maintain a safe and comfortable bathroom environment.