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Why Does My Toilet Smell Like Sewage?

Are toilet troubles keeping you down? Get Champion Plumbing on the case.

“Why does my toilet smell like sewage?” This question haunts homeowners who enter a bathroom only for an unpleasant odor to greet them. If you have this problem and you’re here, you have probably tried air fresheners or liquid plumbing products to no avail.

Don’t worry; Champion Plumbing’s skilled technicians handle toilet repair and installation in Edmond, OK, and we have a few solutions on hand. Discover the leading causes of foul-smelling toilets below and learn what to do about them.

#1 Empty P-Trap

The P-trap is the curved bit behind the toilet bowl. You’ll notice a pipe that extends from the toilet to the wall in a downward curve. This curve is the P-trap, which contains water to prevent sewer gasses from traveling up through the pipe and into your bathroom. 

When the water in the dip evaporates, there is no medium to trap the foul odor. But you can usually resolve this issue with a few toilet flushes to refill the P-trap and prevent the odors from escaping. 

#2 Bacterial Infiltration

The sewer system contains a network of bacteria that break down waste products. As they consume these products, they emit gasses. And these emissions often stink.

Sometimes, these organisms find their way into your toilet bowl. They live and reproduce on the toilet rim, especially in warm, humid environments with little ventilation.

You can mitigate this issue by pouring bleach into your toilet bowl and tank. Then, flush the toilet so the bleach can run down the sides of the toilet bowl. You can also keep a bleach tab in the tank to prevent subsequent bacterial visits and nasty smells.

#3 Clogged Toilet Drain

You are probably familiar with clogged toilet drains. They cause the water to rise and don’t release the waste contents. However, some clogs can cause bad smells without other symptoms.

Try a liquid plumbing solution to dislodge the clog. You can also use a plunger or a drain snake to open up the pipes. Otherwise, a professional plumber should address the issue to ensure a reliable resolution.

#4 Clogged Vent Pipe

Vent pipes connect to the plumbing system and run up to the rooftop of many houses. These channels assist in releasing excess sewer gas from homes, which prevents unpleasant smells from the bathrooms. However, plumbing professionals typically suggest occasional inspections to keep tabs on this vent pipe because it can develop clogs.

They look for outdoor debris like bird nests, insect nests, trapped organic matter, and other blockages that prevent sewer gas from escaping, forcing it to find an outlet into your home. If you observe clogs on the vent, don’t attempt to remove it on your own—call trusted plumbing professionals like Champion Plumbing to do the job instead.

#5 Damaged Sealant

Why does my toilet smell like sewage when the toilet shifts, wobbles, or moves? A loose or damaged sealant allows sewage gas to escape from the base of the toilet. 

This wax sealant encircles the base of each toilet, attaching it to the floor while preventing plumbing seepage. Over time, this sealant sustains damage from the toilet shifting during use. A plumber can purchase, fit, and install a new sealant to solve the problem.

#6 Seeping Sewage

Of course, if you find yourself asking why the toilet smells like sewage, you may have a problem with sewage. When toilets or plumbing components fall into disrepair, they can develop fractures, allowing sewage to seep into other areas.

Sometimes, this issue extends to major sewage components like sewer lines, affecting your yard and even the basement. In this case, the best approach is to call a plumber to check the sewer system and find the problem.

#7 Full Septic Tank

If you live in a rural area, you might have a septic tank on your property that stores your home’s waste as it decomposes. The waste eventually dissolves, making room for more waste products. However, a septic tank eventually fills up, leaving little room for more waste. 

Any excess waste can make your bathroom stink and cause your plumbing appliances to gurgle and bubble. A plumber will need to empty your septic tank every three to five years. 

#8 Damaged Toilet Bowl

Although toilet bowls can last for years, you will need to replace them eventually. Toilets endure years of weight-bearing, bumps, and much more. And even the strongest toilets will develop cracks as the material starts to wear down.

Unfortunately, any cracks provide a perfect environment for bacteria to breed and feast. They trap moisture and sometimes sewage particles. So, if you observe a crack in your toilet, it is best to shop for a replacement.

#9 Other Clogged Drains

Your plumbing system consists of a complex network of interconnected pipes and components. When an issue affects one part, it can cause problems in another area. That’s why clogged shower or sink drains can cause issues with your toilet.

However, a clog located deep within the drain requires professional services. A reputable team like Champion Plumber will need to remove the blockage to clear your system and eradicate the smell of sewage.

#10 Backed-up Sewer Lines

If you live in a densely populated area, your plumbing system likely connects to a municipal sewage system. Even large systems like these can face more than they can handle. Typically, the main sewer lines back up when too much material enters them after intense rainstorms or flash floods. 

When the storm drains can’t cope with the extreme amounts of water, these overwhelmed neighborhood drains may send sewer gases into your home’s bathroom. Unfortunately, there are few immediate solutions for this issue except to wait out the storm.

Why Does My Toilet Smell Like Sewage? Call Champion Plumbing for a Proper Diagnosis!

Why does my toilet smell like sewage? Now you know. But if you need a quick solution, the team at Champion Plumbing can access numerous fixes, from low-flow toilets to leak repairs.

Call Champion Plumbing at (405) 889-1318 today or schedule our services online!

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The next time you need a plumbing contractor, call Champion Plumbing if you’re in the Edmond, OK area at 405-342-3571 and give us the chance to earn your business.