Your laundry room is where items go to get clean, but sometimes, funky smells arise there. If you notice a sewage smell coming from your laundry room, you'll want to investigate a few common causes before calling in a plumber. As you can probably imagine, sewage is full of gross bacteria and pathogens, and long-term exposure can lead to health problems. Sometimes, the problem can be easily fixed with a visit to your favorite hardware store, but it's important to pull out your detective hat and get to the bottom of the stinky smell as soon as possible, especially when it comes to sewage.
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Sewage gas leaks can smell similar to natural gas leaks with a slight rotten egg smell, but if your laundry room smells more like a port-a-potty that hasn't been cleaned in months, it's a good bet it's sewage and not a gas leak. Fortunately, there may be a couple of things you can do to fix the problem before resorting to an expensive service call.
Issues With the P-Trap
An excellent place to start looking for the source of a sewage smell is the P-trap. The P-trap is a U-shaped pipe found beneath your laundry room sink that blocks sewer gases from leaking into your house. The P-trap holds a small amount of water to block bad smells, but sometimes, it springs a leak, causing sewage to seep into your home. If your P-trap is dry or there's a puddle of water underneath it, that's a good sign that its compression collar needs tightening or the slip joint washer needs to be replaced. Luckily, both are easy fixes that should stop the odors from seeping into your house.
Clogged Sink Drain
Another common and often easy-to-fix problem is a clogged drain. One way to easily tell whether a drain is clogged is if water from your washer keeps backing up in the laundry sink. You may be able to put on a pair of rubber gloves and poke around in the drain to see if you feel anything. If your drain is too narrow or the clog is further down, you'll need to use a snake to get the item out, or you can pour some liquid drain cleaner down the drain to see if that clears the blockage. If neither of these solutions works, the issue may be a larger problem.
Sewer Line Problems
Damage to your sewer line, like blockages or cracks in sewer pipes, is another common culprit of sewage smells in your home. If you suspect your sewer line is to blame for your smelly laundry room, schedule an inspection with a plumber to scope your sewer line, as foul odors are usually the first sign of many to appear with sewer line issues. Damage to sewer lines can cause backups, flooding, and even hazardous conditions in your home, so it's best to hand off this project to a professional to get everything squared away.
Improper Vent Installation
Issues with your laundry room's ventilation system might be the root cause of your smelly problem. The venting system in your laundry room helps remove humidity from the washer and helps remove heat to prevent dryer fires. If you think there's a problem with your laundry room vents, you'll want to schedule an inspection with a plumber to determine the best course of action.