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Sewer Smell In Shower Drain

How To Clean A Shower Drain With A Toilet Plunger

Sewer smell in the shower

Your first line of defense for a clogged shower drain is an old-fashioned toilet plunger. Fill the tub or shower stall with enough water to cover the rubber bell of the plunger. Place the bell over the drain opening and plunge away. The force of the pressurized water should dislodge the clog and allow the standing water to go down. If the shower doesn’t drain or drains slowly, try again.

The Second Reason Your Shower Drain Smells Like A Sewer: Dirty P

Another common cause of odors is a dirty p-trap. What a p-trap does is prevent sewer gases from coming up into your bathroom. If this section is damaged, it can cause a foul smell even if theres no clog or the areas been cleaned.

The p-trap is a pipe that has a U-shaped design. Its location is right beneath your shower drain line. An excellent example of a p-trap is if you look under your bathroom sink. The U-shaped pipe is a p-trap and is identical to the one inside your shower drain.

The p-trap is supposed to hold on to enough water to form a seal that blocks sewer gasses from entering your home. There is a chance that your P-trap might just be dry.

Common Causes Of Sewer Smell In House

So what could be the cause of this unbearable stench? You could have one of several issues on your hands. A sewer gas smell in the bathroom can be caused by:

  • evaporation of water in the P-trap piping
  • broken seal around the toilet in the wax ring or the caulk
  • trees roots have grown into or have caused damage to your sewer pipes
  • the sewer or main drain has bellied, collapsed, deformed, or deteriorated

Any one of these could allow the sewer smell to invade your home.

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Why Should You Clean Your Shower Drain

Aside from the apparent icky factor, there are several good reasons to keep your shower drain cleaner. One reason is that it can help prevent clogs. If you have a lot of hair in your drain, it can act as a net and catch other things like soap scum and dirt. This can lead to clogs which can be challenging to remove.

Another reason to keep your shower drain cleaner is to help prevent bad odors. If you have ever noticed a foul smell coming from your shower, it is because your drain is dirty. When dirt and debris build up in your drain, it can smell not good. The best way to prevent this is to keep your drain clean.

If you have noticed an unpleasant smell coming from your shower, it is time to give your drain a good cleaning. Following these simple tips, you can clean your drain and prevent foul odors from taking over your bathroom.

Prevent Your Shower Drain From Smelling

Sewer Smell In Tampa Your Bathroom? Find Out Why

Once youve identified the source of the smell, you can take steps to prevent it from happening again. Some standard prevention methods include:

Clearing soap scum: One of the best ways to prevent smelly drains is to keep soap scum from building up in the first place. You can do this by using a mild soap and avoiding harsh chemicals. When youre done showering, rinse the drain well so that no soap residue is left behind.

Avoiding hair shedding: Another way to prevent smelly drains is to avoid shedding hair into the drain. You can brush your hair before you shower and keep it pulled back while you shampoo and condition.

Keeping food out of the disposal: If you have a garbage disposal, ensure food particles are kept from getting caught in the blades. You can avoid putting large pieces of food down the drain and running cold water for a few seconds after you use the disposal.

Sewage backup: If you have a septic system, have it pumped regularly. This will prevent sewage from backing up into your home and causing smelly drains.

â Clean shower p-traps: Make sure your P-trap is always filled with water. This will prevent sewer gases from entering your home and causing smelly drains. To clean a clogged P-trap, remove the drain cover and unscrew the trap from the drain pipe. Empty the contents, then rinse well with hot water before replacing.

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Causes Of A Smelly Shower Drain

Before you mistake the smell for the sewer line having burst, you need to know that the smell occurs due to a lack of thorough cleaning of the shower drain.

Anaerobic bacteria feed on the dirty water in the drain and emit hydrogen sulfide gas. This gas is what smells like sewage or rotten eggs. Lets look at the causes of the bad odor in your shower drain in detail.

How To Fix Leaking Pipes

The solution to fixing a leaking pipe is not as simple as the solutions we’ve discussed so far. The answer depends on what material your plumbing pipes are made of, how you can access them and other factors. In some cases, the discovery of a leak could be the first sign of more extensive issues with your plumbing. For instance, if you have old cast iron pipes in your home, they may need to be replaced entirely with new pipes.

Fixing a leaking drain line is a job you should leave to the professionals. When you think you may be smelling sewer gases leaking from your pipes and you know the P-trap should be containing these smells, call a licensed plumber to come out and diagnose the problem. They should be able to fix the issue so you can breathe easy in your bathroom.

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Vent Stack / Vent Pipe

The vent stack is a pipe that goes through your roof and allows air to enter the sewer system. This pipe also prevents sewer gases from entering your bathroom. If the vent stack becomes blocked, it can cause sewer smells to waft into your home.

There are a few ways you can clear a blocked vent stack. You can use a garden hose to flush out any debris that may be blocking the pipe. You can also use a plumbers snake to remove any blockages.

Broken Clogged Or Poorly Installed Vent Pipes

Shower Drain Smells Like a Sewer? Quick Easy Fix

The vent pipe is your sewerage systems breather. When it gets clogged, the sewer gases can back up into the sinks and the toilet, resulting in your bathrooms sewage smells. You may experience a bubbling sound coming from the toilet or the drain as sewer gas forces its way into the bathroom.

Possible causes of blocked vent pipe could be poor installation or blockages caused by solid objects that find their way into the vents. To resolve the problem, check the vent for any blockages and remove them where possible or call in a specialist.

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Before You Call The Plumber Follow These Tips To Clean A Clogged Smelly Shower Drain

Amanda Lauren is a Los Angelesbased contributor to a variety of publications, including Real Simple, Forbes, Forbes Global Properties, Reader’s Digest, Simply Recipes, Bob Vila, and A Sweat Life. As an interior design expert she’s appeared on Cheddar TV and Good Morning America to discuss design trends, and has had two home decor lines: creating a holiday placemat line with Elizabeth Sutton Collection, as well as designing The Hamptons Collection for ArtSugar. On top of creating design and lifestyle content, Amanda hosts the Bougie Adjacent podcast where she interviews celebrities, influencers, and entrepreneurs. She appreciates both traditional and contemporary interior designs and believes pink can be incorporated into any room of the home.

There’s nothing less relaxing than getting ready to take a nice bath or shower only to be greeted by a smelly shower drain odor. Even worse is realizing the water isn’t going down after you’ve already toweled off.

A clogged shower drain is a nuisance, especially if it happens frequently. Whether you have excess soap scum, long hair, or something else that’s clogging your pipes or causing a smelly shower drain, this is a problem that doesn’t go away on its own and must be handled immediately. Luckily, most shower drain odor and clog issues are easy to handle if you know how to clean a shower drain the right way. Then, take some precautionary measures to prevent a clogged shower drain in the future.

How To Unclog A Shower Drain

There are several ways you can unclog a shower drain. A popular option to try which does not require the use of any chemicals is to snake the drain, so we’ll focus on how to unclog a shower drain with a snake. You can purchase a drain snake, also known as a hand auger, at your local hardware store. This is one of the tools any DIY plumber should have on-hand. Be sure to choose one with a 1/4 or 5/16 inch cable so it is flexible enough to curve through your pipes.

You can also make your own drain snaking tool by straightening out a wire coat hanger and leaving a hook on the end so it can get ahold of whatever material is blocking your drain. Whether you use a store-bought or a homemade snake, run the snake down the drain and pull it back up once you feel it hook onto the clog.

Be mindful that using a drain snake can cause damage to your pipes if done incorrectly, so if you are uneasy, you can always call a plumber out to snake the drain. Some other options for clearing out a drain clog include:

  • Pulling the clog out by hand if you can reach it
  • Using a plunger to draw the clog up to the surface
  • Pouring boiling water down the drain to help dislodge the obstruction
  • Pouring a chemical cleaner down the drain to dissolve the clog

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S To Getting Rid Of The Smell

Following these prevention tips can keep your shower drain smelling fresh and clean. If you already have a smelly drain, then you can try some of the following methods to get rid of the smell:

Pour boiling water down the drain: One way to kill bacteria and remove odors is to pour boiling water down the drain. This method will also help break up any soap scum or hair causing the smell.

Make a baking soda paste: Another way to remove odors is to make a paste out of baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.

Use vinegar: Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can help remove odors. Pour a cup of vinegar down the drain and let it sit for an hour before flushing with hot water.

Following these tips can keep your shower drain smelling fresh and clean.

Why Is There A Sewage Smell In Your Bathroom

Bad Smell in the House

You walk into your bathroom and crinkle your nose as you detect the faint smell of sewage coming from … somewhere. While most bathrooms are occasionally home to unfortunate odors, this one is distinctly out of place.

You lean closer to the sink, the shower drain and the toilet as you try to identify the source of the offensive odor. You squeeze some cleaner into the toilet bowl and give it an extra scrub, even though it has been recently sanitized. With that, the fragrance of the cleaner temporarily masks the smell, and you leave the room. Later, you catch another whiff as you walk past the bathroom door. This time, the smell is unmistakable, and no amount of scrubbing, running the fan or spraying air freshener is able to resolve it. So why is there a sewage smell in your bathroom?

The bad news is that any number of things can cause a sewage smell in your bathroom, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the source of the odor. Besides the obvious unpleasant smell, the methane in sewer gas can actually be flammable in large quantities, and breathing it in can be hazardous to your health. Fortunately, once the source of the problem is identified, the sewage smell is usually pretty simple and inexpensive to correct. Want your clean-smelling bathroom back? Read on!


  • Time to Call the Plumber!
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    Causes Why Your Shower Drain Smells

    The first step is to identify the source of the smell. If you cant find the source, you cant fix the problem. There are several familiar sources of smelly drains:

    Soap scum buildup:This is one of the most common causes of smelly drains. When soap mixes with water, it forms a scum that can build up on the sides of your drain. This buildup can create a perfect environment for bacteria to grow, which can cause your drain to smell bad.

    Hair: Another common cause of smelly drains is hair. When hair sheds, it can fall into the drain and mix with soap scum and other debris. This mixture can create an ideal environment for bacteria to grow, causing your drain to stink.

    Mold and Mildew: Another cause why your shower drain might smell bad is because of mold or mildew. Mold and mildew can grow in damp, dark places like shower drains. They can cause respiratory problems and are difficult to remove. The best way to get rid of mold and mildew is to use a commercial cleaner or a bleach and water solution.

    Food: Another common cause of smelly drains is food. Food particles mixed with water and soap scum can create an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. This can cause your drain to smell bad.

    Sewage: If your home has a septic system, then sewage can be another cause of smelly drains. When sewage backs up into your home, it can mix with water and create a foul smell. If you think sewage is the source of your problem, you should call a professional plumber to fix the issue.

    Use Chemicals To Unclog The Drain

    Using a chemical solution should only be done if youve tried everything else. Any strong chemical can damage your pipes over time. If youre consistently having to unclog your drain using chemical de-cloggers, then youre going to see the damage.

    Therefore, to avoid damaging your pipes, we recommend finding a natural alternative. However, if you cant get the clog out, then its your best option.

    Youll need to purchase a shower drain unclogger solution. Some popular brands are Drano, Green Gobbler, and Zep.

    Once you have a chemical cleaner, read the instructions located on the package. Youll want to follow the exact measurements to avoid damaging your drain. Each chemical solution will have different instructions, so be sure to follow them correctly.

    After youve measured out the chemical solution, pour it down the drain. Youll need to wait a few minutes until the chemical has broken down the debris in the drain.

    Once youve let the solution sit, pour hot water down the drain. This will help wash away any leftover chemical residue and prevent damage to your drain.

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    How To Keep Your Shower Drain Clean

    Cleaning your shower regularly can help prevent odors from developing in the first place. Make sure to scrub down the walls and floor of your shower and the drain itself. If you have a removable shower head, clean it with soap and water to remove any built-up dirt and grime. Doing this will help keep your shower clean and free of smelly odors.

    Another way to prevent odors in your shower drain is to pour a cup of baking soda down once a week. Baking soda is a natural odor absorber, so it will help keep your drain smelling fresh. You can also try using a commercial drain cleaner that contains enzymes these break down organic matter and help prevent odors from forming.

    If you have an older home with cast iron or clay pipes, they may be the source of your smelly shower drain. These types of pipes can develop rust over time, which can cause an unpleasant odor. If you think this might be the problem, call a plumber to have your pipes inspected and cleaned if necessary.

    Another great way to keep your shower smelling great is using a homemade drain cleaner. This can be made with baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. Mix these ingredients and pour them down your drain once a week. This will help keep your drain clean and fresh-smelling. Give it a try, and let us know how it works for you!

    How To Use A Drain Snake

    How to clean a smelly drain in shower or sink

    If the clog is a mass of soap scum-coated hair that just won’t move, you need a drain snake . The price for one of these tools can range from around $30 for a metal snake to just $10 for a three-count package of plastic drain snakes.

    Using a drain snake is easy: Just remove the drain cover, then push the snake into the drain pipe. When you start to feel resistance, you’ve hit the clog. Don’t pull up the snake just yet. Keep rotating the snake so the clog will be caught for removal or broken up.

    When you stop feeling resistance, slowly pull the snake from the drain and dispose of the clog. Finally, run the shower at full force for a few minutes to make sure everything is clear. Clean the drain cover with hot water and an all-purpose cleaner and replace it.

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