How To Get Sewer Smell Out of Basement (latest 2023)

Are you tired of dealing with unpleasant sewer smells in your basement? The musty and dusty odors can be a real deterrent, preventing you from fully utilizing the space and enjoying your home. 

Fortunately, there’s no need to put up with these odors when there are practical solutions available. In this article, we will explore the potential causes of sewer smells in basements, ranging from clogged drains to damaged sewer lines. 

By understanding the root of the problem, you can take appropriate action and restore a fresh and clean scent to your basement. Say goodbye to the discouraging odors that have been holding you back from accessing stored items or making the most of your basement. 

We’ll provide you with helpful tips and suggest effective basement odor eliminators, ensuring a pleasant living environment and a renewed appreciation for your basement’s potential.

Do Not Forget to Read About: Best and Latest Air Purifiers

Main Causes of Sewer Smell Out of Basement

First we will explore the main causes of sewer smells in basements and provide practical tips and solutions to address them. 

By identifying and resolving the underlying issues, homeowners can enjoy a pleasant and odor-free basement environment.

Clogged or Dry Floor Drains:

One of the common culprits behind sewer smells in basements is clogged or dry floor drains. Floor drains are designed with a trap that holds a small amount of water to prevent sewer gasses from escaping. 

However, if the drain dries up or becomes clogged over time, sewer gas can enter the basement and create an unpleasant odor. 

To tackle this issue, homeowners can pour water down infrequently used drains or use cleaning solutions to refresh the P-traps and prevent water evaporation.

Improperly Sealed Ejector Pit and Pump:

The ejector pit and pump in the basement play a vital role in containing waste water and preventing sewer gas from overwhelming the area. However, if the ejector pit is not properly sealed or vented, sewer gasses can enter the basement, leading to foul smells. 

It is essential to ensure that the ejector pit is sealed with a cover and that the venting system is functioning correctly. If there are issues, homeowners may need to replace the ejector pump or seek professional assistance to seal the pit effectively.

Stagnant Water in Sump Pump Pit:

Stagnant water in the sump pump pit can become a breeding ground for unpleasant odors. When the sump pump has not been in use for some time, the water in the pit can sit and become stagnant, resulting in a foul smell. 

Regularly operating the sump pump and ensuring proper drainage can help prevent this issue.

Improper Venting of Fixtures and Appliances:

Basement fixtures and appliances, such as toilets, sinks, and washing machines, require proper venting to allow sewer gasses to exit the home. If these fixtures and appliances are not adequately vented, sewer gases can get trapped indoors, leading to a sewer smell in the basement. 

Homeowners should check the venting systems and make sure they are functioning correctly to prevent this problem.

Damaged Sewer Line:

A damaged sewer line near the home can be a more severe cause of sewer smells in the basement. If the sewer line is broken or cracked, sewage can leak into the ground and find its way to the sump pit, resulting in persistent odors. 

To diagnose this issue, homeowners can use leak-tracing dye in the bathtub and toilet. If the dyed water leeches into the soil and returns to the pit, it indicates a broken sewer line. In such cases, it is essential to seek help from professional plumbers for proper repairs.

How To Get Sewer Smell Out of Basement

How To Get Sewer Smell Out of Basement

Now, we will explore various methods and steps to tackle sewer smells in the basement effectively.

Flushing with Hot Water and Baking Soda:

To begin with, pour a generous amount of hot water down the drain. If the smell persists, create a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water. 

Pour this solution down the drain, wait until the bubbling subsides, and repeat the process. Multiple cycles should yield noticeable improvements.

Clearing Blockages with an Auger:

If the previous method doesn’t solve the problem, consider using an auger to clear any blockages in the drain. This tool can effectively remove stubborn debris that may be contributing to the sewer smell.

Ensure the Cleanout Plug is in Place:

Check that the cleanout plug is properly installed for floor drains. This plug acts as a barrier, preventing sewer gas from directly entering the basement. If the drain is clogged or backing up, contacting a plumber to snake or water jet the drain may be necessary.

Inspect and Seal the Ejector Pit:

Properly seal the ejector pit in the basement with a fitted lid to prevent sewer gas from escaping. Additionally, inspect the waste discharge and vent pipes for any cracks or obstructions. Replace any damaged components to effectively contain sewer smells.

Test and Maintain the Sump Pump:

Regularly test your sump pump to ensure it is functioning correctly. If the pump is operational, pour a few buckets of water into the pit to initiate 2-3 cycles, which will help remove stagnant water and reduce odors. Consider cleaning the walls of the pit with bleach to further alleviate any unpleasant smells.

Verify Proper Venting in Laundry Rooms and Bathrooms:

Confirm that laundry rooms and bathrooms are correctly vented and connected to the rest of the home’s ventilation system. This prevents sewer smells from seeping into the basement through improperly vented fixtures. 

Ensuring proper venting throughout the entire house can eliminate smells originating from other levels as well.

Maintain Water Traps in Infrequently Used Drains:

Infrequently used drains, such as those in old sinks or unused tubs, may emit unpleasant smells due to dried-out traps. To restore the water seal, pour water into the drain and add a small amount of cooking oil. The oil forms a floating seal that slows down water evaporation.

Check and Replace Missing Drain Plugs:

Inspect floor drains for the presence of a plug. If the plug is missing, sewer gas can bypass the water trap. Replacing the plug and performing a simple flush will restore the water seal, eliminating the foul smell. In cases where the toilet is the source of the smell, replacing the wax ring may be necessary.

Enhance Air Circulation:

Improving overall air circulation in the basement can contribute to odor control. Open windows to increase ventilation or utilize dehumidifiers to combat basement humidity. This not only helps eliminate sewer smells but also creates a fresher living environment.

Prevention through Regular Maintenance:

To prevent future sewer odor problems, maintain a regular cleaning and maintenance routine for drains. This includes periodic flushing with hot water and using drain cleaners when necessary.

By keeping drains clean and free of debris, you can minimize the chances of sewer smells reoccurring.

Professional Assistance for Complex Issues:

If the source of the sewer smell remains unidentified or if you encounter complex issues like broken sewer lines, it is crucial to seek professional assistance.

Experienced plumbing professionals, such as MT Drains & Plumbing, can provide expertise and effective solutions tailored to your specific problem.

Investing in Odor Elimination Products:

Consider investing in odor elimination products designed specifically for basements. These products are formulated to combat persistent sewer smells and provide effective odor control, enhancing the overall freshness of your basement.

Seek Professional Assistance for Sewer Line Leaks:

Identifying and fixing sewer line leaks can be challenging. It is advisable to seek professional help, particularly from experts experienced in leak tracing dye techniques. By pinpointing the problem area, appropriate repairs can be undertaken to resolve the issue effectively.

Final Words:

Eliminating sewer smells from your basement is essential for creating a pleasant and healthy living environment. By implementing the solutions and preventive measures discussed in this article, you can successfully address sewer odors and enjoy a fresh and odor-free basement. 

Remember, when in doubt or faced with complex issues, consulting professionals is always a wise choice to ensure proper resolution and long-term odor control.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kills the smell of sewage?

To kill the smell of sewage, you can use various methods such as pouring hot water, baking soda, and vinegar down the drain, using commercial odor elimination products, or seeking professional help to identify and address the source of the odor.

Why does my basement have a strong sewer smell?

A strong sewer smell in the basement can be caused by several factors, including dry floor drains, damaged sewer lines, improper venting of fixtures, stagnant water in sump pump pits, or infrequently used drains with dried-out traps.

Will sewage smell go away?

In most cases, sewer smells will dissipate once the underlying cause is addressed. By identifying and resolving issues such as clogged drains, broken sewer lines, or inadequate ventilation, the sewage smell should eventually go away.

How do you deodorize a basement floor drain?

To deodorize a basement floor drain, you can pour hot water down the drain and follow it with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Allow the solution to sit for some time before flushing it out with more hot water. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the drain can also help prevent odors.

Is it safe to breathe in sewage smell?

Breathing in sewage smell is not recommended as it can contain harmful gases, such as hydrogen sulfide and methane. Prolonged exposure to these gases can be hazardous to health. It’s important to address the source of the smell and ensure proper ventilation to minimize health risks.

What’s the best thing for a smelly basement?

The best approach for a smelly basement is to identify and eliminate the source of the smell. This can involve cleaning drains, repairing broken sewer lines, improving ventilation, using odor elimination products, or seeking professional assistance to address the specific issue causing the smell.

How do you fix a smelly sewer line?

Fixing a smelly sewer line requires identifying the cause of the odor. This may involve inspecting and repairing damaged or clogged pipes, ensuring proper ventilation and sealing of sewer line connections, and eliminating any blockages or leaks in the system. Consulting a professional plumber is recommended for complex sewer line issues.

How do you get sewage smell out of concrete?

To get sewage smell out of concrete, start by cleaning the affected area with a mixture of bleach and water. Scrub the surface thoroughly and rinse it with clean water. Additionally, improving ventilation in the area and addressing any underlying sewer-related issues can help eliminate the smell.

Will bleach get rid of sewer smell?

Bleach can be effective in removing sewer smells, especially when used to clean surfaces or flush drains. However, it is essential to use bleach carefully and according to instructions, as it can be corrosive and harmful if misused. Additionally, addressing the root cause of the smell is crucial for long-term odor elimination.

Can you put vinegar down a basement drain?

Yes, you can pour vinegar down a basement drain as a natural deodorizer. Mix vinegar with hot water and pour it down the drain, allowing it to sit for some time before flushing it out with more hot water. Vinegar helps neutralize odors and can be an effective solution for minor smells in drains.

Kristen Park - Specialised Content Writer for Caresh Fresh

My name is Kristen Park and I am a senior writer specialising in how-to guides and home cleaning information at Cares Fresh. As a researcher, I take pride in digging deep to find every small detail on a topic and explaining it in a way that is easy for the reader to understand.