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Help! My House Smells Like a Sewer When it Rains

help! my house smells like a sewer when it rains

Rain can cause a number of different smells to become more noticeable in and around your home. Petrichor is the name for the scent of rain on dry earth, and it can be an appealing scent to some.

Unfortunately, smelling sewage in and around your home during a rainstorm is not appealing to anyone, and can be a sign of a more serious issue in your plumbing system. Let’s take a closer look at the potential causes of a sewage smell in your home and how the rain can affect or cause it.

Bacteria Could Be The Cause

One of the first culprits of a sewage smell in and around your home is due to bacteria. Your plumbing handles a wide range of different types of waste, both organic waste from the kitchen, and human waste from the bathroom.

When too much waste goes through the system at once, it can cause blockages and buildup in certain areas leading to a leakage of foul smells coming out of drains in the sink, shower, or bath tub.

In many cases, excess humidity from rain can get into the pipes in the form of condensation increasing the amount of smells that are created. In most cases, smelling any sewage odor can be the sign of a damaged pipe, a blockage or a backup and may need to be addressed by a plumber.

Consider the Water Barrier

All plumbed fixtures in your home have a section called the water barrier or P-trap. In homes with guest bathrooms or rooms that are not used often, the water barrier can dry out and stop providing a proper seal, letting odors into the home.

If you know a certain bathroom or kitchen fixture is not used often, running some clean water into the drain for a short time can help moisten the water barrier seal and prevent odors from leaking into the home.

If this does not help, contacting a plumber for an inspection of your P-trap may be the only solution.

Cracked Pipes May Be To Blame

One of the biggest issues, and potentially the most expensive to repair, would be cracked pipes. Many minor pipes indoors such as those under the sink are an easy fix and can even be replaced on your own.

However, underground pipes can be damaged by tree roots growing into them which may end up being a large and costly endeavor to fix. If your pipes are not clogged or backed up, but you still smell sewage especially when it rains, cracked pipes may be the cause.

A licensed plumber can inspect the pipes with the use of a small camera on a long cable without having to do much digging, giving you a clear indication of where the trouble lies. Once you have located the damaged pipe, digging to it and getting it repaired or replaced will prevent the sewage smell from leaking into your home and yard.