One of the most difficult problems that we run into as plumbers are sewer smells that have no obvious source. The first step to identifying the source of a foul odor in your home is to make sure that the fixture traps have not evaporated due to lack of use. Fixtures such as floor drains, shower, drains, and sink drains all have p-traps that are designed to keep sewer gases out. The trap makes a U shape that blocks off the main sewer using the water that has already been ran down the drain. If your drain has not been used in a long time, it may just need a little water to fix the problem.
Old floor drains seem to be the most common cause of sewer gas seeping up into the living space. If you have a floor drain that does not get used you should pour water down it at least every 6 months to keep the trap seal.
The second most common cause of a sewer smell is usually caused by a toilet that is not sealed off all the way. In some cases the wax ring may not form a proper seal which will cause the sewer gas to come through. This can happen when the toilet flange is set too low and instead of being built up with a closet flange extender, the plumber just installed an extra wax ring to make the seal. This may cause a toilet to start seeping gas randomly for no apparent reason.
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