What’s Causing a Sewer Smell In Your House?

Dealing with a persistent sewer smell in your home can be more than just a nuisance; it hints at an underlying issue that requires immediate attention. At Diamondback Plumbing & Cooling, we understand the discomfort and concern of these mysterious odors and are here to demystify the common culprits. 

Whether it’s a simple fix or a sign of a more significant plumbing concern, our experts are geared up to guide you through identifying and rectifying the source of the sewer scent. 

Let’s dive in and clear the air for a fresher, healthier home.

Causes of Sewer Smell in House

Countless things can cause a sewer smell to seep into your kitchen, bathroom, or any other part of your home. Some common examples include plumbing vent issues, dry p-traps, and sewer line problems. Here’s some helpful information that you can use to your advantage the next time you’re trying to identify the source of the sewer smell in your home:

Plumbing Vent Issues

Plumbing vents, designed to regulate the air pressure in your plumbing system, can sometimes become clogged or damaged. This may lead to a pressure imbalance and cause sewer gas to enter your home, contributing to the unpleasant odor.

Dry P-Traps

The P-trap is a U-shaped pipe under your sink that holds a small amount of water, creating a seal that keeps sewer gasses from rising into your house. If the P-trap is dry, this seal is broken, allowing the sewer smell to pervade your home.

Sewer Line Issues

Issues with the main sewer line, such as blockages, corrosion, or tree root infiltration, can prevent waste from properly exiting your property, leading to a backup of sewer gasses and a resultant foul odor.

Blocked Drains

If your home has a lingering sewer smell, it may be due to a clog. Drains clogged with hair, grease, or other debris can hinder water flow, resulting in a buildup of biofilm and waste products that emit sewer-like smells. Regular cleaning can keep these smells at bay.

Sewage Backup

A sewage or wastewater backup is a serious issue that can cause a sewer smell in your house. It’s often due to a blockage in the sewer line and requires immediate professional attention to prevent health hazards and property damage.

Cracked Sewer Pipes

Cracked or broken sewer pipes can leak sewer gas into your home, making it smell like a sewer. These damages may be caused by shifting soil, heavy construction equipment, or decay over time.

Health Risks Associated with Sewer Gas

Exposure to sewer gas, even in the short term, can lead to many unpleasant symptoms. Residents may experience headaches, dizziness, and eye or throat irritation – these immediate effects often serve as a warning that there are higher levels of harmful gasses in the environment. 

In addition, a noticeable decrease in attention span and a surge in levels of fatigue and nausea are common when sewer gas accumulates within confined living spaces.

Long-term exposure to these gasses raises more serious concerns, as chronic exposure can adversely affect overall health. It can result in more severe respiratory issues, including bronchitis and asthma exacerbation. 

Furthermore, consistent exposure to high levels of sewer gas can impact the nervous system, leading to health problems such as memory loss and decreased cognitive function. In the most extreme cases, these gasses, particularly hydrogen sulfide and methane, can be flammable, which raises the risk of explosions if they accumulate in large quantities.

Actions to Take if You Detect a Sewer Smell

When a distinct sewer smell permeates from a plumbing fixture in your home, swift and calculated action is crucial for comfort and safety. 

Initially, seek to improve ventilation within your home; open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and dispel the noxious odors. Alongside ventilating, identify and stop using any drains or fixtures associated with the sewer odor, as continued use may exacerbate the issue.

Additionally, to keep your family safe, minimizing your exposure to areas with a concentrated sewer smell is advisable. If the odor is pervasive or persists despite your initial efforts, it’s time to bring in professionals. 

Contact a licensed plumber to investigate and resolve the source of the odor. Especially in the case of sewage backup or suspected sewer gas leaks, avoid any open flames or actions that could ignite flammable gasses.

Remember, while a sewer smell in your home can be distressing, prompt and informed actions can significantly reduce health risks and help regain a sense of normality in your living space.

Professional Solutions to Sewer Smells in Homes

At Diamondback Plumbing & Cooling, customer satisfaction is one of our top priorities. Our experts provide a range of professional solutions to effectively neutralize sewer smells in your home, ensuring you can breathe easily and live comfortably. 

Take a look at the steps our trained technicians may employ:

  • Inspection and Diagnosis: Utilize specialized equipment to detect the precise location of leaks or blockages within your plumbing system.
  • Vent Pipe Repair: Address and repair any damage to the vent pipes that could cause an imbalance in air pressure and allow sewer gas to enter your home.
  • Water Trap Restoration: Ensure that P-traps and other water traps contain the necessary amount of water to prevent gas from seeping into your living spaces.
  • Drain Cleaning: Perform a thorough cleaning of drains to remove clogs from hair, grease, and foreign objects that can cause unpleasant odors over time. Some options include using a plumber’s snake or hydro jetting services.
  • Sewer Line Repair: Fix or replace damaged sewer lines that can be a source of sewer gas leakage into your property.
  • Tree Root Removal: Clear tree roots that are infiltrating sewer lines, a common cause of cracks and blockages.
  • Sewage Backup Cleanup: Provide immediate and professional cleanup in the event of a sewage backup, reducing health risks and preventing property damage.
  • Improved Sealing and Waterproofing: Offer sealing solutions for any foundation cracks or other structural issues that might contribute to sewer gas infiltration.
  • Regular Maintenance Checks: Suggest and implement regular maintenance schedules to prevent future issues and keep the plumbing system operating efficiently.
  • Eco-friendly Products: Utilize environmentally friendly cleaning agents and materials safe for home environments, avoiding harsh chemicals whenever possible.

Remember, professional intervention not only resolves the current issue but also acts as a preventive measure against future occurrences. Trust our experts at Diamondback Plumbing & Cooling to restore the comfort of your home in Phoenix, Arizona.


In conclusion, if you’re troubled by the persistent presence of sewer smells in your home, don’t hesitate to take action. The comfort, health, and safety of your living environment are paramount. Diamondback Plumbing & Cooling is your go-to professional service for all plumbing needs. We pride ourselves on providing prompt, efficient, and environmentally friendly solutions. 

Don’t let sewer odors impact your quality of life or peace of mind. Give us a telephone call today to schedule an inspection and experience our top-tier services. Let’s ensure your home remains a safe and pleasant haven for you and your loved ones. We’re always happy to get the job done, regardless of how big or small it may be.

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