At Comfort Systems in Wichita, KS, we’re always available 24/7. Whether it’s ensuring our customers’ HVAC systems keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter, our heating, AC, and plumbing experts are always available to help. However, there’s one problem that causes great consternation among our customers regardless of the season and that’s when their basement or bathroom emits that dreaded rotten egg smell.

Few issues are as concerning to homeowners in Wichita as a basement that reeks of sewer. One minute everything seems fine, and the next you’re plugging your nose and trying not to gag. Yes, it’s horrible, but there are solutions Comfort Systems can provide. So, what causes your basement or bathroom to smell that bad?

Clogged Basement Floor Drain, Fixture, Faucet, or Roof Sewer Vent

First, check to see if you have a basement floor drain. If your basement is finished, then you might have a floor drain on the unfinished side where your HVAC system or heating pump/heating tank is located. That drain doesn’t receive a lot of water from the furnace, so it might either be blocked or have stagnant water. Over time, stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Next, check all the drains and fixtures in your basement’s bathroom. You may be able to locate the smell directly. If that smell is emerging from your bathroom sink, then turn on the faucet to see if there’s any drainage. If not, then you can try a consumer clog remover like Liquid Plumr or Drano. If it’s emerging from the toilet or shower, it’s probably best to leave it to a Comfort Systems plumber to inspect.

Make sure to check the drain in your garage. While likely not the cause of the smell, these drains are designed to capture gases, oil, and other liquids. There may be something in that drain causing the smell.

Another potential cause could be a blocked or corroded sewer vent. Unfortunately, these are located on your home’s roof, and they’re designed to release air pressure to allow gases and smells to escape your home. If it’s blocked for some reason, then the gases won’t be able to escape and that could be the cause of the putrid smell. Exercise caution if you’ve checked everything on this list and decide to go onto your roof.

Make Sure Your Sump Pump Has a Lid

Your home may have a sump pump with an ejector pump/ejector pin system. These are often placed in the basement to receive water from different areas of your home, like the laundry room, different bathrooms, and your kitchen or garage. It’s a good idea to make sure the lid is down – or at the very least – that your sump pump has a lid that’s sealed properly.

Problems with Your Home’s Sewer Line

Hopefully, you’ve managed to locate the source of the smell. However, if you find that the smell seems to be emanating from multiple drains, faucets, your toilet, and shower, then it could point to a blocked or damaged home sewer line. There are several potential reasons why your home’s sewer line could be the reason for the smell.

Your sewer line travels under your property and is often located under your front yard. It’s not uncommon for large tree roots to wrap themselves around your sewer line, exerting pressure on them until a crack or fracture occurs. Typically, problems with your home’s sewer line will show up elsewhere. You might just start to notice the same smell upstairs in your kitchen or other bathrooms.

Improperly Installed Fixtures

If you recently had some renovations done to the bathroom in your basement – or did those renovations yourself – then some of the fixtures may not have been properly installed. Improperly installing toilets could be the cause of the problem if the wax seal isn’t properly installed, is torn, or out of place.

Trust the Plumbing Professionals at Comfort Systems

If you’ve suddenly encountered a sewer smell emerging from your basement, don’t despair. It can be fixed and is most likely a short-term problem.

If you are concerned about the smell coming from your basement or other parts of your home, contact us now.