Why Does It Smell Like Sewage Outside My House?

Why Does It Smell Like Sewage Outside My House?

why does it smell like sewage outside my house

You might wonder about these things because of dirty air or perhaps because of a nearby sewer line. But they aren’t always related.

In some cases, your home’s plumbing system could be leaking, causing odors from wastewater. If you want to prevent this problem, you should consider getting a sewage inspection done.

This is called “sewage backup” and frequently happens during heavy rains.

The good news is that sewage inspections are relatively inexpensive and painless. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get a sewage inspection done. Instead, you can hire an expert who can inspect several problems at once.

They can also provide recommendations for repairs and help you minimize the risk of future sewage backflows.

Possible Reasons for a Sewage Smell

There are multiple reasons why sewage smells bad; let’s look at some of the most important ones in the list below.

1. Broken Vent Pipe

A broken vent pipe is one of the main reasons why sewage smells bad. It allows water to leak into the basement or crawl space, which leads to wet soil. The sooner you fix it, the less damage will occur.

As soon as you notice any signs of a leak, call a professional immediately.

2. Dried Out House Trap Sump (P Trap)

The so-called P Trap is another reason why sewage smells bad. A properly functioning P trap prevents water from entering the drain lines. However, if the sump pump isn’t working right, the water level inside the sump may rise too high.

This causes the water to overflow through the drain pipes and enter the yard.

3. Leader Lines or Area Drains

Area drains are some of the worst culprits for sewage smells. Typically, they’re located near the foundation, but they can also be under the driveway or garage. These drains often connect to the stormwater drainage system, which means they carry away rainwater.

If the drains are clogged, then they can cause sewage leaks.

4. Overflowing Septic Tank

When a septic tank overflows, that’s the worst thing because the sewage smells awful. It carries all the dirty waters filled with all kinds of bacteria and other stuff, which can have a terrible odor.

Why Does My Outside Drain Smell?

why does my outside drain smell

An outside drain can smell for several reasons; it could be because of bacteria developing in the drain due to a clog or a sewage gas leak such as hydrogen sulfide. The sewer pipe might be clogged, causing the sewage to back up.

This can happen because of heavy rain or snowfall, or debris build-up. The problem may be inside your house, the plumbing system may be damaged or broken, which requires expert help.

What Can I Use to Clean My Outside Drain?

If your outside drain smells, you can try using a plunger or a snake to remove the blockage. Another option is to pour boiling water down the drain. You can also use bleach mixed with hot water to kill the bacteria.

If none of these methods work, you should contact a plumber to do the job.

Can You Put Bleach Down an Outside Drain?

You can definitively put bleach down an outside drain but don’t be surprised if the problem isn’t fixed. As I mentioned above, there may be different ways that the drain smells, and some of these can not be solved by pouring bleach.

There might be a need for an expert with a high-pressure jetting tool.

How to Fix a Sewage Odor Smell in Drains

how to fix a sewage odor smell in drains

Learning how to fix a sewage odor smell in the drains is crucial because you don’t want to live with that discomfort in your life. Here are some answers about fixing the smelly drains from your apartment.

Can I Use a Drain Cleaner to Get Rid of the Smell?

Yes, you can use a drain cleaner to eliminate the odor. But make sure that you buy a product specifically designed for cleaning drains.

Drain cleaners that contain harsh chemicals can damage your pipes.

Cleaning Smelly Drains

Cleaning smelly drains is a tedious process. It involves removing the build-up of grease, hair, soap scum, and other things that accumulate in the drain. To start off, you’ll need a bucket and a brush then do the following steps:

  • Fill the bucket with warm water (or as close to warm as you can get).
  • Afterward, pour the contents of one bottle of dishwashing detergent into the bucket. Ensure the solution has been diluted so it won’t burn your skin.
  • Pour the mixture through the drain slowly and carefully. Wait until the water runs clear before turning off the faucet.
  • Once the water clears, repeat the procedure with another bottle of dishwashing detergents.
  • After you’ve finished, flush out the drain with cold water.

Smelly Washing Machine Drains

Cleaning smelly washing machine drains involves running a washing machine with no clothes or anything, just with hot water, baking soda, and distilled white vinegar.

This has proven to be an effective way to remove the smell. If the problem still persists, do the same, but this time use bleach instead of the other two ingredients.

Smelly Shower Drains

Cleaning a smelly shower drain will require the same DIY methods as cleaning washing machine drains but instead of running anything, you need to put the baking soda and the vinegar in the shower drain. First, you add the baking soda and then the vinegar; you should start hearing sizzling soon after.

Leave it for an hour or so and then add hot water, which should fix your problems.

Fixing Your Toilet

If you are experiencing a sewage odor smell in your home toilet, there are several ways to fix it. You can try using a plunger or a snake to remove any blockages.

Another option is to use boiling water. You can also use chlorine bleach mixed with hot water. If none of these solutions work, you should call a professional plumber because you may have a deeper problem.

What Causes a Septic Tank to Overflow?

what causes a septic tank to overflow

A septic tank can overflow because of a malfunctioning valve, a faulty float switch, or a blocked drain line. In addition, a septic tank can overflow due to a power outage. When a septic tank overflowed, the wastewater was likely discharged into the soil or onto the ground.

This can cause a foul odor, and that’s not nice at all.

Can Sewer Gas and Sewer Odor Make You Sick?

can sewer gas and sewer odor make you sick

Sewer gas is very toxic and can cause serious health problems.

The symptoms of exposure include nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, coma, respiratory failure, heart attack, and more.

The sewer gas is a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and mercaptans. It’s a gas that is created during the decomposition process of organic matter.

When the decomposition occurs at a higher temperature than typical, it generates a lot of gasses that escape into the atmosphere through vents.

James Marshall

About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »