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Sewer smell coming from sink when water runs into drain

I get a sewer smell coming from my sink drain when I run the water. It used to happen all the time, then stopped for a long time, I recently had my main sewer line somewhat unclogged a little bit and now the problem has returned. Any ideas on how to get rid of it?

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  •  Sidd
    Sidd Nov 20, 2013

    Yes there is a trap, got any other ideas?

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  • 416 Answers

Is there a trap in the sink drain just under the sink
if not put one in
a trap holds water in a bend so sewer gases dont come up through the drain

Posted on Nov 20, 2013

Testimonial: "Yes there is a trap, got any other ideas?"

  •  Sidd
    Sidd Nov 20, 2013

    Yes there is a trap, got any other ideas?

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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2 Answers

Sewer smell in house from septic tank and idle system


If the house has been sitting for a long time, the traps may have dried out and are not stopping the sewer gasses from being trapped back, flush all toilets and run some water in all the sinks and tubs, to refill the p-traps, also don't forget to pour some water down the washer drain pipe. HOPE THIS HELPS...

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Smell of rotten eggs in shower drain


This is likely "sewer gas" and can cause headaches, dizziness, etc. if you remain exposed to it for a prolonged period of time. This originates mostly in the drain openings of fixtures that are seldom used - such as sinks and showers of basements, guest rooms, etc.

When these fixtures do not get used regularly, the relatively small amount of water that is designed to always be present in the "trap" portion of the drain pipe eventually evaporates. This trapped water prevents the the gasses in the sewer / septic system from passing through the trap. Without it, these gasses will rise through the pipes connected to the sewer / septic system and exit into your living space via the drain opening in the floor drain, shower, tub, sink and even toilet if left unused long enough.

It is usually resolved very easily by slowly pouring about a 1/2 gallon of water down the drain. The water now isolates the drain opening from the sewer / septic system and effectively stops odors from escaping. If you find that this is happening regularly (often from floor drains in dry basements) you should slowly pour water 1/2 gallon of water into the drain, and then add 2 to 3 ounces of cooking oil. The oil is lighter than water and will sit on top of the water surface. Oil does not evaporate and blocks the water from evaporating through it. Evaporation of the water in the trap will take place from the sewer / septic side of the trap, but it occurs at a much slower rate.

After filling the traps with water or water & oil, just ventilate and you're done!

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1 Answer

I being plagued with sewer gas how can i stop this


sewer gas is stopped by water in the drain. often three drain I. the floor dries out. or your drain is not holding water. pour water into all your drains. .

Nov 01, 2013 | Plumbing

1 Answer

My master bath sink drain worked fine, but was old. I replaced it with a Pfister faucet with a snap to close drain. Now every time we run water we have strong sewer gas smells coming up. As soon as the...


If water is flowing, there is a water brake to stop the drain gasses coming up. If the overflow pipe is draining to the wrong side of the trap, that may do it.
I would check the installation.

Jul 11, 2017 | Plumbing

1 Answer

Bathroom sink smells strongly like sewer when water runs fast.


Suppose you plugged the drain of the sink and filled the basin with water, then removed the plug. I must think that only after the basin empties you would get the sewer smell, and the smell would persist until you slowly ran some more water. If you try this, and this is the result, then the problem is that the sewer vent (that is supposed to prevent the water in the trap under the sink from being sucked down the drain) is not working right. If this is a new problem then you may be able to clear what is probably a blocked vent pipe. If this bathroom has always had this problem, then you have a poorly designed or executed vent pipe setup that you can only fix it with some surgery to your plumbing. However, to clean the vent you can try pouring a good bit of drain cleaner down the vent pipe on the roof, followed by water. But because there may be several vent pipes sharing the same vent stack out the roof, the drain cleaner may not get to your blockage and may simply go down a different path. Good luck.

Oct 15, 2012 | Plumbing

2 Answers

Sewer gas smell in bathroom.


Sounds like you have an intermittently blocked vent pipe (the one that goes out through your roof). If there is gas pressure in the downstream sewer line and it can't get up through the vent, it could bubble up through your toilet or sinks. I would get up on the roof with a few jugs of powerful drain cleaner and dump them into your vents. You might also run a few dozen gallons of water down those vents after the drain cleaner has had time to work.
Good luck!

Oct 05, 2012 | Plumbing

1 Answer

Hi every now and again we are getting a sewer smell from our bathroom we have only recently moved in the house so not sure what to do, but it doesn't seem to happen all the time and everything flushes okay...


The smell may be coming from the sink trap if there is a problem with the vent pipe (that's in the wall from the sewer line to the roof). Do you ever hear gurgling in the sink drain when you flush? When you have the smell again, stick your head in the sink and see if that's where it's coming from. If you have a floor drain, the smell may be coming from there. In either case, a bit of water added to the drain will fill the trap and stop the smell. Please vote if you found this helpful. Good luck, Al K

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1 Answer

When machine pumps out the smell comes through the sink


All plumbing drains whether under a sink or the stand pipe drain, for a washer, are required by LAW to have a trap to prevent the sewer gases from entering a home.

Sewer gases are dangerous in many ways, not the least of which is the terrible smell. Sewer gas can build up and if allowed to accumulate near an appliance that operates on gas (LP or natural) can combust and cause a fire and/or an explosion.

Yes, if you can do the installation youself, do it ASAP, or contact a licensed plumber and have installed a proper drain trap for the sink and also make sure the drain that the washer is draining into, also has a trap in it.

This will have a profound impact on the smell and will help alleviate foul odors from your sewer lines.

Hope you found this Very Helpful and best regards!

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1 Answer

Fowl smell in bathroom


Fowl smells related to plumbing can have several causes. Here's a few potential issues that you can check. If none of them solve the problem you may need to call a plumber.

1) Look at your pedestal sink drain connection. Is there an an elbow connecting to your drain or a P Trap? A p trap is a pipe shaped like the letter "p" (hence the name) and it prevents sewer gas from rising into the bathroom. **sometimes an apprentice plumber puts in a pedestal without a p trap because they are fairly difficult to install, and ALL fixtures need P traps. If there is no P trap, then you need to put one in. It will be a tight space, but you may be able to do it yourself.

2) Do you have a floor drain? If so, your sink will need a trap primer at the drain. Or you can pour water into the drain from time to time before it evaporates from the trap

3) If the smell is more of a sulfur type smell and it appears from running water in other places in the house, then it could also be due the type of tank you have if you are on well water

My offhand guess is that number 1 is your issue.

Without further info, those are some of my best solutions so far, but if none of these are potential solutions, then make the following tests

1) close the door to the bathroom and leave it for an hour or two. Return to the room. Do you smell sewer smell? Is it in the entire room or more concentrated in a certain area? If you don't have a floor drain and its everywhere, there could be a missing P trap from a fixture, a lose toilet flange, a cracked drain pipe
2) without running water, smell your drain. Does it have a sewer smell? Then the P trap either is not present or you need to clean the drain with a drain cleaner due to a list of reasons
3) run water. does the sewer smell increase or does one suddenly appear. Is the smell more a different odor than sewer. See if it is the water itself. If so, check other places. If they do not have the smell then you may have recently installed your sink and there is some smell related to the new valve. Then you would need to use it some more until it disappears.

Check the top list, though because I really think you're just missing a P trap

Sewer breaks below the slab, an open pipe somewhere, some issue with the water supply, are among some other issues but that depends on the test

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2 Answers

Sewer Gass after using Bocsh 300 washer


When you have problems with sewer gas smells around a
fixture, there can be a number of causes.
1. Sewer gas coming back up into the home
a. Blocked vent.
b. No vent.
2. Leaking drains that cause rotting below the floor.
3. Moisture that causes mold buildup.
4. No trap on your sink.
5. One roof vent on septic system.
6. Toilet needs to be reset and calked.

Sewer gas can come back up into your home, when the
trap completely empties after a letting the water out
of a fixture, when the trap dries out, or when it is
sucked out by another fixture flushing. When water
goes into a pipe, it first has to push the air ahead
of it, if there is no place for it to go, it comes up
the trap. This causes a buildup of pressure if there
is no vent.

If there is a vent, the pressure is relieved up to the
roof, carrying with it all of the yucky smells. When
the water runs down the drain, the air behind it has
to be replaced, if its not, the pipes will try to ****
it from some drain...typically the shower drain, but
sometimes the floor drain when its close to a washer.
When vacuum draws air in through the trap on the
laundry tub it also takes the water out of the trap,
leaving an opening where the sewer gasses can come
back up from the septic system .

Think about your pipes as if they are a drinking
straw. When you put a straw into a glass of water,
the water fills the straw. But if you put your thumb
over the end of the straw and pull it out of the
water, the water (or liquid) stays in the straw. This
shows you, air has volume. When you remove your thumb
from the end of the straw, the water flows back into
the glass. This is the principal of a vent.

So if you only have the smell when a fixture is
running, the trap is refilling after the fixture and
blocking the sewer gasses from coming into the home,
but your vent is probably not functioning.
In addition, if you have only one vent up through the
roof on a septic system, you can get sewer gas smells
coming up through your home. As the wind blows
across the roof, it pressurizes the plumbing system.
Since the septic tank is full of water, the wind
cannot go into the septic tank. So it bubbles up through the
traps into the house. Installing a vent on an
opposing roof pitch, helps to relieve the pressure buildup,
since the wind then is only hitting one side of the
roof.

Floor drains are succeptable to this type of pressure.

If your drains are partially clogged it can work
similar to a clogged vent. Since there is no place
for the water to go, it forces the air, which is much
lighter up through traps, bringing sewer gas into the
home.

If your fixture is not set right or is wabbling, the
traps or wax ring that seals it underneith may not be tight.
When this happens, if you empty the fixture, sewer gas
will come under the sink into the room.

Each of these senarios will require a different
solution. The key to solving your problem, is having
the right questions to ask when the plumber comes out
to look at it. The previous information should
provide you with a basis for the questions you need.

Make sure before you call a plumber to check
cleanout covers and pipes to see if they have
openings to the sewer. If you have an opening
without a trap, you will get sewer gasses.

In conclusion, if you don't have a vent inside the
wall which equalizes the air pressure inside the
pipes, if you are on a septic system with only
one roof vent, if the vent is clogged off due to
sludge and soap scum, if you don't have a proper trap
on your sink, or if the drain is clogged, sewer gas can escape
into your home.

Thanks for using FixYa - a FixYa rating is appreciated!!

Feb 13, 2009 | Frigidaire ATF6000ES Front Load Washer

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