You likely spend a lot of time in your laundry room. Sometimes laundry feels as if it is a never-ending battle and you’re always going to have more clothes that need to be laundered. When your laundry room starts to smell funny, it makes it that much tougher to get through your daily tasks. If you’ve noticed that the room has started to smell a bit of sewage, then you likely have a problem on your hands that needs to be addressed immediately.
Many people have their laundry rooms located in a basement area of the house. Areas such as this commonly have problems with sewage backup and this might be something that you’ll have to deal with. Even laundry rooms that are located in other parts of your home can encounter problems. If you want to fix things up properly, then you need to be able to determine the cause of your problems.
In this article, I’m going to go over why laundry rooms have these problems. I’ll also be discussing how you can go about fixing things. As long as you pay attention to all of the information, it should be possible to get things fixed up just fine. Keep reading in order to dig into all of the details.
Important Notes About the Dangers of Sewer Gases
Sewer gas most often smells like rotten eggs or moldy cheese. If you’re experiencing sewage smells in your home, then there are some important safety concerns that you should be aware of.
Sewer gases are very toxic and can be harmful to everyone in your household. Breathing in these gases has the potential to make you sick. This is not something that should simply be ignored and it can even pose a serious threat to your home. These gases also contain methane and this is highly flammable.
Your laundry room area and your entire house will be at an increased risk of catching on fire when you’re having problems with sewer gases. For this reason, you’re going to want to do your best to solve this problem before it gets worse.
4 Common Causes of Bad Smells in a Laundry Room
There are many ways that you can go about fixing the sewage issue. I’m going to go over four potential causes and fixing these issues should rid you of your sewer gas problem as well.
1. Problems With the Water Trap
One of the most common causes of sewage smells in a laundry room is having a dry trap. You might not know this but there is a water trap that is located somewhere under your floor drain. It could also be located under your wash basin or some type of laundry tub. If this water trap has dried out due to not being used, then it’s not going to be able to function as it normally should.
Even your washing machine’s drain pipe has a trap that is there to prevent sewer gases from getting through the drain opening. These traps are always supposed to be full of water. When you don’t use your washing machine for a very long period of time, the water is going to disappear. It’ll eventually evaporate and since you aren’t replenishing it, it’s going to stop doing its job.
When the sewer trap becomes dry, it can create some real problems for you. Luckily, you’re going to be able to fix this issue by simply putting the water where it needs to be. You can grab a bucket of water and pour it into the trap where it needs to be. You’ll also want to check for leaks to ensure that a leak wasn’t the reason for the missing trap water.
If there is some type of leak, then you might have to repair or replace your drain trap. In most circumstances, a dry trap is going to occur due to you not using the washing machine for a long time. Just check things out and add water to get things back where they need to be. If this was the issue that was causing the sewage smells, then you should be able to have things fixed and back to normal in no time.
2. Venting Issues
Venting issues are another common problem that leads to bad smells in your laundry room. If the drain system of your house is not being vented properly, then it’s possible that sewer gases could become an issue. These gases have a very noticeable odor and you’re going to want to take care of things before they get any worse. Your vent pipes connect to the main drain lines of your home and you don’t want to let things stay clogged or it could cause problems for other areas of your home too.
The most common problem that leads to venting issues is a clog. When a clog is present, the gases aren’t able to go up the venting pipes properly. In a normal situation, the gases are supposed to go up the venting pipe and then will be released into the air through the opening in the roof. You should be able to see any clogs by looking down the pipe using a light so you’ll want to check things thoroughly.
If there is a clog, you could choose to call in professionals. You might not have the right equipment to deal with a clog in the drain. A plumber might even figure out that there is a flaw with your vent pipe setup or that other changes need to be made. Just remember to get this checked out when you’re trying to determine what is wrong with your laundry room.
3. Clogs in the Drain Line
Clogs in the drain line are another common culprit when it comes to sewage smells in the laundry room. Your washing machine’s drain line can become clogged up over time. This can lead to smells that are very similar to sewer gas. Your drain doesn’t even have to be completely clogged for these smells to become an issue.
Partial clogs can smell really bad due to built-up bacteria in the drain pipe. Things such as clogged-up hair and soap will wind up smelling very similar to sewer gas. Whenever water washes down the pipe, these smells will waft into the air. The best thing that you can do in this situation is clear the clog and then clean things out.
Clearing out a drain line clog involves using some type of snake. You could call plumbers to do this job if you don’t have the right equipment to handle it. It’s also a good idea to pour bleach down the drain pipe in order to get rid of the bacteria that has grown down there. As long as you take these precautions, it’ll solve things for you.
4. Broken or Cracked Sewer Lines
The most serious problem that could be causing the sewage smell in your laundry room is a broken or cracked sewer line. This is going to be a big issue and it could wind up becoming a huge mess. This isn’t the most common reason for sewage smells in the laundry room but it’s something to consider if the above causes weren’t to blame. This isn’t something that you’re likely going to be able to fix yourself so you’ll want to call in professionals to take a look at things.
You might not even be able to detect the leak without having the proper equipment. This is why some people go for long periods of time with sewage smells present in their laundry rooms. They can’t determine the problem so they wind up just ignoring it for a while. This isn’t a good idea since sewer gases and smells are very dangerous to you.
If you can’t figure out what is wrong with your laundry room, then take the time to call in your local plumbers. They’ll be more than happy to assess the situation and they have the right tools to do the job. You can get your sewage problem fixed up fairly quickly if you go this route. Don’t wait to get things taken care of when you’re dealing with something as potentially dangerous as sewer gases.
Getting Rid of Laundry Room Smell
Now that you know more about why your laundry room might encounter sewage smells, it’ll be easier to take action. You don’t want to have to deal with issues such as this alone if you don’t have the right equipment to fix things. Some of these fixes will be as simple as adding water to a drain trap. If you need to clear out some clogs from pipes, then you might need to call in a plumber.
If you have some experience with using a drain snake, then you might be able to handle things on your own. It really just depends on what types of tools you have and how comfortable you are using them. Either way, you need to take care of these sewer gas issues as soon as possible. The unpleasant smell is a nuisance but it can also be a danger to your home.
Take the time to check things out thoroughly so that you can move forward with confidence. Your laundry room will smell much better once things are fixed up.