If your toilet is emitting a foul odor similar to rotten eggs (Ewww!), don’t ignore it. The smell is not only uncomfortable to live with but is probably due to the presence of sewer gases. What are sewer gases? In technical terms, sewer gases are the result of the “breakdown of human waste and are made up of a mixture of gases including hydrogen sulfide and ammonia.”1 The rotten egg smell coming from your toilet is telling you that a part of your plumbing line is not functioning properly, and you should listen. Below are some common problems that might be causing this unpleasant odor.
Sewer system drains all have a “P” shaped part known as the “dry trap.” This portion of the pipe contains water and a type of seal that helps keep sewer gas odors out of your home. If the water in this area evaporates or the seal is damaged, it could be letting sewer gases enter your home. This can happen especially if a toilet isn’t used often. In this instance, the water in the pipe dries up, allowing sewer gas to back up into the toilet. The gas rises through the water in your bowl and out into your bathroom.
A clogged drain or toilet can create a rotten smell in your bathroom as well. A more serious issue results when you have a broken vent pipe or drain line. This affects more than just your bathroom; it can potentially make your whole home smell terrible – yuck!
Also, a blockage within your septic tank could be the cause of an unpleasant odor in your toilet. A clog can be at or near the drains, within the toilet itself or in another location of the septic tank. This results in sewage being unable to flow correctly through your septic tank system causing gas to back up into your drains or toilets.
You can reduce or prevent your exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas by making sure your plumbing fixtures and pipes are installed and maintained properly.2 If you notice a rotten egg smell, call a plumber to locate and eliminate the source.
Being exposed to bacteria from contaminated water and potentially dangerous sewer gas is a problem best left to professionals. At Rainaldi Home Services, one of our professional plumbers can locate the source of the smell and fix the problem quickly and safely. Give us a call at (407) 413-9795 or schedule online, and we’ll help with all of your plumbing problems!
1 Lockett, Eleesha. “What You Need to Know If You Smell Sewer Gas.” Healthline.com, 20 Sept. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/healthy-home-guide/sewer-gas.
2 Hydrogen Sulfide Gas, Illinois Department of Public Health, www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/factsheets/hydrogensulfide.htm.