Why Does My Home Smell Like Sewage When It Rains?

There’s something special about the first rainfall of the season. While we don’t see much rain in Southern California, however winter here means we see somewhat watery skies. Unfortunately, for some homeowners, their home smells like sewage when it rains. If this is happening to you, don’t fret, there are things you can do and reasons your home smells like sewage when it rains.

Backed Up Bacteria Can Be the Cause

Sewer systems are meant to be a gateway for waste. This waste is generally composed of water, human waste, and other organic waste, which is usually from the things dumped down your sink. When all of these mix together it makes a smell that is not only terrible, but it could also be toxic.

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Most homes have a u-shaped sewer trap in the system where the wastewater sits. This sewer trap creates a seal and acts as a barrier between the sewer funk and your clean home. If this u-trap is not properly sealed, or the seal has broken down over time, gas from the sewer and sewage waste will find its way into your home.

Are You on a Septic Tank?

If you’re on a septic tank and you smell a pungent sewage smell in your home after it rains, it could be an indicator that the septic tank is experiencing some problems. Septic tanks can last a long time, but after a while, they will get old and fail.

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When rainwater soaks into the ground it looks for the lowest point—which is usually at the bottom of your septic tank. If there is a leak in the septic tank, maybe from a broken pipe or some wayward tree roots—rainwater will fill the tank and force sewer gas out into the open.

A Water Barrier or P-Trap is Dried Out

Are there any sinks or showers you don’t use often? Maybe a utility sink tucked away in the garage? If this is the case, a dried out water barrier could be the reason your home smells like sewage when it rains.

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When a plumbing fixture in your home isn’t used too much, the water barrier in the sewer trap could dry out. The easiest fix is to run some water from the rarely used fixture. This water will rewet the water barrier and help wash away the sewage smell.

Cracked Pipes and Clogged Drains

When we receive calls about a home smelling like sewage, it’s important to check for any cracked pipes or clogged drains. As we mentioned above, tree roots are notorious for cracking not just your septic system, but also your pipes. If a pipe is cracked, sewage gas can release which will make your home smell less than pleasant after a rainstorm.

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When a drain is clogged, chances are it’s backed up by biological material. Usually food scraps, hair, and other things that can make it down the drain. If you are dealing with a clogged sink, the smell of the backup can waft into your home, causing everything to smell like sewage.

Does Your Home Smell Like Sewage After a Day of Rain? Call Us.

We understand how disheartening it can be to come home and smell a sewer, that’s why we only hire expert plumbers who have seen nearly everything. If you need plumbing service, don’t hesitate to call the number at the top of the screen or click here to book an appointment online. Service Champions is the only diamond certified plumbing and HVAC company in Southern California and we proudly serve parts of Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties.
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