Possible Sources Of Floor Drain Odors

Construction & Contractors Blog

A foul-smelling floor drain can be very frustrating, especially if you don't know what is causing the odor. If you have eliminated other possible sources of the odor such as sulfur in the water, a dead animal or chemical spillage, then you should suspect:       

A Drain Line Under The Floor

If a drain line under the floor is leaking, then it can send odors through the floor drain into the room. The smellier the effluent is, the more likely it is to reach inside the house. Sewage drains tend to cause this problem because since sewage effluent is usually the smelliest.

A quick test is to block the drain line (if you can access it outside the house) temporarily and check whether the odor subsides. If it does, then it means the drain line is the problem, and you need to contact a plumber to confirm your suspicions. In worst case scenarios, you may have to dig up and replace the line.

A Malfunctioning Floor Drain Trap

If you are lucky, then the problem may be as simple as a malfunctioning floor drain trap. It might be that the room is seldom used, for example if it is the basement, and the drain's trap has dried out. In that case, sewer gasses may be flowing backward into the house, causing the foul odor. If this is the case, then keeping the trap wet (for example by use of mineral oil) or installing a check valve will usually stop the odor.

If the room is seldom used, but the trap is still filled with water, then the water must be coming from other places other than on-floor flooding. It might even be that the water is leaking from an open drain under the building. These are some of the things a plumber will check when diagnosing the issue.

Sewage Under The Floor

Just because you do not see sewage backup in your house or in the trap doesn't mean that it isn't there. It's possible for sewer effluent to back up and settle just under the floor, especially if there is a settled cavity there. This is something that you cannot diagnose on your own; you need the intervention of a professional plumbing technician (such as one from Aurora Plumbing and Electric Supply, Inc).

These are just a few examples, the common ones, of what may cause your floor drain to smell. If your efforts fail to diagnose the cause of the smell, then the next best thing is to contact a plumber.  

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29 July 2015

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