How to get rid of sewer smell in the basement during cold weather?

The most common issue homeowners encounter is unpleasant sewer smell in the basement during cold weather and each time they experience this issue they want to know the source of the problem and figure out what is the reason for their basement to smell unpleasant.

Sometimes the basement smells moldy which is unbearable.

To get rid of the smell, you first need to find out what is causing the basement to smell like a sewer.

If you experience any issue, then you most likely have a problem and you must pay attention to that. There could be some reasons for this.

In this article, we have included possible reasons for this and how to solve them. Let’s have a look.

get rid of sewer smell in the basement

Possible Reasons for Sewer Smell in the Basement During Cold Weather

After extensive research, we have found possible reasons why your basement smells like sewer in cold weather.

  • Sewer lines
  • Ejector pit and pump
  • Floor drains
  • Cleanout plug
  • Vents
  • Bad wax ring

At first, these problems do not seem to be severe and should not cause immediate concerns.

As we will discuss these reasons in more detail, we will let you know whether you should be worried and need to contact a professional for more help or not.

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1. Sewer Line

The most common reason for your basement to smell like a sewer is the sewer line being damaged or even a loose connection joint.

In such a case, if the leak is close to your basement area it is quite probable that the wastewater would leak into the ground causing sewer smell in the basement.

The leaks occur quite often during cold weather. Due to less humidity, there is a great chance for a sewer to be broken or cracked.

What to Do?

The best way to overcome this issue is to start investigating the possibility on your own. Try to find the leak if you can.

The most common troubleshooting method includes a leak tracing dye, running it through the shower or bath, and cycling the dyed water to check where it reaches the soil.

But if you are unable to detect the leak on your own, contact a plumber who specializes in hunting down leaks.

2. Ejector Pit and Pump

Another possibility for sewer smell in the basement is the ejector pit. If your home has an overhead sewer line in the basement, you will need to seal the ejector pit with a cover and vent it properly to contain the wastewater.

In this way, you will also restrict the wastewater to get into your basement or any other area of your house. A poor seal, a missing lead, or broken lead will rapidly overwhelm your basement with sewer gas.

And soon your whole basement would be filled with an unbearable sewer smell.

What to Do?

If you have an ejector pit, then make sure it has a properly fitted lid with a good seal and if not then install one immediately.

Inspect the vent pipe and waste discharge pipe for any obstructions and cracks. Change any components as required to prevent the sewer smell.

3. Floor Drains

Usually, the course of sewer stench in your basement is rarely used floor drains. Such drains are built with a trap that contains a small volume of water to seal the pipe so that sewage gases do not enter the home.

With time, the drain dries up or condenses due to little use resulting in the opening of the seal. As the seal opens, sewer gas releases into the basement and stinks the place up.

What to Do?

The ideal solution to avoid this happening is to sump around a gallon of clean water down the drain to reseal the pipe and keep the sewer smell out of your basement.

If you want a fresh scent, add a mild household cleaner to the water. This also applies to rarely used toilets. If the water has dried out in a toilet bowl, just flush the toilet again and you will get rid of the sewer smell.

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Not a problem, just click the button below and find a local plumber for fixing the sewer smell

4. Cleanout Plug

Sometimes the reason for your basement to smell like a sewer is the absence of a cleanout plug. Most floor drains come with this plug. Find out if your floor drain includes a cleanout plug. Without it, sewer gas has direct access to your basement.

What to Do?

As we have already mentioned that most of the floor drains include a cleanout plug. Make sure your floor drain has one.

To do so, remove the grill on the opening of the drain and see if it contains the plug or not. If not, then a new plug can be purchased from any nearby hardware store.

5. Vents

Another reason for sewer smell in the basement during cold weather is improper ventilation. Sometimes basement appliances and fixtures do not get properly vented therefore sewer gas remains within the basement.

What to Do?

To rectify this issue, all you have to do is ensure that the whole home including the basement is vented properly. Sometimes smell originating on the upper or main level can make it to the basement. Other than that, if your basement is not vented correctly, you will face this issue.

6. Bad Wax Ring

Another culprit for a sewer smell in the basement could be a bad wax ring. This wax ring can rarely leak. With a leak in the seal, sewer gas will find its way into the basement. During cold weather, the possibility of this issue increases as humidity decreases.

What to Do?

The solution to this problem is very simple. All you have to do is check for a proper wax ring. Also, make sure there is no leak in the wax ring.

If you still notice the sewer smell after checking the above-mentioned reasons, you should take immediate action as sewer gas can be dangerous in the long term.

Don’t want to go through the hassle of doing it on your own?

Not a problem, just click the button below and find a local plumber for fixing the sewer smell