Trusted South Florida Licensed Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical Experts Since 1983!
EMERGENCY HOTLINE 1-800-475-1504
Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday 8am – 7pm

Why Does My Bathroom Plumbing Smell So Bad?

bathroom plumbing
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Sometimes, we can pinpoint exactly why a bathroom smells, but even if we are living with someone or something that may be the known cause, a smell from our bathroom plumbing might be lingering longer than is desirable, or hygienic. This is when it might be time to fine-tune your senses to this unpleasant business and begin the process in identifying exactly what the problem is.

Identifying the Bathroom Plumbing Smell

There are various reasons why your bathroom odors might be seemingly impermeable to air fresheners, and so you may need to be able to describe the smell as more than just, well, a smell in order to properly get rid of it. Sometimes a bathroom can smell moldy or stale, or even a little rotten. Each kind of smell could have a variety of causes. If you have done what you can to try and eliminate them, it is time to call in an odor buster – a smell is an unpleasant thing sharing your space. Knowing how to describe the smell will help in eliminating it.

  • Moldy Smells
    Smells of mold or stale smells coming from your bathroom plumbing are usually the sign of a leaking or burst pipe. Even small problem areas can lead to bad odor that can’t be removed through conventional methods. It is important to deal with this problem through calling in an expert plumbing service.
  • Rotten Smells
    Sometimes the line to the sewer might be a problem. If the water that usually prevents these smells from making their way back into the bathroom has dried up or leaked out, then this rotten smell might be the result. Alternatively, bacteria might have built up somewhere or be flushing back into your water supply.
  • Sewage Smells
    If drains or pipes are clogged, the odor permeating your bathroom would smell like sewerage. This blockage could be a build-up of hair or product, or could be occurring further along the plumbing system as a result of natural sediment getting in through a crack.
  • Urine Smells
    Urine smells can linger longer if the back of your toilet has any leaks. No matter how much you clean in and around the area, the smell won’t dissipate until the leak is fixed.

Locating the Bathroom Plumbing Problem

The thing is, these smells are often not just smells, but symptoms of potentially serious underlying problems. The bathroom smell could be coming from deep in your pipes, or from the walls due to a leak, and could be caused by a variety of things. Whichever it is, calling in a professional is probably best. Fixing the symptom alone will cost money if the problem arises again, which is wasteful and unnecessary given that we are pros at diagnosing the real issue, whatever part of your home it stems from or is affecting.

  • Leaks or Bursts
    Small leaks can be temporarily fixed by a strong sealant or tape, but in the long run will require more detailed attention. If there are small leaks, there is no telling whether they are being created by blockages down the plumbing line creating a build-up of pressure. They could also indicate old parts that need replacing.
  • Bacteria and Gas Pipe Problems
    Water drying up from inside the gas line can be a result of a toilet not being used regularly or from a leak. Sometimes, a few flushes might help the smell let up a bit, but usually it is advisable to check for leaks. If the cause is bacteria, it is important to figure out if all the water smells or if it is just the water from a certain outlet.
  • Blocked Drains
    If a blockage is leading to a sewer type smell, the source of the blockage needs to be discovered. The problem is, if the blockage is not a result of hair and product in the immediate plumbing of the bathroom, then it is likely that the greater plumbing has a crack which needs to be fixed. A crack from wear and tear can be solved easily. A crack from a rodent problem offers bigger problems.
  • Leaks In and Around the Toilet
    Toilet systems have many seals that are prone to wear and tear. Any one of these could be causing a urine type smell. Sometimes, these seals are also not fitted properly and this will create the same hassles and smells.

Solving the Bathroom Plumbing Problem

Blockages, leaks, rot, mold, rodents, back flush, water problems – they all have signs or symptom that can help identify them. Your input can help us identify the root cause more quickly. You know your regular bathroom atmosphere and can identify (with careful thought and observation) all the little signs, including the particular brand of bathroom smell. Giving as much detail as you can about the change in temperature, smell, marks, occurrence, will assist the process.

  • What You Can Do
    First, it’s not a bad idea to have some basic tools and an emergency plumbing kit. If you are able to locate a leak and create a temporary fix, you can prevent damage getting too out of hand before a plumber can arrive. Having towels and a bucket on the ready can help a great deal.If you are dealing with a sewage smell in your bathroom plumbing, take the time to flush out the toilet properly. Give any areas that seem to be where the smell is originating from a good clean. Assess whether the water supply from any of the faucets could be the cause of the smell by pouring from each one separately to give it a good smell.

    Check the house and the lawn thoroughly for any signs of water pooling or damp stains. See if the ground is being pushed up from roots at any points, or if any places in the bathroom are warping to know if there are hidden plumbing leaks.

    Listen for any unusual sounds coming from the bathroom fixtures or from within the walls. If you can recognize that a sound doesn’t belong to the usual functioning, like a bubbling, clanking, or whistling, and can describe it to a plumber then the source can be more quickly located and fixed.

  • What a Plumber Should Do
    Calling in a professional will ensure that whatever the problem is, it is fixed correctly and you won’t have to deal with it again anytime soon. Plus, many bathroom plumbing problems simply cannot be fixed without thorough investigation, testing, and tools.Leaking and burst pipes need to be assessed to see if they are being caused by a build-up of pressure and a plumber will run some diagnostics here to get to the bottom of the problem. The leaking or burst pipe will also require a more permanent fix or replacement.

    Bacteria flushing back in is not a good idea to try and fix on your own because of the health implications. In the case of a sewer line, if a few flushes don’t get rid of the smell then a plumber will proceed to check the condition of the line and whether it needs an actual repair job.

    When it comes to blocked drains, using a drain catcher that will prevent some product and hair building up is a wise choice. For more serious blocked drains, a plumber will need to run a series of tests to locate the source. Without this professional intervention, you could find yourself tearing out walls and digging up the lawn.

    With a proper assessment and the right tools, a plumber will be able to find leaks and blockages without creating further damage. They will be able to check each toilet seal for damage or incorrect application.

Overall, the greatest thing you can do to help the process, outside of being ready with all helpful details, is to call in a professional plumbing service and allow them to address the problem in a way that will be the most cost effective in the long run. Art Plumbing, AC and Electric has a team of plumbers ready to deal with any problem. We specialize in your comfort.


art plumbing, ac and electric

Schedule a Service Call

For Immediate Emergency Assistance Call 1-800-475-1504

Schedule Service