How do I get rid of the smell coming from our basement drains?


Our basement has 2 drains, one in the laundry room and the other just outside the door to the garage. The sewage smell is almost unbearable. The septic system was cleaned out not too long ago. Any ideas what can be done to eliminate the odor?

  7 answers
  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 02, 2018

    Call the company that cleaned out your septic system and explain this to them. Ask how they can make this right.

    • Teri Teri on Dec 02, 2018

      Thank you Mogie! Unfortunately it's the previous owners who had the system cleaned. So I have no idea who did it. Perhaps I'll call one of the companies and get their opinion on it!

  • Lysa Lysa on Dec 02, 2018

    The odor comes up when the drains are dry. If you put enough water in them periodically to keep the traps ( U bend) full, the odor will dissipate. Simply dump a bucket of water down them once in awhile.

    • Teri Teri on Dec 02, 2018

      I had heard something like this but thought it strange. I guess it's not so strange!

  • Fiftees Fiftees on Dec 02, 2018

    I agree with Lysa - usually drains smell because they lack water.

  • Robert Kinsman Robert Kinsman on Dec 02, 2018

    Yes...a new house would have primers attached to them to automatically fill the traps in the floor. This is usually accomplished by tapping a plastic line to the laundry faucet and ran underneath the concrete floor and drilled into the traps. Every time the laundry tap is opened, it fills the trap with some water and hence, should be no smell from the sewer system. You might want to put a small amount of bleach in there with the water at first. Also maybe check underneath your laundry tub to see if this small plastic line is there. Perhaps someone replaced a set of taps without hooking this primer back up. Another way to check for the primers is to remove the grills on the floor and see if you can see them there and find out if they're working when the laundry tap is running. Hope this helps.

    • Teri Teri on Dec 02, 2018

      Thanks Robert! This is a 30 year old house. Would it have this system? I'm going to run some water down both drains and some bleach too. We'll see how it goes!

  • Robert Kinsman Robert Kinsman on Dec 02, 2018

    After you fill the traps with water, then maybe an ouce or so of bleach in each drain...if I'm not too late.

  • Robert Kinsman Robert Kinsman on Dec 02, 2018

    Your house should have primers if it was built around 1988...think you might need a plumber to investigate the situation.

  • Bijous Bijous on Dec 02, 2018

    Hi. Eliminate Drain Odor

    The traps in floor drains – or for that matter, any drains that aren’t used often – will eventually dry out. This may sound harmless enough, but a dry trap can cause a room to fill with potentially harmful sewer gas from the septic tank or the city sewer system. Eliminate this problem by adding about a quart of fresh water topped with a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil. The oil floats on top of the water and seals it against evaporation. Your drain will hold water in the trap much longer. from 101 Things Every Homeowner Should Know, Family Handyman