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Sewer Smell in the Shower

In my master shower, I get a sewer smell. If I pour some bleach down the drain it disappears for a while, but comes back within one to two weeks. Is there a plumbing issue I should be concerned about? Is there some way to get rid of this?


One way to have a sewer smell in the shower is to lose the water seal in the trap. The “trap” is actually a bend in the pipe that holds or traps water. When there is water in the trap, no sewer smell can move out of the piping into your home. If the shower is not used for a few weeks, water could evaporate from the trap and result in a smell as air and sewer gas moves up through the trap. In this case, you just need to add water to the trap every week or so.

If the shower is used routinely, you may have a drainage, waste and venting problem that is allowing water to be drawn from the trap and down the drain system. This can happen when there is heavy drain water flow creating a vacuum in the piping. For this to happen, you may have a blocked vent or a vent installation problem.

Finally, you may just have bunch of “yuck” in the trap; hair, debris and growth. Snake the trap and flush it with very hot water to give it a good cleaning.