Question: I have sewer gases coming up through my upstairs toilet drain during use…what can i do?
Answer: Sewer smells are no fun. Not only do they smell bad but they can be seriously hazardous to your health. So, it is very smart of you to try to figure out what is causing this so you can get it fixed ASAP.
A number of things can cause a sewer smell to occur. Firstly, it could be that your water level is extremely low on your toilet. This allows sewage gasses to come up. But my experience is that the water level being low is usually a low cause for smells coming from your toilet. What you can count on is that if your drain is not moving the water through and down to the sewer, you will have issues with odors backing up in your bathroom. To remedy this issue, get a plumber snake after the probably congested drain. Another issue could be that your toilet is not venting properly. The vent needs to be clear and unobstructed all the way up to the roof line and if there is an interruption in the venting of the odor out, you will also have problems with sewer smell coming up and out of your toilet.
A toilet leak can also cause the sewer gases you are experiencing. Look around and see if you see any toilet stains on the ground. If you locate some then you could have a serious problem.
This begs the question, what can I do? Well, you can obviously call a plumber but you may also be able to take a few steps to prevent this from happening again.
Pouring a bucket of water in an unused toilet every week or so can help keep the water level high so you don’t run the risk of sewage smells coming up. Invest in some mineral oil and pour 4oz of it down the toilet drain when you refill it. Hope that helps!