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Sump Pump Smells? What to Do About Bad Odors

Sump pump smells are a plumbing issue many Birmingham, AL residents experience from time to time. There are several issues that cause sump pump smells. Learn what causes them and what do to when a foul odor from the sump pump invades your space.

Dryness Causes Sump Pump Smells

Sometimes during dry periods of the year, water in your home’s sump pump pit evaporates. As the water evaporates from the pit, it releases odorous gases, which you smell in the home. 

The solution to this problem is an easy DIY task. Mix one cup of bleach into a gallon of water and pour it down into the sump pit. You want the drains and pipes within the pit to be covered with water. Add a little more if necessary to bring water back up to the proper level.

Stagnant Water Leads to Sump Pump Smells

Dry seasons sometimes cause sump pump smells in other ways, even when the pit has not run dry. During a dry period, it’s common for the water within the sump pit to stagnate. When this happens, your sump pit often breeds smelly bacteria, mold, mildew, and more.

Thankfully, you can also solve this odor issue with the addition of a diluted bleach solution. The addition of bleach to the sump pit helps homeowners control odors through the dry season until there is enough moisture to keep water flowing through the pit. 

Dirty Sump Pits Form Odors

A lack of sump pump maintenance leads to a dirty sump pit, which produces foul odors you smell inside your home. Your sump pit needs maintenance once or twice per year to prevent the buildup of dirt and grime as well as the growth of bacteria.

If your sump pit is dirty and smelly, it’s time to clean it. Wear gloves and long sleeves before you start this project for your protection. Follow these steps:

  • Cut power to the sump pump.
  • Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove all standing water down in the sump pit.
  • Use a hose to rinse the edges and bottom of the pit as well as the equipment within it. 
  • If buildup is not thoroughly rinsed away by the hose, use a scrub brush or scraper to remove it from the sides of the pit.
  • Once clean, refill the sump pit with the appropriate amount of water and restore power to the sump pump.

Which Sump Pump Smells are Red Flags

Occasionally, sump pump smells indicate a much more serious problem, such as sewage infiltration. Broken sewer lines allow the groundwater surrounding homes to saturate with sewage. As this contaminated ground water seeps into the sump pit, the odors start. 

Sump pump smells due to sewer line breaks aren’t always constant in the beginning. You may notice a whiff of the foul odor from your sump pit every now and then. Eventually, it becomes a steady odor.

Sewage smells from your sump pit are also one of the early warning signs of a sewer line break, a serious plumbing issue. If you notice this funky smell, call your plumber immediately for a sewer line inspection. He or she diagnoses the problem and the repairs needed for safety and functionality.

Stop Sump Pump Smells with Help from Douglas Cooling & Heating – a Douglas Cooling & Heating Company!

When the cause of sump pump smells is not easy to diagnose or the smells do not resolve with bleach solution, it’s time to call a skilled and licensed plumber for help. Douglas Cooling & Heating, a Douglas Cooling & Heating Company, helps Birmingham area homeowners care for their sump pumps and pits. 

We perform the maintenance and repair services you need to stop the smells and keep your pump and pit in good condition throughout the year. 

Our licensed plumbers also service, repair, and install water heaters, including tankless water heaters. They also repair leaky pipes, faucets, and toilets. Call us today to schedule plumbing services!

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