7 Tips to Help Eliminate Septic Tank Odor in House

by | Mar 11, 2024 | Causes of Septic Tank Odor in Your House, Guide for Sewer Smells, Massachusetts Septic Tank Pumping

Are you troubled by the foul odor coming from your home’s septic tank? You may find relief knowing that this is a common problem seen in homes with a septic system in place. You may be wondering how the septic tank odor in house happened.

Odor in your home or around your septic system can indeed indicate a functional issue that needs your attention. However, a well-maintained, septic tank system should not produce any foul odors.

We at Blackstone Septic Service have the ultimate goal of providing you with a comprehensive guide to understanding the causes of bad septic tank smells and effective methods to eliminate them from your home.

What Causes Septic Tank Odor in House?

Septic tank odors are caused by gases in the system, typically carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and methane, which are produced by anaerobic bacteria during the decomposition process.

Why Does My House Suddenly Smell Like Sewer?

  • Septic odors inside could signal a plumbing problem or a blockage in the septic tank vent located on your roof.
  • A strong smell outdoors near the septic tank or leach field could indicate a leak from the tank’s manhole or an issue with the leach field.

Let’s now explore the causes of septic tank smell and practical solutions to help you effectively manage a full septic tank effectively.

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Understanding the Causes of Septic Tank Odor

Before we tackle septic smell and the solutions to plumbing problems, it’s important to understand the root causes of a septic smell in the house.

There are several reasons why this unpleasant smell might be wafting through your home, such as a clogged drain, and it’s crucial to accurately identify the issue to effectively remedy it.

Full Septic Tanks

The first and most common cause is a full septic tank. Your septic tank has a limited capacity and can only hold so much wastewater.

When the tank overflows, it can result in the release of septic odors into your home. Regular maintenance, such as periodic pump-outs, can help prevent this issue from occurring.

Blocked Pumping Vents

Another common cause of septic smells is blocked vents. Your septic tank has a vent designed to allow gases to escape, preventing toxic and flammable buildups.

However, sometimes these vents can become blocked by animals, frost, or solidified waste materials. When this happens, sewer gases can escape out of your indoor drains, causing a foul sewer smell.

Cold Weather or Downdrafts

Cold weather, also known as downdrafts, can create clogs in your home’s venting system. Frost and ice can develop in your plumbing vents and block the system.

This blockage prevents sewer gases from escaping the house, instead redirecting them back out of your drains and toilets.

High Rainfall and Surface Runoffs

“High concentrations of rainfall and surface runoffs can also cause septic tank odors in your home. When there’s excessive rainfall in your area, groundwater can make the septic tank overflow, leading to the escape of gases out of your drains.

Frozen Septic Systems

Lastly, frozen septic systems can lead to sewage water backups, often signaled by the escape of sewer gases out of the drains. The inlet, outlet, or baffles of the septic tank can get clogged up, leading to the presence of septic odor in the house.

Understanding these causes is the first step in effectively managing septic tank odor in your house.

In the following sections, we’ll provide practical solutions to these problems, including DIY methods and professional services offered at Blackstone Septic Service.

DIY Tips to Help Eliminate Septic Odors

We understand the frustration that comes with septic tank odors in your house. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you tackle this issue head-on.

Here are some simple DIY solutions you can implement to keep your home smelling fresh and clean.

Correcting pH Levels with Baking Soda

The microbes or bacteria that break down waste solids in your septic tank can only survive when the pH level is maintained between 6.8 and 7.6. If the pH level becomes too high and acidic, a sewer smell can develop. But don’t fret, there’s a simple fix!

Grab some household baking soda and pour a cup of it down any toilet or drain.

This should be done about once a week, which will help maintain a correct pH level for the microorganisms. After the baking soda is in the drain, avoid using excessive amounts of water, as this could disrupt the process.

This method is not just effective, but also safe and environmentally friendly.

Checking the Manhole Cover for Cracks

A manhole cover, typically made of concrete, metal, or plastic, covers the access point to your septic tank. Over time, the material can develop cracks or wear out, leading to an unsealed cover.

This can, in turn, cause septic tank odors to escape into your house.

Inspect your manhole cover for any noticeable cracks or open areas. If the cover is loose or not secure at all, it’s time to replace it with a new one.

Changing Wax Seals

The wax seal under your toilet plays a crucial role in preventing sewer gases from entering your house. However, these seals can dry out over time, causing septic tank odors to permeate your bathroom.

If you’re handy with plumbing, you can replace the wax ring yourself. Simply remove the toilet and install a new wax ring. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, don’t hesitate to contact us at Blackstone Septic Service. We’re always ready to assist.

Being Cautious of Septic Additives

While some may suggest using septic additives to eliminate odors, it’s important to tread lightly. Different additives can have varying effects and may not always provide the desired results.

In fact, some additives can disturb the natural activity in the septic system.

Do your research before deciding on any additives. Maintaining a well-functioning septic system is the best way to prevent septic tank odor in your house.

Through these DIY solutions, you can take control of septic tank odors in your house. However, if the odors persist, it may be time to call in the professionals.

Professional Solutions to Septic Tank Odors

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If you’ve tried all the DIY solutions to eliminate septic tank odor in your house and it still persists, it’s time to call in the experts. At Blackstone Septic Service, we offer an array of professional solutions to help identify the cause of the odor and eliminate it.

Regular Septic Tank Pump-outs

One of the most common reasons for a persistent septic tank odor in your house is a full or nearly full septic tank. You may be wondering,

“Why is it Important to Have Your Septic Tank Pumped Regularly?”

  • Regular septic tank pump-outs are essential for maintaining your septic system’s health and effectively preventing bad odors.
  • Pump-outs involve removing the sludge and scum layers that accumulate in your septic tank over time. This process not only eliminates odors but also prevents major plumbing emergencies.

Septic System Inspections

Sometimes, the cause of the unpleasant odor is not immediately apparent. In such cases, a thorough septic system inspection can help identify the root cause.

Our team of experienced technicians will examine every part of your system, including the tank, drain field, and associated pipes. We’ll look for issues like blockages, leaks, or broken parts that could be causing the smell.

Septic Tank Part Replacements

In some cases, parts of your septic system may need to be replaced to get rid of the smell. This could include the manhole cover, the toilet wax seal, or even parts of the plumbing system.

At Blackstone Septic Service, we’re equipped to handle all types of septic system repairs and replacements.

Contact us today for professional septic system service. The sooner you address these issues, the better you can prevent damage to your property and health risks.

Health Risks Associated with Sewer Gas

Septic tank odors not only cause discomfort but also signify potential health hazards and environmental threats, highlighting the importance of addressing these issues promptly and effectively.

Here are some Health Risks Associated with Septic Tank Gases:

  • Airborne Bacteria and Illnesses: Septic odors contain gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and methane, which can carry airborne bacteria, leading to respiratory illnesses and other health issues.

A well-maintained septic system should never smell. Ignoring these signs can lead to more serious problems, including potential health hazards human waste, and environmental damage.


To sum up, dealing with septic tank odor in your house can seem a daunting task. However, understanding the causes and taking the necessary steps can help you effectively eliminate these unpleasant smells.

From DIY methods such as correcting pH levels with baking soda to professional solutions like regular septic tank pump-outs and inspections, there are various ways to tackle this issue.

Contact us today at Blackstone Septic Service if you’re experiencing any septic odor issues or need professional assistance with your septic system.

For more information on how to maintain your septic system, check out our blog. You may also find these articles useful: Understanding the Importance of Proper Septic Tank Placement, How do you know when your septic tank is full?, and How do I find my septic tank cleanout?

About Blackstone Septic Service

At Blackstone Septic Service, we take pride in delivering top-notch septic maintenance and repair services to homeowners in Central MA and surrounding areas. Founded as a family-owned business, we have built a strong reputation for our dedication, honesty, and swift service.

A strong odor can be a sign of leaking sewage, which poses an imminent threat to both animals and human health and needs immediate attention. It may be time to have your septic tank inspected.

We offer 24/7 emergency septic services, ensuring timely response to your septic system issues.

Our team of experienced technicians is skilled in identifying the root cause of the odor – be it a dried-out basement floor drain trap, a loose cleanout access plug, or a clogged plumbing vent on the roof.

At Blackstone Septic Service, we believe in providing more than just a service. We’re here to safeguard the health of your septic system, and thus, the wellbeing of your family.

Our Content

Our experienced septic tank specialists have carefully reviewed and edited all of the content to ensure that it meets our high standards for quality and accuracy. At Blackstone Septic Service, our mission is to provide unparalleled expertise and service excellence in the realm of septic system care. With a dedicated team of professionals committed to delivering top-tier septic smells solutions, we specialize in comprehensive services such as routine maintenance of clogged drains, septic tank pumping and new system installations. Blackstone Septic Service is a family-owned company with highly trained technicians, with over 75 years of experience in septic tanks.

Looking for septic pumping, cleaning, maintenance or installation?

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