How to Handle Sump Pump Odors

How to Handle Sump Pump Odors

The idea behind sump pumps is pretty simple. Since basements are below ground level, where rainwater is seeping through the soil to get to the groundwater, there is a possibility of that rainwater seeping into the basement. Sump pumps have one purpose: they keep your basement from flooding and prevent water damage in the event of water accumulation.

The sump pump is located in a hole in a strategic location, and as the rainwater collects in the basin of the hole, the water will be pumped upwards into the yard or towards the street where it can flow into the sewer. And, just like every other mechanic of your home, the sump pump will require some maintenance from time to time.

One common problem with sump pumps is odor. If you have a sump pump, and are smelling some odd odors, here are some possible issues relating to your sump that could be causing the smell.

Old Water

The pit that holds the sump pump will collect water until it reaches a certain height, and then the float on the pump will trigger it to turn itself on and pump the water out of the pit. Here are some things that could cause the water to smell putrid.

  • Sometimes, all of the water isn't pumped out of the pit. When water is allowed to settle, not only will it emit a stale, stagnant, musty water odor, but it will also create an ideal spot for mold and mildew to grow.
  • During drier seasons, when there isn't as much activity with rainwater, any residual water in the pit will slowly evaporate, leaving the walls damp, again creating that moldy environment.
  • Any standing water in the bottom of the pit can also breed all sorts of bacteria, which will emit its own odor.

Luckily, mold and mildew can be killed by bleach. If you suspect that is what you are smelling, you can pour a little down your sink drains to temporarily take care of the problem. A thorough, professional cleaning will get rid of any bacteria, mold or mildew.

Sewage Issues

Unfortunately, rainwater might not be the only thing that your sump pump is pulling from the soil around your home. If there any issues with sewer pipes, they could be leaking into the groundwater, which would then end up in your sump pump pit, where it would then be pumped out. If you are noticing a strong sewage or sulfur smell in your basement, you'd want to get a professional involved quickly. In some cases, that same raw sewage could be penetrating your drinking water supply.

Sump Pump Issues

There could also be mechanical issues with the operation of your sump pump. Any of its moving parts could fail, causing the water to not get pumped as it should, creating a stagnant, stale pool of smelly water. There should be little to no water in the pit if the pump is operating correctly. If you are noticing a high level of water, you would want to get a certified plumber to assess the situation before it escalates into a potential flooding issue.

Wheaton Sump Pump Repair & Installation

If you are having any problems with your sump pump, give us a call! Whether you are having issues with sewer gas odors, musty mildew smells, or the actual operation of your sump pump, our team of professionals is ready to serve you. You'll quickly see how our family owned and operated business has been able to provide prompt, reliable, top-quality plumbing services focused on superior customer service for over 25 years.

At Precision Plumbing, we're also open seven days a week, so we are always available for any plumbing emergencies. We even offer same day service, for those times when every minute counts. Once you've discovered us and the way that we do business, you'll realize that you've found a plumber that you can trust for all of your plumbing repairs, maintenance, and installation! Contact us today!

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