How to get rid of the septic tank smell after you shower

Written by jessica jewell
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How to get rid of the septic tank smell after you shower
A septic tank smell could be caused from a dried-out shower trap or a cracked vent pipe. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Private septic systems contain waste materials, which when decomposed, can create a foul smell. The smell can occur on a variety of occasions, including when a toilet is flushed or when you shower. Not only is the smell unpleasant, but it can also be toxic and explosive if the smell is a leak of sewer gas and not just decomposing materials. By correctly diagnosing the cause of the smell and fixing the problem, you can permanently rid your after-shower atmosphere of the septic tank smell.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Oxygen bleach

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  1. 1

    Remove the shower strainer. If the drain is a friction-fit model, pry the edge of the strainer up so that the drain is completely exposed.

  2. 2

    Pour 1 gallon of oxygen bleach down the drain and do not turn the water on for one day. Do not use chlorine bleach. Chlorine bleach kills important bacteria in your septic tank and it will not permanently remove the smell. In fact, it can make the smell worse.

  3. 3

    Slow the evaporation from the shower trap if you do not use it on a regular basis. Turn on the water for a few minutes every week. By performing this simple task, you can prevent the trap from drying out, which can prevent any septic tank smell from creeping up through the pipes.

  4. 4

    Check to see if the plumbing vent pipe is clogged. Any number of things can clog a vent pipe, such as a ball, leaves and even rust.

  5. 5

    Contact an experienced plumber. Your vent pipe or drain line might be cracked, which could be a source of a sewer gas leak. A plumber has a machine that generates artificial smoke. He will hook up the machine to the drain system and then block the drain pipe, which will help him quickly determine if there is a cracked pipe or loose fitting.

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