Asked by: Jacquetta Stratmans
home and garden home appliances

Why does my sump pump smell like sulfur?

Last Updated: 4th June, 2020

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A small amount of water should be present in your sump pump at all times. If your drain trap dries out, you may start to notice a foul odor in the air. This smell is sulfur dioxide from your sewer drain, which is normally covered by a pool of water that traps noxious gases and prevents them from entering your home.

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Consequently, how do I get rid of the smell in my sump pump?

To get rid of the smell though, concoct a diluted bleach solution (about one cup per gallon) and pour it into the basin until the float switch activates. Plus, scrubbing down the sides of the basin will help eliminate the smell.

Secondly, why does my sump pit smell like sewage? A broken sewer line near or beneath your foundation may gradually leech raw sewage into the ground water. When tainted ground water enters the sump basin, the distinct smell of sewage is emitted.

Also know, why does the sump pump smell?

Unfortunately, a bad smell coming from the sump pump could indicate more than stagnant water. However, on some older homes the sump pump may be discharging directly into the municipal sewer system. This setup is illegal and can flood the sewer system, causing sewage to back up into the pump.

Should a sump pit be sealed?

Sealing the Sump Pit The sump pit should be covered with a gas-tight lid. While sump pumps are very effective in removing water, if they are not covered and installed properly, they can create additional water management issues, as well as indoor air quality concerns for the house. Sumps usually have standing water.

Related Question Answers

Leontine Eisenkraemer

Professional

Can you put bleach in sump pump?

The Sump Pump Is Dry
If you're going through a dry spell, the water in the sump pump may have evaporated, releasing the gas inside. If not, dilute a cup of bleach in a gallon of water and pour it into the trap. You should have enough water to cover the pipes and drain lines.

Graciosa Crusse

Professional

Can I pour vinegar in my sump pump?

Vinegar can be used for cleaning debris and residue in your sump pump. You need to make a detergent of vinegar and water, pour it in your sump pump and let it sit in. After that flush the detergent, and you are good to go. If not used properly, vinegar can damage your sump pump.

Zachary Latzlsperger

Professional

Can I pour water down my sump pump?

Pour a bucket of water into the sump pit
Fill a five-gallon bucket with water and pour it slowly around the sump pump. The pump should kick on once the water level reaches a predetermined level below the basement floor.

Maysa Panades

Explainer

How often should you clean your sump pump?

In most cases, sump pumps should be tested every three to four months. This should involve opening the inlet screen (often also called the pump screen) and cleaning it out, among other things. However, in some cases, your sump pump might actually benefit from more regular cleanings.

Ridwan Yturricha

Explainer

Why would my basement smell like sewer?

A strong sewer smell coming from your basement is most often caused from a dried out floor drain, a bad ejector pit seal, improperly vented appliances or fixtures, or even a damaged sewer line. Floor Drains – Rarely-used floor drains in your basement are typically the source of the sewer stench.

Kisha Wasmuth

Pundit

Should there be standing water in a sump pump?

2 Answers. The water should not be that high in the sump. It should be down to around the 2-3" level inside. First, find the float switch which should turn your pump on when the water gets deep enough (it should be a ball floating in the water somewhere, maybe under the drain pipes).

Buster Katsenellenbogen

Pundit

Can I put vinegar in my sump pump?

Some homeowners like to add white vinegar to the water in order to wash off any mineral deposits. If your sump pump does not come on when the float is raised, it should be serviced immediately.

Zarko Thalkofer

Pundit

How often should sump pump run when raining?

This is fairly normal. A water table that is high can damage the slab even if the basement remains dry, so you may just need the sump pump to run every 8 minutes during your wet season, but if the above is true you are at least safe in a power outage.

Remei Castiello

Pundit

How do I clean my sump pump pit?

Place pump in a bucket or wrap in heavy plastic so that you can carry it outdoors without dripping sludge on your carpet or flooring. Scrape and wash sludge and crud off exterior of pump. Using a wet-vac/shop-vac, remove all remaining water from pit. You will probably find a couple of bricks in the bottom of the pit.

Ebrima Freudenthaler

Teacher

How do you check a sump pump check valve?

How to Determine if a Sump Pump Check Valve Is Leaking
  1. Locate the check valve housing. It's made of metal or hard plastic with multiple bolts holding it in place.
  2. Inspect the center connection of the check valve for a leak.
  3. Slowly pour 5 gallons of water down into the sump pump pit.
  4. Make note of exactly where the leaks are occurring on the check valve.

Yacin Vit

Teacher

Do sump pumps require maintenance?

Sump pumps on the whole are quite reliable. But as with any other important piece of equipment, regular maintenance is always a good idea. Spend a few minutes every couple of months, when heavy rains are forecast and in early spring to ensure reliable sump pump operation.

Steliana Uthenwuld

Teacher

Is sewer gas toxic?

Sewer gas is a byproduct of the breakdown of natural human waste. It comprises a mixture of gases, including hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and more. Sewer gas isn't necessarily toxic at low levels. However, chronic exposure, or higher levels of exposure, can cause symptoms of sewer gas poisoning.

Mercedita Pertusa

Teacher

Where can I discharge my sump pump?

The sump pump is usually positioned in a hole in the basement floor (about the size of a beach ball), also known as the sump pit, and discharges the water. Depending on the home, the discharge water from the sump pit can be through a pipe in the wall of your home into the yard or to the storm sewer.

Amani Hernaz

Reviewer

Does radon come through sump pump?

Sump Pump Installation
When a home has a basement with a sump pump, that can be an entry point for radon gas. When installing a radon mitigation system in a home with a sump pump, depending on the location of the sump, it is possible to directly insert the PVC piping as the main suction point for radon removal.

Ola Ulbrich

Reviewer

Why does my house smell like rotten eggs?

Rotten Eggs
The two most common sources of a rotten egg smell are a natural gas leak, and escaping sewer gas. That's why utility companies inject a substance called mercaptan, which emits an odor that smells like sulfur or rotten eggs. If there's a very strong smell, you could have a substantial natural gas leak.

Francelina Lanari

Reviewer

What is a sump pit?

The sump pit is a hole with a gravel base dug into the lowest part of your basement or crawl space. As water enters the pit, an activator or sensor on the sump pump turns the sump pump on automatically. It moves the water away from the home through pipes.

Agnes China

Supporter

What does sulfur smell like?

Pure sulfur has no smell. The stink associated with the element comes from many of its compounds, according to Chemicool. For example, sulfur compounds called mercaptans give skunks their defensive odor. Rotten eggs and stink bombs get their distinctive aroma because of hydrogen sulfide.

Nicoll Cebellan

Supporter

Do sump pumps need to be primed?

Understand that to prime a sump pump simply means to get it ready to pump. It must be primed for operation. Basically, the pump needs to have water poured into it. The slightest air leak can cause the pump to lose prime.

Mitka Lingg

Supporter

Why is my sump pump not working?

Your Sump Pump Has Burned Out
Overheating is the primary cause of mechanical failure of the sump pump itself. The motor of a sump pump creates a lot of heat. A sump pit that's too small will force the sump pump to turn on and off more often as the water is pumped out, which will contribute to its burning out.