Should I Worry if My Sump Pump Smells Like Sulfur?

If you start to notice an unpleasant odor seeping through your basement or crawl space, it could be coming from your sump pump. Oftentimes, a sulfurous odor coming from your sump pump is nothing more than an indication that it needs some minor maintenance. Occasionally, however, a foul odor can be indicative of a more serious issue with your sewer line.

Sump Basin Water Levels

Should I Worry if My Sump Pump Smells Like SulfurA 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. Simply adding water to a dry drain trap can eliminate odors escaping from your sewer drain.

When adding water to your sump pump, make sure that you don’t exceed the pump basin’s cutoff line. Excess water can encourage the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria that create foul odors. Properly adjusting your float switch will ensure that the water in your sump pump remains at an acceptable level. If the water develops an unpleasant smell, you can eliminate the odor by simply adding a diluted bleach solution.

Sewer Line Breach

Occasionally, a sulfurous smell indicates a more serious problem with your sump pump than stagnant water. Your sump pump works by collecting groundwater from beneath the foundation of your home and then pumping this water up and away from your house. If there is a breach in your sewer line, sewage can leak into the surrounding groundwater. This means that some of the water making its way into your sump pump will contain waste products, which can leave a foul-smelling sewage residue. You must repair your sewer line and clean or replace your sump pump in order to remove the sulfurous smell from your home.

If you want to learn more about eliminating sump pump odors, contact the Basement Flood Protector team online or by phone at (847) 852-7150.