This is a question that I get several times a year. There is usually a simple answer. The majority of time there is a floor drain somewhere in your house that is dried up due to lack of use. This means that the ptrap no longer contains water. You may ask, what is a ptrap? Every fixture drain has a ptrap if you look underneath the sink, it looks like a P laying on its back. This allows water to stand in the drain forming a seal to keep sewer gas out of your house.
If someone has hooked up a drain and not used a ptrap, sewer gas will escape into your home causing the foul odor. Also, a drain that doesn’t get used, such as a floor drain, over time the water can evaporate. If this is the case, simply poor water into the drain, and the smell will go away. You may occasionally add a little bleach to the drain to help.
If after a thorough search, neither of these items are found, you can perform a smoke test on your home to find the source. If you happen to live in the city limits of Columbia, they will provide this service for free. Often times it could be a toilet. Even though it doesn’t appear to be leaking water, it could be leaking sewer gas.
As another possibility, the foul smell could also be emitting from your garbage disposal. I will discuss this issue in a later blog post.