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Sump Pump Odors Explained

3 min Read
A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system.

If you’ve noticed unpleasant odors around your sump pump, you’re probably wondering what’s causing it and what you should do about it. At Mattioni Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we’re committed to keeping homeowners in Chester County informed about their plumbing systems. Learn what a sump pump is, what odors it can produce, and whether you should contact a professional for help.

Are you dealing with sump pump odors? Speak with a local plumbing contractor about the issue by calling 610-400-8510 today.

What Does a Sump Pump Do?

You likely have a sump pump if you have a bathroom, laundry room, or plumbing fixtures in your basement. Sump pumps collect water in your basement using a basin and sensors that detect high water levels or pressure. Once the levels get high enough, the sump pump diverts the water by pumping it up and away from your property. This prevents water damage in your home, making it an essential part of your plumbing system.

A Guide to Sump Pump Odors

You may notice a sulfurous, musty, or moldy odor from your sump pump. There are a few different causes and ways to eliminate these odors.


Does your sump pump smell like sulfur or rotten eggs? It could be because your sump pump basin is empty. The water in the basin can trap gases, but when it dries out, the sulfur is released into the air and causes an odor. You can quickly remedy this issue by adding water to the basin.

 A sulfur odor could also be due to a buildup of dirt and grime or something more severe, like a sewer line breach. If it’s the latter, you’ll need help from a professional plumber to fix the problem and prevent the contamination of your plumbing system.


Sometimes, homeowners notice a musty, wet dog smell around their sump pump. This is common because your sump pump basin has standing water in it. While you don’t want your sump pump basin to completely dry, drying out the basin as much as possible may eliminate the musty odor.


A moldy smell is likely also caused by the same reason as the musty odor — stagnant water. While drying out the basin may help, you can also clean it thoroughly with a solution of water and bleach. Scrubbing the basin with this solution should reduce the odor significantly. If you feel uncomfortable doing this yourself, hire a local plumber to clean it.

When To Call for Professional Services

Sometimes, sump pump odors are caused by a lack of maintenance, too. Be sure to schedule routine sump pump maintenance with a plumbing contractor. You should also contact a plumber if your sump pump is clogged, has a sewage odor, or still smells after trying the previously mentioned solutions. Your plumber will know exactly what to look for and how to eliminate the odor for good.

Choose Mattioni for Sump Pump Services

Contact Mattioni Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for help when dealing with sump pump problems. We’re a trusted HVAC and plumbing company serving homeowners throughout Pennsylvania. With our 70+ years of experience, you can trust that we’ll get to the bottom of what’s causing your sump pump odor.

Looking for speedy sump pump repairs? Schedule an appointment with a Mattioni plumber by calling 610-400-8510 now.

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