Why Does My Bathroom Smell Like Fish?

The bathroom is a comfort for a lot of us. We like our bathrooms clean and without any foul odors. But sometimes, even if you clean your bathroom properly, there are times when you have to deal with weird smells.

There are many reasons why your bathroom can smell like fish. In addition to sewage gas, your bathroom’s fishy scent might be from an electrical issue and overheated wiring. Most people clean the bathroom to remove odors. If a thorough cleaning doesn’t solve the problem, you’ll need to narrow down the cause of the fishy smell and decide which specialist to call.

Keep reading the piece to know the details of why your bathroom smells like fish and how you can get rid of it. Also, there’s an FAQ section to let you leave the page without having any questions in mind. Let’s get started!

Why Does My Bathroom Smell Like Fish?- 9 Common Causes

There are several potential explanations for the fishy odor in your restroom, some of which may startle or disgust you. For this reason, pinpointing the origin of the unpleasant smell is essential if you want to permanently eliminate it from the bathroom.

1. Sewage Gas

Sewage gas might potentially enter our restrooms via several entry points. Sewage gas may seep in via, for instance, if the plumbing isn’t installed correctly or the pipes are damaged.

A dry system may be caused by not using the toilet or the shower for an extended period. That’s because the water that usually acts as a barrier between the sewer gas and your home’s plumbing evaporates, letting the gas in.

Sewage gas may seep in via toilets and pipes that aren’t securely connected. The backup of sewage is another problem that may be caused by blocked drains.

2. Evaporated Water In The ‘P’ Trap

The p-trap probably doesn’t have enough water in it if the stench comes from a seldom-used bathroom (such as a guest room or pool house) or if it appeared after you returned from a long trip. 

The “p-trap” refers to the pipe that curves downward below the toilet and upward again. It prevents foul odors from entering your house and works only when completely submerged.

The water in the p-trap evaporates if your family doesn’t flush the toilet often enough, allowing sewer gas and its awful stench to enter your home down the drain.

3. Smells From A Random Source

Sometimes, the smell comes from a common source that you can fix easily.

To detect the source, enter the bathroom, turn on the fan and wait a few minutes without flushing to narrow down the source of the odor. Let’s flush the toilet and check whether the smell is less intense than usual. This will lead you to a sudden influx of strange fishy scents if you’re experiencing a severe problem.

4. Clogged Plumbing Vents Gets

Plumbing vents provide an additional line of defense against the smell of sewage. Plumbing vents create a draft that moves noxious gases and aromas from the bathroom outside the building.

Bird nests, animal corpses, leaves, and other detritus may jam these vents. The roof is often the location of the plumbing vent.

5. Electric Wire Overheating 

It’s possible to identify specific scents produced when electrical wire overheats due to being loose or just old.

Overheated wiring often emits a burnt rubber smell, which some may find fishy.

Overheating or broken electrical wiring is a significant fire threat that has to be addressed promptly for other reasons as well, such as the unpleasant stench it might produce.

6. Bacteria In The System

A breeding ground for sewage microbes may form on the lip of the toilet bowl or in the tank. Due to the state’s warm and humid environment, this is a typical issue in Florida.

Lifting the cover of the toilet tank will reveal any bacteria developing there.  

7. Damaged Sealing Problem 

Your toilet’s base has a sealing ring that prevents urine and other waste from getting inside and breeding germs in tiny holes or fissures. You will notice a foul stench if the sealing ring is damaged or loose because sewage gas escapes through the crevices.

8. Ammonia Smell From Dead Body 

The decomposing carcass of a mouse or rat within your walls or beneath your house might give off a stench similar to that of rotting fish since ammonia, like sewer gas, is produced.

It may seem revolting, but it is not unusual for a mouse or rat to find a cozy area within your house to pass away.

A dead rat presents more than just an unpleasant odor; it may also pose serious health risks. If the rat died next to a broken water pipe, for instance, that pipe may become a source of contamination and spread illness.

9. Dirty Socks

Have you ever realized that your stinky socks are a major contributor to your bad mood? It’s true that socks with a fishy odor develop after being left for a few days without being washed or rinsed thoroughly.

How To Fix Fishy Smell Problem In The Bathroom

Now that you have identified the source of the fishy smell, here’s how you can get rid of it. 

Solution to Sewage Gas Problem

It’s critical to identify the precise origin of your sewer gas symptoms since there are several potential causes.

Simply having a bath and flushing the toilet may moisten the system, generating the water barrier required to keep the gas out if you haven’t used your bathroom in a while.

Entering your crawlspace or basement to investigate your pipes and connections requires more involved solutions. Look for anything that seems to have been placed improperly, is loose, or has a crack.

If you discover any significant problems with your plumbing, a plumber may be required to fix them. Otherwise, you have the option of tightening or replacing pipes on your own.

How to Get Rid of Plumbing Vent Clogging Problem

Depending on the location of the obstruction, unclogging a plumbing vent may be a simple or complex task.

If the obstruction is external to the vents, such as a bird’s nest or leaves, you may climb up onto the roof and remove it manually. However, prevent debris from falling into your vent, which might lead to a blockage inside.

The task becomes more complicated if the obstruction is located inside the plumbing’s ventilation system. It’s advisable to hire a contractor to do this since you’ll need to disassemble your ventilation system to get to the blockage.

Electric Wire Overheating Problem- How to Solve It?

Your electrical system is probably to blame if the fishy stench in your bathroom is accompanied by the smell of burned rubber.

A professional electrician should be contacted in the majority of circumstances. However, if you are familiar with electrical systems, you may be able to fix them independently.

To repair this, we need to trace out the defective wire and replace it. Make sure the power is off in the house before beginning this project.

How to Get Rid Of Bacteria From The Toilet System

First, you need to create a diluted bleach solution:

  • Protect yourself by donning a face mask, rubber gloves, and a waterproof apron before mixing a capful of bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite) with cold water (99 parts cold tap water to 1 part bleach).
  • It’s recommended to do this somewhere with good air circulation.
  • Do NOT add any other toilet cleaners to this diluted bleach. (If necessary, start with detergents and rinse the area thoroughly with water before applying the diluted bleach.)
  • After 24 hours, the bleach solution is no longer effective and should be thrown away.

Now to use it on the bowl:

  • Using the tank’s overflow line or flush valve, pour the diluted bleach in.
  • After waiting 30 minutes, flushing the toilet will activate the bleach and eliminate the odor and germs.

Now to use it in the tank:

  • Please flush your toilet after emptying the tank.
  • Put the diluted bleach solution in a bucket and use a brush to clean the walls.
  • Ten minutes later, give the walls a thorough scrubbing.
  • Fill up the water storage container.
  • Flush the toilet a couple of times.

How Can You Fix a Damaged Sealing? 

For cracks, check the sealing ring. Caulk should be applied to the exposed area if there are cracks.

If you cannot see any cracks. Check to see whether your toilet shakes or wobbles. If so, a plumber should be contacted to repair the loose sealing ring.

Fixing Smell From Dead Corpse

It may be a gross and laborious task to remove dead rodents. Still, you don’t have to hire outside assistance to get this nasty job done.

Mice and rats congregate around heat sources like radiators and hot water pipes. You could have difficulty getting to the dead animal since it can be within your walls.

However, after the body has been located, it is essential that you remove it hygienically. This includes wearing protective gear like gloves and a face mask when removing the corpse.


Does Carbon Monoxide Smell Like Fish?

No. Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas produced by burning fossil fuels. Though you wouldn’t be able to see or smell it, it poses a significant risk to your health and has the potential even to be lethal.

What Does Black Mold Smell Like?

Musty, earthy, and maybe even rotten vegetable or plant odors are common descriptions. There might be a musty odor but no visible mold growth. Search for potential water entry points in this scenario.

Can I Pour Bleach Down The Drain?

Your septic system might suffer irreparable harm if you do this. When you combine bleach with other cleaning products, you produce harmful fumes. Toxic gas may be produced if cleaning chemicals like bleach and ammonia are poured down the drains of a house and then mixed in the pipes.


So, by now, you should know the answer to the question, “ Why does my bathroom smell like fish?

The answer could be multiple things, such as sewage gas, plumbing problems, or even the dead body of small animals. Maintaining this basic stuff would help you to keep the smell away, and if the problem is severe, you should seek n help from a professional.

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