Published on October 25, 2019

Contain the Drain… What’s That Smell?

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Contain the Drain...What's That Smell?
Contain the Drain...What's That Smell?

Have you ever walked into your kitchen, utility room, or bathroom and caught a whiff of a horrendous smell but you were unsure of the cause or source? Has a horrific odor emanated from your kitchen garbage disposal?  What is the culprit? Is it garbage? Something rotting?  Or is it coming from your drains? What causes this drain odor and what is the safest and most effective way to get rid of it? Sun Plumbing is here for you if you are unable to locate, assess, and address the problem on your own! There are numerous causes of odors and plenty of possible home remedy solutions for smelly drains. Check out these ways to remove the odor and freshen things up before involving a professional plumber.

Drain Odor Causes

So, what is the cause of this noxious smell? Every drain in your home should have a P-shaped trap that is properly vented. The shape of these pipes traps a little water, creating a seal that prevents sewer fumes from being released into your home. If drain traps are empty, sewer smells can rise up through your drains. This is most common in drains that are not used very often. For example, if in an unused guest bathroom, the water in the P-shaped trap might have evaporated, causing the barrier to break resulting in stinky fumes releasing into your bathroom.  Secondly, sewer vent pipes and/or drain-pipes can become blocked. If a smell comes up with running water which pools in a sink instead of draining, it is likely you have a sewer pipe blockage. Or, clogs can be caused by debris, hair, grease, and food forming a “gunk” which can block pipes resulting in bacteria building up and creating the malodorous release. Smelly household drains are often the result of these issues:

  • A dry trap
  • Old wax ring on the toilet
  • Stopped up vent pipe
  • Too short vent pipe
  • Pipe connections are loose-fitting
  • Cracked or rotted drainpipe leaks
  • Sewer back up
  • Mold or mildew from leaks
  • Sulfate-reducing bacteria enter hot water heater reacting with sulfates /characterized by rotten egg smell
  • Plumbing error

Treating the Smell

Now that you’re aware of some of the causes of drain odor, how do you address them? And how do you handle them in a low cost and efficient manner? Here are some possible at-home remedies:

  • Snake the clogged drain
  • Turn up the water heater temperature to 160 degrees for a brief period to kill bacteria
  • Have vents and traps inspected and repaired by a plumber
  • Read one of the many pages/sites with natural cleaning suggestions on the web…BE CAREFUL because certain chemical and natural cleaners can be toxic when mixed together!!!

We wish you luck in keeping putrid smells down the drain where they belong! If you run into a bigger issue than you can handle, contact Sun Plumbing to have one of our plumbing professionals dispatched to your home or business. If you have any plumbing issues in the Viera, Palm Bay, or Melbourne areas of Brevard County, let us know promptly so our plumbers can tackle your repair. From detecting and repairing slab leaks to unclogging a stubborn drain, no job is too challenging for Sun Plumbing.

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